'Daredevil 2': A reboot we can believe in. But who should replace Ben Affleck?


Image Credit: Marvel Entertainment

The news that David Slade is helming a new Daredevil movie should bring joy to the hearts of little boys and girls everywhere. Daredevil has a hallowed history in comic books, and, if nothing else, he deserves another go-round at the big screen. (The best thing you can say about the 2003 film was that it was better than 2005’s Elektra, although not by much.) And Slade might be the right director for the job — he helmed a low-budget horror gem and gave the Twilight series a healthy dose of adrenaline in Eclipse. Even better, The Hollywood Reporter claims that the sequel/reboot/whatever will adapt the iconic Frank Miller-David Mazzucchelli “Born Again” storyline. Fox wouldn’t confirm the “Born Again” rumor, but given how heavily studios court the fanboy vote nowadays, it’d be surprising if Daredevil 2.0 didn’t do a deep-dive into the character’s iconic story arcs. But there’s still a big question mark at the center of the new film: Who should be the new Daredevil?

Daredevil is a uniquely difficult superhero to play onscreen. Since Matt Murdock is blind, the character requires a talented, physical actor who can get emotion across without the use of their eyes. Daredevil has one of the most interesting superpowers — all his senses are heightened, and he has an internal sonar that allows him to vaguely “see” his surroundings — but the power is also a little bit abstract. Despite the recent explosion of superhero films requiring the services of attractively beefcake dudes, there are still a few 20-to-30-something actors who haven’t put on a superhero outfit. Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Bradley Cooper all have the right jawline for a Daredevil outfit, although the character could also benefit from a slightly more outside-the-box pick — suffice it to say that if James Franco were ever going to play a superhero, this is probably the role for him.

However, the role could also benefit from a slightly older actor — think Robert Downey Jr., who was 42 when he took on the role of Iron Man. They might have to downplay Daredevil’s building-hopping, but I could see Jeremy Renner (who’s also slated to play Hawkeye in Avengers) or Jon Hamm. Still, to me, there’s one choice for Daredevil that makes the most sense: Ryan Gosling. Besides the fact that the guy is just an incredibly talented actor, he’s actually shown a willingness to branch outside of indie-land to do more Hollywood-y projects, like the upcoming Logan’s Run remake.

PopWatchers, who do you think should take over as Daredevil? Any fans out there want to stump for their favorite storylines getting adapted? Could this lead to a Frank Miller/Brian Michael Bendis showdown?

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Comments (193 total) Add your comment
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    Why in the world would anyone let David Spade direct a movie?! What is this going to be, a lame comedy?!?

    • bekkah

      That’s David SLADE, not Spade…

    • TvTroz

      SLADE SLADE SLADE SLADE. Otherwise, can you image the casting? Adam Sandler as Daredevil, an animated-via-performance-capture Chris Farley as Kingpin and maybe Laura San Giacomo as Elektra? Or George Segal as Stick? Come to think of it, I don’t all of it… :-p

      • TvTroz

        I meant “I don’t hate all of it”… where’s the Edit button, EW??

      • kingofgrills

        Don’t forget Rob Schneider as faithful sidekick, Foggy Nelson.

        Rob must have some seriously incriminating evidence hanging over Adam Sandler’s head. I can think of no other reason for him to justify getting a paycheck in every Adam Sandler film.

    • Your mom

      Now David Spade as Daredevil… that could work.

    • Mr Eko

      Bradley Cooper actually would fit the part perfectly.

  • UGH

    Make it grittier and get Guy Pearce to play Matt Murdock.

    • Chris

      Nice one. Pearce would be a great choice.

      • UGH

        I think he was considered for the original but declined.

      • arm

        UGH is right…but maybe time and distance (and a decent script), would make him reconsider his self-imposed ban on costumed characters. After all if the Born Again story is indeed adapted, it is more a psychological journey than a cape-and-tights adventure. Pearce brings the right gravity to the role; none of the above choices do and Affleck, even in his current career resurgence, still doesn’t have it.

    • Pam

      Guy Pearce would be perfect. He “becomes” all of his roles so perfectly and can do every genre.

    • Blake

      i would lovew to see guy pearce as daredevil, but he said hes not fond of dressing up in the tight outfits :p

  • Sal

    I’m surprised that Twilight dope Pattinson’s name wasn’t up there.

    • UGH

      Because this was what was written above: “the character requires a talented, physical actor who can get emotion across without the use of their eyes.”

      • Will

        Not shockingly, the comic book nerds who hate Pattison simply for being hot, famous, and having a sex life, have already started bashing Rob, even theough the article is only tangentially related to the Twilight universe…

      • Will

        I want Rob Pattison in my butt.

      • Will

        I want to lick Rob Pattison’s ass crust.

    • RK

      Or the cast of Glee, since we’re at gleew.com.

    • Amber

      That’s because Hollywood has figured out that Robert Pattinson is a horrible actor who should never be cast in anything. Took them long enough.



  • Monty

    The Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back reference just made my day!

    • Mr. Holloway

      Word. “Phantoms” like a motherf—er!

      • Monty

        I always thought they said “Mall F*cker, in a quasi reference to Mallrats…

      • Mr. Holloway

        You could be right. I’ll have to consult the subtitles on my “Jay and Silent Bob” DVD next chance I get to know for sure.

  • Patrick

    I actually liked Affleck as Daredevil, I’d be happy to see him come back to the role.

