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Fringe Writer To Pen Daredevil, Based On ‘Born Again’ Storyline

Fringe writer-producer Brad Caleb Kane has been hired to adapt Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s acclaimed “Born Again” storyline for Fox’s new Daredevil movie, Heat Vision reports.

Kane, who’s said to be a Daredevil fan, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “I guess it’s official! ‘Change your life.’ -Murdock.” He later added, “We’ll do our best to do right by him (and the fans!).”

Rumors first emerged in mid-March, only hours after David Slade was announced as director, that the studio would turn to the revered 1986 arc for inspiration. Slade fueled that speculation when he described the outline as “a very strong character-driven take on Mr. Matt Murdock. It will [bear] no relation to the previous Daredevil movie in any way.”

That of course fits “Born Again,” a seven-issue story that’s cast a long shadow over virtually every Daredevil comic that came after it. In it, Daredevil’s drug-addicted girlfriend Karen Page sells Matt Murdock’s secret identity in exchange for a shot of heroin. The information finds its way to the Kingpin, who begins a six-month crusade to destroy his nemesis, dismantling Murdock’s life — he loses his money, his home and his law license — and pushing the Man Without Fear over the edge.

Slade, who’s also developing the new Daredevil, confirmed the basis for the movie in a tweet: “Yes, Brad and I are meeting daily to work on the script, and yes ‘Born Again’ is our main source material with all its grittiness.”

The 2003 movie, which starred Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan, grossed $179 million worldwide, and spawned the spin-off Elektra.


  • Ricardo

    Great news! That’s an amazing plot and not that hard to be adapted.

  • Anonymous

    David Slade ……..

  • Jmcreer

    It doesn’t sound like the type of story you’d use for a reboot.  They would be better off using the “Man Without Fear” storyline as an initial film, and then “Born Again” as a sequel. 

    Not matter what Heat Vision reports, I’m dubious that it’ll be an adaptation of Born Again.

  • Kevin Melrose

    I’ve updated with confirmation from Slade that “Born Again” is the source material.

  • Pack

    I have to admit, I don’t get this either. I’m not one of those fans who hates every comic book movie. I even enjoyed “Daredevil” and “Ghost Rider,” neither of them fan-favorites.
    But a storyline showing the Kingpin taking everything away from Matt Murdock after Murdock is betrayed by his first, and long-lost, love, only works if you know what Murdock has and who his long-lost love is.

  • Jmcreer

    OK – but still, weird choice for a reboot film.

  • Tomfitz1

    Better the Born Again story arc, than the Guardian Angel story arc!

  • Brianobx

    I like it.

  • RoNation

    Born works because everything that came before it, people have to know and understand the characters to care for them when there at there lowest of moments, this story might be to “arthouse” and will probably be forced into a big action type story… I’ve seen two of slades three movies and they where both $h!t… 

  • Raymon Ryu Ronquillo

    Weird indeed. It should be ‘The Man Without Fear’ and a side of ‘Daredevil: Yellow’.

  • 0bsessions

    Note the term “source material.” Source material just indicates where the overall idea is coming from. It will certainly be a loose adaptation. While it could end up a bit busy, one could certainly intro the important characters and still fit everything else in. Honestly, you could sum most of his origin up in about fifteen to twenty minutes. Kid gets hit by chemicals, goes blind, dad dies, kid becomes a lawyer, falls in love, go to black “five years later” and then just kind of fill in the pieces as you go.

  • Mwedmer

    Miller and Romita Jr’s MAn Without Fear is a far superior starting point. What I am gathering from this is that either
    A.) They will not actually adapt the Born Again Storyline as presented “Jumping off point”)
    B.) They are going to start off with him being a hero already and fill the front end of the film with tons of exposition explaining why the Kingpin is destroying his life and who Karen is.

    Either way, Its a tough call.

