”Spider-Man” may be the Marvel comic book hero on everyone’s lips this summer, but just wait until January 2003. That’s when the big-screen adaptation of ”Daredevil” hits theaters. Starring Ben Affleck (as the red-clad Daredevil/Matt Murdock) and Jennifer Garner (as Daredevil’s love interest/nemesis Elektra) this movie isn’t another kid-friendly superhero action fest: Daredevil is a blind lawyer turned vigilante better known for his vengeful attitude than goody-goody crime solving. EW.com has the latest on what fans can expect (ALERT: SPOILERS AHEAD).
How does the movie start? With a bang — literally. ”With most superheroes, you never have to worry about them, because you know they’re going to turn out okay,” says director Mark Steven Johnson. ”But from page one, Daredevil is banged up really bad and bleeding to death, and the rest of the movie is told in flashback. It forces you to be involved.”
The story then segues into the origins of Daredevil, who was blinded by a radioactive spill after saving a man from being hit by a truck, but soon developed bat-like sonar ”sight” thanks to the truck’s mysterious cargo. ”It’s basically the whole ‘Man Without Fear’ story by Frank Miller,” says Johnson. Look for David Keith as Murdock’s dad, a washed-up boxer who must do dirty work for a crime lord to make ends meet.
What’s Kevin Smith’s connection to Ben Affleck and ”Daredevil”? A longtime fan, Smith wrote part of the comic book series, and Johnson says many of the movie’s plot points are borrowed from Smith’s storylines. Smith is also partly responsible for getting Affleck on board. The pair bonded over their passion for all things Matt Murdock while shooting ”Mallrats.”
”He was impressed with my knowledge of the ‘Daredevil’ storyline, as compared to my knowledge of other comics, which was seriously lacking,” Affleck recalls. When Smith’s ”Daredevil” series was compiled into a graphic novel, he asked Affleck to write the foreword. ”It was fun, especially because he referred to Matt Murdock having tickets to the ‘Good Will Hunting’ premiere in the comic, which I thought was pretty sweet.” As luck would have it, that foreword caught the attention of the film’s producers when casting began. We can only hope Smith collected his 10 percent.