Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Hopes for Drew Goddard and Daredevil's Future

It was about a year ago that 20th Century Fox was given a time limit to get a script for a Daredevil reboot off the ground before the rights to the character defaulted back to Marvel. They didn't pull it off, so Marvel regained the film rights to The Man Without Fear and plenty of people (including yours truly) were quite glad to hear that.

It was just about a week ago that Marvel announced they have struck a deal with Netflix to work on creating four separate mini-series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe revolving around Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist. For those who don't know (and that included me until I was on Wikipedia about twenty minutes ago) each of these characters has at some point or another been a member of the New Avengers team in the Marvel Comics world. So why am I only talking about Daredevil? Because I don't know who the hell Jennifer Jones is, I don't like Iron Fist as much, and I'm not a militant black man from the 70s. Therefore, Daredevil is the only one I care about.

Now, it has been announced that Marvel (by which I mean Joss Whedon) has given the writing job for their Daredevil series to Drew Goddard (who has worked with Joss Whedon since Buffy The Vampire Slayer.) Now I don't mean that to read with a stinging sarcasm, I have complete faith in Drew Goddard because I have yet to be disappointed by him, Whedon, or Marvel Studios...enough to give up. Yeah Iron Man 2 wasn't the greatest but it didn't drive me away. For those that also don't know about Goddard, or because I don't want you to leave the page to look him up and forget to come back, I will tell you a little about him.

Want to be a writer? Grow a beard.

Drew Goddard has written for such shows as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, where his working-relationship with Joss Whedon started, as well as Alias and LOST before he sold his feature script for the cult sci-fi horror movie Cloverfield. He co-wrote and directed the horror-comedy The Cabin In The Woods (co-written by Joss Whedon) and he also contributed, though I'm sure no one will even know in what amount, to the hive-mind script for World War Z. So now that you know a little about Drew, why does his involvement excitement when it comes to Daredevil? Goddard can write the kind of Daredevil I want to see.

For a few decades now Daredevil was the comic a writer worked on at Marvel when they wanted to tell stories about a hero who has his life fall apart about once a month. There is a reason Frank Miller wrote for Daredevil for so long, and it's because he just kept finding new ways to ruin Matt Murdock's life. The most recent episode of the How Did This Get Made? podcast (as of this writing) was about the 2003 film adaptation of Daredevil. The guest they had on was Ed Brubaker who spent a decent amount of time writing for our blind-hero. On the podcast he referred to Daredevil as "The Catholic Guilt Superhero" because no one who ever had  contact with Daredevil seemed to get away unscathed and the character always blamed himself. Well that all changed when the book was relaunched in 2011 with Mark Waid writing.

This is either Mark Waid, Joss Whedon, Ron Howard, or me in another 24 years.

Waid introduced a drastically different Matt Murdock who had learned to forgive himself for everything in his past and approach life with a more positive attitude and outlook. Daredevil was making wise-cracks, dodging accusations that he was Matt Murdock (yeah everyone knows but he still denies it) and even smiling. This was the Daredevil I wanted to read. As big of a fan of Batman as I am, Daredevil found a way to make the dark and brooding character just annoying. Waid realized that no person could actually be that burdened with guilt and depression and keep going. The only two logical things that could happen to Daredevil was he could turn himself around or kill himself, and only one of those options meant the comic would keep going (unless he's The Punisher, but that's a different story.)

So the biggest question about Daredevil's future is "what kind of a story will they tell with this Netflix series?" Well with the way the Marvel Cinematic universe has been going since it started, I don't know if they will truly try for a dark and deadly-serious story. One of the things that has helped separate Marvel's films from DC's is the amount of humor each company has had in their films. Marvel opts for a more light-hearted approach to their their works in order to keep a somewhat kid-friendly appeal to their works. In order for these Netflix runs to tie-in to the greater Avengers Universe they've been building it may not work in their favor to have Matt Murdock sitting around stewing in self-loathing. Plus if the New Avengers connection I mentioned earlier will lead to these characters most likely being called on to become the New Avengers and have some part to play in Avengers: Age of Ultron (because apparently no one besides Iron Man believes in numbered sequels.)

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