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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tom Rothman Talks 'Daredevil' Reboot

By Elisabeth Rappe,Cinematical
October 3,2008

Early last month, Variety published a rather scathing look at 20th Century Fox's summer receipts and mentioned the studio was digging through its collection of superheroes with an eye on getting some of that blockbuster mojo back. It wasn't surprising to see more X-Men spin-offs and sequels being talked about -- but what did raise a few eyebrows was the inclusion of Daredevil. The Man with No Fear had a pretty disastrous debut in 2003, and his girlfriend/nemesis Elektra fared even worse.

IESB caught up with Fox's co-chairman, Tom Rothman, and pressed him on the subject of revisiting Daredevil. It's more than a passing fancy in the trades -- Fox is thinking "very seriously" of a reboot. Says Rothman: "I think that the thing the Hulk showed, although it did what it did, is that it is possible that if you really do it right the audience will give you a second chance. That it is possible. And I think that you see that when they did Batman Begins, the first Nolan movie, that you can have made some mistakes along the way or movies that the audience wasn't that crazy about and then given the proper amount of time and the right creative vision behind it, you can, to use your word, reboot."

And would they go the dark and gritty route of The Dark Knight, which is becoming the go-to style for just about every comic book property? "Would it be as dark? I don't know because what it really needs is, it needs a visionary at the level that Chris Nolan was. It needs someone, it needs a director, honestly, who has a genuine vision. What we wouldn't do is just do it for the sake of doing it. Right? What we try to do is to get a creative engine for it, that really had a great vision for it, that's what we would look for."

In all honesty, a "real world" approach would work extremely well with Daredevil -- certainly, he has more believable villains than Batman. And being owned by Fox, he won't be able to participate in all the crossover fun that Marvel Studios is doing, so you might as well keep him in his own Hell's Kitchen. For me, the question isn't whether the character deserves another shot (and I think he does), it's whether Fox has learned from its micro-managing past, and could truly let someone have their "great vision" in a comic book film.

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