Would-be Daredevil director Joe Carnahan recently tweeted that his “Serpico-styled” take on the blind superhero was just about dead, so this next bit of news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But in case there was any doubt about it, various outlets are now reporting that the Daredevil rights will indeed revert back to Marvel Studios (which is part of Disney).

Earlier this month, Fox and Marvel had considered striking a deal to give the former more time to get a Daredevil adaptation together. However, that request has since been denied, which means Fox would’ve had to push Daredevil into production by October 10 in order to retain the rights. That became a virtual impossibility when they decided not to move forward with Carnahan’s vision. To offer a little taste of what might’ve been, however, Carnahan has posted a couple of sizzle reels from his version. Watch the videos and read more about the Daredevil rights after the jump.

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So what’s happening with Daredevil over at Fox? The studio has planned to reboot the character, and for some time had David Slade attached to direct the film. The script is based on Frank Miller and David Mazzuccheli’s Born Again storyline, which sees Matt Murdock’s friend/employee Karen Page addicted to heroin and selling Murdock’s secret identity — he’s really the vigilante Daredevil — to score drugs. The info lands in the Kingpin’s hands, and he uses it in a very nearly successful attempt to destroy Murdock.

We’ve known that the script was a serious, ’70s style thriller rather than a colorful lark with a blind guy in a red costume. When Slade fell away from the project recently, we heard that Joe Carnahan was in talks with Fox to take over. Carnahan has done a couple of colorful larks (The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces) but he’s also done a couple more serious thrillers (Narc, The Grey) and the idea of him bringing that sensibility to Daredevil was the most interesting angle we’d heard for the reboot yet.

Now, however, the director suggests it very well might not happen. Read More »

Big news on the Daredevil front today: The Grey and The A-Team director Joe Carnahan is looking like the next guy in line to direct the reboot of the red-costumed blind Marvel vigilante hero. But that’s just the beginning, and the news that Fox is likely to move forward with Daredevil has a few more interesting facets.

Last we heard, the next Daredevil film had to be in production by this fall if Fox wanted the keep the rights to the character. (By October 10, to be exact.) But now there’s word that Marvel is willing to give Fox more time with his new Daredevil movie. In exchange, however, Fox would have to turn over rights to some characters from the Fantastic Four universe. Namely one of Marvel’s perpetual Big Bads, maybe the Biggest Bad: Galactus. Read More »

Sleazy lawyers, nefarious CIA Cold War plots, and Scandinavian crime thrillers fill up today’s TV Bits. After the jump:

  • Run Lola Run and Bourne star Franka Potente goes nuts for American Horror Story
  • AMC is working on a Cold War-era Area 51 drama with Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd
  • A&E will adapt the Danish crime drama Those Who Kill; Joe Carnahan will direct
  • Connie Britton gives a small update on that possible Friday Night Lights movie sequel
  • Vince Gilligan is making no promises about a Saul Goodman spinoff, wants to do a Western

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One bit of Death Wish trivia known to those who’ve read a lot about the film’s early development is that Sidney Lumet was originally looking at adapting the Brian Garfield novel that Michael Winner eventually turned into the film starring Charles Bronson. Lumet was looking at casting Jack Lemmon in the role of accountant Paul Benjamin, whose wife is killed and daughter incapacitated by a violent attack. (In the Winner film, the character’s name and occupation were changed.) That would have been a very different film than the eventual Bronson version, and likely one that did not celebrate vigilante violence in the manner of Winner’s movie.

Now, to follow The Grey, director Joe Carnahan is writing and planning to direct a new version of Death Wish. He’s creating a role for Frank Grillo, after Grillo was so good in one of the most important roles in The Grey. Carnahan has explained a bit about his new Death Wish — that it will be set in LA, and showcase lesser-seen sides of the city — and now Grillo has revealed that the film will feature two brothers, and possibly echo the approach that Lumet might have taken if he had directed the original film decades ago. Read More »

Yesterday it was announced that Joe Carnahan would write and direct a remake of the 1974 revenge classic Death Wish. Today, Carnahan has confirmed the report, and clarified his vision on the new film.

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I’m not sure what to make of this. Only hours after Joe Carnahan reasserted himself with the release of The Grey (my positive review is here), the director was announced as the writer and director of a remake of Death Wish.

Originally released in 1974, Michael Winner‘s Death Wish is a pretty slight film that nevertheless hit a nerve as fears of urban crime started to escalate. Charles Bronson plays Paul Kersey, an architect whose wife is killed during a home invasion that leads to rape; his daughter is caught up in the same event and is institutionalized as a result. Re-introduced to firearms during a business trip, Kersey takes to the streets of New York as a vigilante. Walking around alone at night, he deliberately invites criminal acts, then shoots the perpetrators.

Death Wish has been on the table as a remake or reboot over the past couple decades. What will Joe Carnahan do with it now? Read More »

In another time, The Grey would have been considered a b-movie, but it would have been the best sort of b-movie: one made with a clever craftman’s skill, pulsing with an insistent tension and featuring familiar characters that grow beyond stock types as they reveal their true personalities.

The temptation now is to simply refer to The Grey as an action movie. The film is about a man named Ottway (Liam Neeson) who, with a crew of roughnecks on their way back to civilization from a remote oil field job, crash lands in the Alaskan wilderness, where a pack of wolves stalks the survivors to the last man.

As directed by Joe Carnahan, however, The Grey is also the antithesis of the action-movie template. Most action films exist explicitly to reject death — consider “death-defying stunts,” that clichéd huckster’s pitch  — and in doing so define an existence in which reality and death are marginalized by the expression of a blind, inextinguishable will to live.

Carnahan’s last film, The A-Team, was very much cut from that broad action-movie mold. This one, however, could not be further removed from The A-Team‘s bluster and bravado. Here, Carnahan employs a fine-tuned instinct for revealing character through action, and directs with a feeling of stability atypical to most action movies. But amid this movie’s thrilling beats he places scenes characterized by serene compassion. The Grey is an exiting movie that captures the roughnecks’ walk through an icy valley of the shadow of death. It is also a film that accepts human fragility, and suggests that finding faith is a natural step in facing our inevitable end. Read More »

/Film Talks To Joe Carnahan About ‘The Grey’

January movies are usually terrible. It’s a time studios generally reserve for films that are either not good enough to compete during awards seasons or not exciting enough to play during the summer. Every once in a while, though, a really great one slips through the cracks and that happens this month with Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey. In a way, though, it does fit the January mold though because it’s not quite an awards film, but too heady for the summer. Plus it’ll make you feel really cold.

The Grey follows Liam Neeson and a group of blue collar workers whose plane crashes over Alaska. They’re then forced to survive in the freezing wilderness along with a pack of vicious wolves. The film blends elements of action, horror, drama and even romance in an all-together satisfying and bad-ass package. I mean, did you not see the trailer with Neeson fighting wolves with broken bottles on his hands?

/Film spoke to the film’s writer/director Joe Carnahan about the origins of that scene (hint: Wolverine) as well as parallels between the film and Neeson’s real-life tragedy, working with a small, up and coming distributor and how online media is changing the way filmmakers make movies. Read about it all after the jump. Read More »

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