Today the cinema landscape is absolutely littered with superhero movies. What's even more amazing, however, is that a lot of them are actually really good. There was a time when comic book movies rarely got the attention of serious movie fans or critics. Many of the films just weren't viewed as being all that good, even by serious fans of the comics. One of the movies that tends to get a lot of criticism is 2003's Daredevil starring Ben Affleck. While a lot of people don't love it, director Mark Steven Johnson will still come to its defense, as he says the movie tried a lot of things that you had never seen in those sorts of films, and may never see again. According to Johnson...
We tried some things, which I am proud of. I do like the look of Daredevil very much. We hadn't seen a superhero come home covered in scars, and chewing on pain pills, and it was kind of grim. You're not going to get that right now from a Disney-owned Marvel character. You're just not going to see that, and maybe there's a reason. But I found that very interesting. It was something you hadn't seen.
Daredevil was far from the worst comic book movie ever made, and it made a decent amount money at the box office, enough to spawn the spin-off Elektra, but with the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe doing so well, it certainly looks weak by comparison.
Of course, Mark Steven Johnson tells comicbook.com that his movie has things you won't see in the current MCU. Matt Murdock wasn't an invulnerable hero, something that was made clear by the scars and the taking of pain pills. He certainly has a point that these are elements that we're unlikely to see in the modern MCU.
While we likely won't see anybody popping pills on the big screen of the MCU, it doesn't mean that sort of thing is entirely off the table. Daredevil made his return to the screen via the Marvel/Netflix series which is without question, a much darker corner of the MCU. It's much more bloody and violent, involves a lot more alcohol, drugs, and sex than what we get on the big screen. If anything it's an even darker take than the 2003 movie.
While the theatrical run of Daredevil did not review well, the film did see a director's cut released on DVD which has been praised in much greater numbers than the original version, indicating that the director may have been on to something after all.
Daredevil probably should be praised for the risks that it takes. Few movies are absolutely perfect or absolutely terrible, and taking a risk and missing the mark is largely better than taking no risks at all.
Who knows what sort of Daredevil we'll see in the future. The Netflix series has been officially canceled so it will reportedly be a couple of years at least before we could see the character pop up on the big or small screen.