Late last year the Daredevil movie franchise reverted back to Marvel Entertainment. For a while there was internet speculation about the potential reboot of the movie franchise that Marvel would execute. Honestly if you watch the Director’s cut of the Ben Affleck Daredevil film it’s not bad, it’s not anywhere in the realm of Marvel’s current slate of super hero films, but it’s not as bad as the terrible theatrical cut of that film. Obviously since Affleck is playing Batman now he can’t return to the character even if anyone wanted him too.
Marvel Entertainment could really use an earthy sort of super hero in their slate of films. The obvious choice would be Spider-man but that film franchise won’t be returning to Marvel anytime soon so “The Man Without Fear” is a good second choice. Daredevil isn’t as well known a character as Spider-man or any of the other characters in Marvel’s Cinematic U right now but he’s a hero that could be cultivated into something great with careful planning. There are those that liked the Affleck film and there are others that liked the idea of the hero but didn’t like the movie. Those fans will give a new Daredevil film a shot so as small as it is there is a fan base to start from.
Daredevil should be a lower budget film than Iron Man, Thor, or The Avengers. He’s a less spectacular hero in the realm of super powers. Matt Murdock was blinded as a child and imbued with special abilities. He has internal radar via sonic responses. Hearing things lets him know what’s around him and what’s happening. This ability makes him a near unbeatable fighter. He can sense punches coming and dodge or change the punch to benefit him. He’s strong but only because he’s trained his body to be so. He’s more like Bruce Lee than spider-man. Daredevil doesn’t lift cars and punch holes through walls. He’s a street fighter going up against real world enemies like crime bosses and street thugs. His only weapon is a special blind cane that has been augmented to be used as a fighting weapon. Daredevil is at his best a somber hero. He protects the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City, his childhood home. He’s dark and bitter, he’s like a cross between Batman and Spider-man.
So based simply on his super powers Daredevil should be featured in a low to medium budgeted film. The story shouldn’t be Earth shattering; it should be more real world and personal. Obviously in a reboot of the film franchise Daredevil should go up against his arch enemy the Kingpin of crime. The movie could be a really dark sort of mystery/action hybrid, sort of like a really well done cop movie, imagine Lethal Weapon with a blind badass instead a crazy out of his head cop and an “I’m too old for this sh#t partner”. The money should be invested in casting and marketing. Marvel could craft something special by bringing in just the right actors to play these roles and coming up with some really creative marketing, mysterious ads at first to get fans really curious about what’s coming. The director should be someone great at drama and stylized, like Christopher Nolan for example.
So, the real question is who should play Matt Murdock/Daredevil. The actor should be someone acceptable to comic book fans and fans of the previous film but also someone with mainstream appeal. The actor should also be able to handle the action scenes as the hero and the dramatic scenes of Matt Murdock as the blind attorney fighting for the underdog in Hell’s Kitchen during the day. Also on a less important note it would be interesting to have an actor with piercing eyes so that there’s impact when and if those eyes are revealed from behind the sunglasses of the daytime and the mask without eye holes he wears as the hero. Some would probably call for Jeremy Renner but he’s already another hero in the Marvel U, same for Chris Evans. If we’re dreamcasting, which is what this article is all about then the best pick of the current crop of actual masculine actors doing action films today is Chris Pine. Pine has shown great range in his career with bits of comedy and the definite hero and leader in the Star Trek films. Science fiction fans will appreciate him in the role due to his success in the Trek films and even girls will want to see the film with him as the lead actor. Pine is the right age in his early 30’s, mature but not grizzled and in good shape to fight as a real man. On the less important note, Pine has the piercing eyes that could offer a nice scene in the film a strong reveal during some key scene.
As important as the hero is the casting of the villain. The Kingpin is most iconic as a bald really large man who can fight much better than he should be able too. In more recent versions of the character he’s been made more realistic, a mob boss able to pay other bad guys to do the fighting for him. A unique approach to the Kingpin would be to make him an even more powerful and modern crime boss, make him strong and ready to fight but still able to pay other villains to do his dirty work too. My best pick would be The Rock. He’s a big and powerful guy and really great at the action scenes. He’s also proven himself to be a better actor than most of would have ever expected. It would be fun to see this actor play a villain since he’s become known as someone who plays heroes. Vin Diesel is a good pick to for most of the same reasons as the Rock with the exception of acting chops. The Rock is a slightly better actor than Diesel and since there needs to be a strong dramatic story to this film The Rock remains the best fit. This same approach to the villain was attempted with the Affleck film by bring in Michael Clarke Duncan as The Kingpin.
The only other truly central character in the film would be that of Murdock’s friend and assistant Foggy. This is an opportunity for the film to get a little humor, a little relief to what should be a fairly brooding kind of story. Foggy can bring out the lighter side of Murdock because they’ve been long time friends. The role of Foggy is a small ne but actually the toughest one to cast in the film. The character must be able to go through a range of emotions and also able to execute that comedy relief that the film will require. Jonah Hill would be perfect for this role. This may be a small role for him but he has shown with appearances in films such as Django Unchained that he’s willing to do small memorable roles in bigger films. He’s funny and endearing and would give the film a sense of humor in the right places. The challenge would be to keep it reined in enough so that the tonal shift doesn’t crush the film.
So there you have it, stuntcasting for a Daredevil reboot. What do you think?