  • Pack

    I admit it’s possible (Personally, I’m sick to death of these “origin” stories and would love to see a movie that just gives the audience enough credit to pick it up as they go along.) In fact, I seem to remember there was a Vin Diesel movie with pretty much the exact same plot. (Heroic crimefighter loses loved ones when a bad guy from his past seeks revenge.)
    But the impact of Born Again comes from seeing a character loses his career to his longstanding greatest enemy and being betrayed by someone from his past. As this movie will be standalone (according to this article) who cares if the hero loses his career or reunites with someone from his past? Why would the audience have any investment?
    Again, of course, it can be done. “Casablanca” hinges on the lead character meeting up with his past love, right? I think I’m just agreeing with some others in saying that it seems an *odd* (but not terrible) choice.
    I think, in movie terms, “Born Again” would be a great “Empire Strikes Back” for a Daredevil movie trilogy.

  • Bassmonster

    As a devoted fan of the 2003 Afleck/Garner movie I am guilty of pronouncing it as my most favourite adaptation of a Marvel comic, Watchmen and 300 being my all-time faves, in spite of me being a Marvel zombie.
    Truesay, I’d prefer the Miller-JRjr  MAN WITHOUT FEAR as the DD film before BORN AGAIN but what matters the most is — DD is not forgotten. Looking forward to seeing it!

  • Fred10

    I’m very excited about this. I’m glad that some time has passed since the last film. By the time this hits theaters (if at all), it should be just about right for a re-introduction of the character. The only thing that might work against it are all the other superhero movies coming out now-a-days (what is it, like four or five a year?). HOWEVER, if ever there was a character that could be set apart from the normal, formula superhero, at a very noir street-level, it is Matt Murdock. Daredevil is far and away my favorite comic book character, and Born Again is an excellent story. Frank Miller’s stuff doesn’t always do it for me, but his Daredevil run was spectacular. And the ART!! OMG, Mazzucchelli’s art from those books is chilling. Daredevil running along phone-lines, summersaulting through billowing chimney smoke, broken in an alley… Those images are amazing. I really hope they capture the feel of the art with the new movie, and the fluidity of Murdock’s movements as he “feels” his way through his environment. And I hope they skip the leather. If ever there was a character that had REASON to wear spandex, it’s Daredevil. His skin is a giant sensory membrane! I mean, everyone’s skin is a sensory membrane, but his is sensitive to not only touch, but the compression of air molecules as well. He can “feel” moving objects from across the room. And by moving through the environment (pushing air molecules around with his body, compressing them between himself and other objects), he can “feel” static objects, as well. But, to do this, he needs to wear something that acts as a flexible medium between him and the environment. Stiff leather would compromise his ability to react instinctively to the air moving around him, allowing him to dodge fists, feet, knives, or even bullets exiting chambers. Heigtened proprioception allows his to do this at a reflexive level, while devoting his conscious resources to his primary objective. 

    Sure, his “radar sense” provides this information, as well, but that is conscious, associational information.  Not only does it task his attentional resources, but sensory associations done’t occur until after the modality-specific information is passed along from the periphery through the hindbrain, to the thalamus, then to the various sensory areas of the cortex (somatosensory for touch, temporal for hearing, occipital for vision), and  on to the secondary sensory areas… THEN it reaches the associational areas, THEN to the motor cortex and pre-motor areas where a motor plan is formed, and then finally passed along from the cortex via the internal capsule to the pyramids, where the information decussates, and is FINALLY sent to the spinal cord along the corticospinal tract and on to motor realization.  In OTHER WORDS… anything that has to pass through the cortex is going to slow down his reaction time.  The fastest path his going to be from skin to spinal cord to muscle. 

  • Hypestyle the Hype Man

    I wonder how they will get around the use of Captain America and Thor, who are tied into the Marvel Films category, separate from Fox..

    I wonder who else, in the “Daredevil-verse”, if anyone, could be used.. maybe they’ll just bypass that segment entirely..

    But at least we’ll get to see Nuke, even though he’s kind of a Rambo-era cliche’ now..

  • James

    Kingpin will never be an interesting enough villain for the big screen. Sorry.

    Villains without super powers? Might as well watch old eps of the Incredible Hulk or Wonder Woman — boring.

  • Jmcreer

    I know Born Again is an excellent story, but personally I’d prefer a different villain than the Kingpin.  Been there, done that.  Daredevil’s got lots of other villains that haven’t appeared yet.

  • Pack

    Like that dull flop, “The Dark Knight.”