The news that David Slade is helming a new Daredevil movie should bring joy to the hearts of little boys and girls everywhere. Daredevil has a hallowed history in comic books, and, if nothing else, he deserves another go-round at the big screen. (The best thing you can say about the 2003 film was that it was better than 2005’s Elektra, although not by much.) And Slade might be the right director for the job — he helmed a low-budget horror gem and gave the Twilight series a healthy dose of adrenaline in Eclipse. Even better, The Hollywood Reporter claims that the sequel/reboot/whatever will adapt the iconic Frank Miller-David Mazzucchelli “Born Again” storyline. Fox wouldn’t confirm the “Born Again” rumor, but given how heavily studios court the fanboy vote nowadays, it’d be surprising if Daredevil 2.0 didn’t do a deep-dive into the character’s iconic story arcs. But there’s still a big question mark at the center of the new film: Who should be the new Daredevil?
Daredevil is a uniquely difficult superhero to play onscreen. Since Matt Murdock is blind, the character requires a talented, physical actor who can get emotion across without the use of their eyes. Daredevil has one of the most interesting superpowers — all his senses are heightened, and he has an internal sonar that allows him to vaguely “see” his surroundings — but the power is also a little bit abstract. Despite the recent explosion of superhero films requiring the services of attractively beefcake dudes, there are still a few 20-to-30-something actors who haven’t put on a superhero outfit. Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Bradley Cooper all have the right jawline for a Daredevil outfit, although the character could also benefit from a slightly more outside-the-box pick — suffice it to say that if James Franco were ever going to play a superhero, this is probably the role for him.
However, the role could also benefit from a slightly older actor — think Robert Downey Jr., who was 42 when he took on the role of Iron Man. They might have to downplay Daredevil’s building-hopping, but I could see Jeremy Renner (who’s also slated to play Hawkeye in Avengers) or Jon Hamm. Still, to me, there’s one choice for Daredevil that makes the most sense: Ryan Gosling. Besides the fact that the guy is just an incredibly talented actor, he’s actually shown a willingness to branch outside of indie-land to do more Hollywood-y projects, like the upcoming Logan’s Run remake.
PopWatchers, who do you think should take over as Daredevil? Any fans out there want to stump for their favorite storylines getting adapted? Could this lead to a Frank Miller/Brian Michael Bendis showdown?