SDCC 2012: David Slade Departs 'Daredevil' and Josh Trank For Sure Joins 'Fantastic Four'

Thursday, 12 July 2012 09:20 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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SDCC 2012: David Slade Departs 'Daredevil' and Josh Trank For Sure Joins 'Fantastic Four'

Unlike last year, when the studio used Comic-Con to show off, amongst other things, the first footage from Prometheus, 20th Century Fox is sitting out this year's festivities in San Diego.  That's mostly because there's not a lot of genre material in the pipeline and, as Legendary Pictures learned with Paradise Lost, putting on a panel doesn't mean a movie will get made.  Just because there's no Fox presentation, though, doesn't mean that there isn't comic book movie news coming out of the biggest convention ostensibly about comic books.  Specifically, there's an update on two reboots of huge Marvel properties, Fantastic Four and Daredevil.

It's a big of a good news/bad news scenario, actually.  Let's get the good news out there first.  After his debut feature, the found-footage superhero origin story Chronicle, proved to be a commercial hit made on a minimal budget, director Josh Trank became a sought-after commodity.  One of the projects he was rumored to be associated with earlier this year was a new take on Marvel's First Family, separate from 2005's Fantastic Four and 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  While those two movies, directed by Tim Story, were successful enough at the box office, pretty much nobody was satisfied with either.

Well now Deadline reports that Trank is officially set to direct a Fantastic Four reboot.  We don't yet know if this will be an origin story, if Trank will stick with the found-footage style of Chronicle, or really anything about the actual content of the reboot.  We do know that the film will, unsurprisingly, feature an entirely new cast.  More pertinently, Fox is apparently looking to get this new Fantastic Four underway pretty quickly, lining it up as its next big Marvel movie after X-properties The Wolverine and the X-Men: First Class sequel, which are set to begin production next month and early next year, respectively.  The studio very much expects this new Fantastic Four to be Trank's next movie.

While a rebooted FF now has a director official on board, the Daredevil reboot has just seen its director jump ship.  Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse helmer David Slade has been developing the new take on Matt Murdock since last March, but he has been forced to leave the project.  Slade's set to direct the pilot episode of the Hannibal Lector series Hannibal and he just couldn't make the scheduling work out, it seems.

The good news on Daredevil is that Fox now has a screenplay about which the studio is enthusiastic.  A year ago, we learned that Slade and writer Bradley Caleb Kane were basing their story on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli's 1986 Born Again arc, and it's probable that this script is inspired by Born Again, but we don't know for sure.

With a script in place, 20th Century Fox will have to move quickly to find a director.  If a new Daredevil movie isn't in production by a certain undisclosed date, then Fox will lose the rights to the character to Marvel Studios and Disney.  After all, it's been almost a decade since Ben Affleck strapped on an excessive amount of leather for Mark Steven Johnson's Daredevil movie, and it seems the clock is ticking.

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