In fact, Carnahan had a whole potential Daredevil trilogy worked out, as he tells us during a Zoom chat this week to promote his new film Boss Level. Regarding Daredevil, Carnahan recalls, “The trilogy was like musical movements. So Daredevil ‘73 was going to be classic rock. Daredevil ‘79 was punk. And Daredevil ‘85 was New Wave. They were all going to be period.”
Carnahan says that reading Miller’s Daredevil comics of the early 1980s gave him the kind of response he wanted to invoke with his film version. “I remember being 11 years old reading the death of Elektra,” he says. “Seeing the panel where Bullseye had impaled Elektra on her own weapon, on the Japanese sai…it just kind of shook me.”
He continues, “As a kid I was like, ‘Wait, what the fuck was…?’ You know what I mean? I was kind of flummoxed by it. And I realized, ‘The comic books are never going to be the same now.’ And then Daredevil throws Bullseye off a roof and almost kills him. It was like, ‘Wow.’ So I always harken back to that. To me, Daredevil was always an R-rated property. It was always something that I felt you could get a lot grittier and uglier, and dirtier with.”
Sadly, Carnahan’s take on Daredevil — which would not have worked at the time at the family-friendly Marvel — never came to pass; despite negotiations to extend the deadline on the rights, Fox and Marvel ultimately could not come to terms on a deal. Daredevil went back to Marvel — where, a few years later, Charlie Cox would play a brilliant iteration of the character on a TV series co-produced with Netflix.
“The Netflix one, I thought they did a really nice job,” says Carnahan. “Charlie Cox did a really nice job. It had the spirit of, I think, what I would have tried to do in the movie. I think the only reason that didn’t work was because I got in so late with that property…we had two weeks to do something or it was going to lapse. So I was really hustling to get that idea out there in the hopes that we could salvage it. It just didn’t work out.”
Even though the Netflix Daredevil series ended after three seasons, Carnahan feels confident that the “Man Without Fear” will return yet again in a new version.
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