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David Slade Exits Fox’s Daredevil

Director David Slade has dropped out of Fox’s long-discussed Daredevil reboot, leaving the studio scrambling to get the project into production by the fall or risk the rights reverting to Marvel. Deadline cites a scheduling conflict with Slade’s commitment to helm NBC’s Hannibal pilot.

Best known for his adaptations of 30 Days of Night and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Slade signed on in March 2011 to helm the film, which is based on “Born Again,” the seminal 1986 Marvel comics storyline by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.

The screenplay has passed from David Scarpa, back in 2008, to Brad Caleb Kane in 2011 to David James Kelly, who was brought in two months ago for a rewrite. Fox’s tight deadline likely means Slade’s successor will have to hit the ground running with the script Kelly turned in. Columbia Pictures was confronted with a similar situation — and the same ticking clock — in 2010, when the studio was reportedly prepared to begin production on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance without a busy Nicolas Cage so it could hold onto the rights.

In the seven-issue story arc “Born Again,” 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.


  • David

    What can we do to make sure Fox fails and the rights revert to Marvel?

  • dusk

    Sign up as Director and then quit before fall. It’s all on you now, David the Director!

  • kalorama

    Nothing. Even if the film tanks, Fox will still own the rights.

  • ANon

    Just let the rights go back to Marvel, where they belong.  Marvel Studios will give Daredevil the film he deserves.

  • Jim H.

     Yes, if they make a movie and it bombs, Fox sill owns the rights, but as it clearly says up there, if Fox doesn’t get the movie into production by a certain time, the rights revert back to Marvel, like what happened with the Punisher film rights.

  • VanGoghX

     You can be sure they’ll crank out a Daredevil flick come hell or high water. Let them churn out a piece of crap and lose money on it. That’s the only way they’ll let the rights revert to Marvel.

  • Sam Robards, Comic Fan

    I’m rooting against Fox on this, too. Though I’m surprised the rights haven’t reverted already. I mean, how long ago did Elektra come out? 7 years?

  • Lewis4510

    Way to bail at the last minute Slade. It’s almost as if he wants the rights to revert back to Marvel. But even if it means hiring some no name with little directing experience they’ll do it just to keep the rights.  This will bomb even worse that the last Goat Rider movie.

  • Jeff Spaulding

    Maybe they’ll just get Roger Corman again.  As for casting, I hear Rex Smith is available.

  • Edstone1

    Actually not a bad Daredevil for his time.

  • Nature

    Whoever makes the next Daredevil movie they’d better not screw up the “Born Again” storyline!  That’s one of my favorite all time books!

  • Matt

    It’s sad. They’d rather push out a crap movie and lose money than lose the rights to a studio that would actually make a good movie.

  • Jeff Mclachlan

    Marvel is perfectly comfortable cranking out their one or two Avengers-related movies a year. The best way to never see Daredevil (or FF, or X-Men) again is for Marvel to have the rights. 

  • Chrisd2

    let the rights revert back to Marvel rather than some rushed piece of crap to drive a nail in the coffin

  • GeezerWOFear

    we can only hope this happens, and Marvel regains control…he would bring some “grim and gritty” to the Marvel Movie U!

  • Othello Lofton

    I don’t care if the movie is based on a Frank Miller, Bendis, or Brubaker story. I just want a great DD movie. Hey! Anyone know what Christoper Nolan is doing next couple of years? ;)

  • Ddh1969

    Probably whatever the hell he wants :)

  • Ddh1969

    it will probably end up in the hands of some guy that directed a Katy Perry video or something. 

  • clockstomper

    Here’s to them failing. I hope Marvel gets this back.

  • JP

    hopefully not making more boring batman movies

  • steve

    this is the best news I’ve heard all day. like david says, what can we do so that fox and sony fail that way marvel studios can get back spider-man, fantastic four, daredevil, and ghost rider? fox and sony have now become public enemy #1 to us marvel fans. can we boo them at comic con that way they know were not supporting their films. these characters need to go back to marvel studios and join the MCU!!!!!!