Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Second Chance for a Daredevil Movie?

This article explores the possible ( a remake of Daredevil) without sugarcoating the reasons for the original flop.

Op/Ed- Movie Mulligans, What Else Hollywood Should Do-Over
By Michael Avila
posted: 20 June 2008 04:56 pm ET* (for full article follow link)
.....Who’s out there that could get a second chance. And who actually deserves one?

We’re talking about one of Marvel’s Old Guard, one of its most grounded-in-reality characters, with a history of rich storylines. The 2003 film wasn’t terrible, but writer-director Mark Steven Johnson’s fanboy-ish determination to squeeze in too many plot threads and an absurd number of in-jokes ultimately ruined it.

Marvel Studios’ brain-trust should ditch the S&M dungeon red leather jumpsuit, get an actor to play Matt Murdock who’s not dating a paparazzi fave and hand the franchise over to a director like Peter Berg or Joe Carnahan. Jon Favreau could ace this project but a clean break is needed for any reboot and since he played Foggy in the first one, he’s out. And leave Elektra out, too. The ill-conceived spinoff with Jennifer Garner ruined that character.

But the first Daredevil made $102 million despite awful reviews. Imagine if the film would have been any good?

What interests me here is the recognition of the deep history of the Marvel comic hero, and the story lines that hold solid appeal. The suggestion that part of the reason the movie wasn't good was the director's attempt to put too much history, too many comic book references and too much story into the movie, underlines some major differences between movies and comic books. To make a good movie, you need to make some tough choices---more (plot, characters etc.) is not necessarily better. With a comic book you can spin a story out over several issues, following a story arc suited to the format.

The second paragraph raises some interesting issues about costumes and actors. In comic books, it is a given that bodies are exaggerated (i.e.more muscular if male, more buxom if female). In a movie, even a superhero movie, characters should look human, not like completely computer generated images with unbelievable
musculature. Computer generated images also brings to mind manufactured Hollywood movie stars. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner (and their budding romance at the time of filming) detracted from the story being told. In my opinion, Affleck looked more pouty than vengeful. As for Warner, she played an Elektra that was unlike anything in the comic book. The plot line of the movie left some gaping holes about who Elektra was, how she came to be such a skilled fighter, and how she and Murdock/Daredevil came to be entwined.

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