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Fox is working re-launching Daredevil and in their report on the subject, THR justifies this move to resurrecting something nobody wants by citing X-Men: First Class as a recent example of a successful superhero “re-launch” by Fox. If that’s actually what Fox is thinking, then they really are, well, they’re Fox. More on why that’s dead wrong in a moment.
First you should know that Brad Caleb Kane has been hired to write the reboot. He’s one of the writers and producers of the Fox TV series Fringe, which gives him a connection to mega-director JJ Abrams. Should David Slade, the director currently attached to the project, ever drop out, expect a lot of bogus “Abrams to direct Daredevil” rumors. But that will never happen. What is happening is that Kane is also the writer of Brooklyn’s Finest, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City. I hope he’s gotten better since then.
So here’s why this notion of First Class as proof that superhero re-launches can be successful. First, it’s not a re-launch. It’s pretty clearly a prequel. It even contains very intentional nods within it connecting it to the other movies of the franchise. It’s a part of the franchise, it just takes place in a different time period. Second, people actually liked at least half of the previous X-Men movies. This isn’t Fox taking something people hate, fixing it, and making it work. Daredevil on the other hand, a lot of people hate. Ben Affleck’s movie is a punchline. People showed up to First Class in part because they already like the X-Men. Nobody except a bunch of bitter fanboys loves Daredevil and his super-blindness.
What is true is that no true superhero reboot, let alone a reboot of something that didn’t work, has ever actually managed to be more successful than the original. Anyone remember the two tries at Hulk? The second one made less money than the first one, and we should probably expect the same from the Daredevil reboot. This whole thing feels like a waste of time and talent. Who wants to bet on whether this will be in 3D?