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.