    • John

      Affleck was the least of that movie’s problems

    • Brian

      I didn’t think Affleck was bad either, nor did I think the movie was bad (at least, the Director’s Cut was very good). I’m not convinced there needs to be a reboot, just make a very good sequel without Fox butchering it into a pure action movie like they did with the theatrical cut of DD.
      I think that DD would work better as a TV series though, as would most comic book heroes.

      • Stash

        Agreed. I enjoyed the directors cut (though I could never object to a reboot if it were based off Miller’s work).

        If you consider the original cast, there aren’t that many issues. I mean… Ellen Pompeo was Karen Page. Now she’s got enough clout to make her Page and Jon Favreau’s Foggy worth including in the plot.

    • cheekbrown

      I thought Affleck was very good as Matt Murdock. I’ve read Daredevil all my life, and it was amazing seeing Affleck bring the character to life. The Director’s cut is far better than the theatrical version. I resented Affleck for comments he made about not wanting to play Daredevil again. However, I think he has been humbled, and would be willing to put on the tights again.

      • ThorRific

        Yeah I agree I just hope the previous cast would come together to film a daredevil sequel where matt and elektra officially meet after her resurrection :D Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner played their roles marvelously. It would be sad to see them replaced :(

    • ThorRific

      Yeah I agree with you

  • lalala

    I wish they would cool down with the comic book reboots, especially of movies that were fairly recent! There’s Spiderman, then Superman, and now this?? What’s wrong with waiting like a decade or more before doing a reboot?

    • UGH

      Actually, FOX is having to do a rush job with this and Fantastic Four or the rights revert back to Marvel.

      • therealeverton

        Ahem X-Men First Class too.

  • Mr. Holloway

    NOW, can we please get a reboot/sequel/whatever for “The Fantastic Four”?

    • UGH

      Read the above. Do you really want a rush job? Let Marvel get the rights back to their properties, including X-Men and Spider-Man.

      • Mr. Holloway

        Didn’t realize that.

        I agree that Marvel would almost certainly do a better job if they got the rights back. Then again even an Alba-free “rush job” might turn out to be better than the original FF.

      • Big Walt

        You didn’t like having a latina Invisible Girl?

      • Mr. Holloway

        I was ok with a Muchacha Invisible…

        …my main problem was having a Latina Invisible Girl…who is a horrible actress. (Not that these movies NEED Oscar-level acting, but Alba couldn’t even rise up to that low standard.)

  • cam

    Daredevil was one of my favorite comics as a kid, so it’s heartening to see it given another big screen chance. I’m just hopefully they do the character and story justice this time. Right now I care more about them getting the coustume right and including a breathtaking ‘racing through the city jumping/flipping from building tops’ scene (you know, something ‘daring’) then anything else.

  • Jay

    Daredevil was one of my favorite comic books when I was into that sort of thing. Of all the comics I bought, DD was one of the few I actually read every month.
    The Ben Affleck movie was bad, but it wasn’t Afflecks fault…. at least not entirely. There were many flaws.
    I actually think DD might work better as a TV series, than a movie. It would just have to be done well

    • Big Walt

      Does anyone remember an old Huld TV movie that featured DD? He wore a black costume. I was so excited to see him in the flesh though I didn’t mind.

  • Juan

    Guy Pearce would be the best choice. I also liked the idea of Joseph Gotdon-Levitt as Daredevil.

    Maybe Matt Damon?

    • Big Walt

      Matt Damon would be interesting. I’m not totally sold myself but Damian Lewis (from Life on NBC) could work.

    • Psac

      It would be a little odd to have Ben Affleck and Matt Damon play the same character, wouldn’t it?

  • McNulty

    Chris Evans. He’s on track to play every other Marvel hero, right?

    • Chris

      Hopefully he won’t be playing She-Hulk.

      • Stash

        Oh, I’d pay to see that.

    • Merrydan

      Or Ryan Reynolds is…

  • K

    Bah, I just want a real Wonder Woman movie, none of this David E. Kelley garbage. I’d also take a Big Barda movie, but I can’t see how that would work, in both a practical sense and a how-many-people-really-care-about-Barda sense. Maybe Birds of Prey? Okay honestly, I just want a lady-driven superhero extravaganza that doesn’t limit the ladyroles to love interests, isn’t using ladyfolk purely for the T&A, and yet doesn’t utterly suck (like, say, Catwoman). I KNOW this is possible. I KNOW someone can make a superhero movie with a female lead that is actually good and that captures the public’s imagination like Iron Man did. Right? (If it’s not abundantly clear already, I am a woman tired of watching the Gwyneth Paltrows in each of these movies walk around in too-tight clothing and impractical heels, possibly being empowered career women and yet still needing to be saved by their Supercrush.)

    • therealeverton

      Oh and re Paltrow’s clothing and footwear in Iron Man 2; it is first of all unrealistic to expect mainstream movies not to put pretty women in attractive clothing and muscular men in tight vests etc. I’d also like to point out that I’ve seen many a successful businesswoman wearing similar atire to work, and usually nowhere near as well as Gwyneth.

    • Mark A

      Like K I would love a Big Barda movie. She has always been one of my favorites.

  • tom

    Michael C. Hall Obviously

    • Johnification

      Ooooooooh. Nice.

    • Psac


    • AT

      Definitely. I was picking Leavitt or Gosling, but he would be perfect.

    • Stash

      Pretty good call…

      But a bit too stocky to be a hero mainly known for his acrobatics, no?

    • UGH

      He was my pick for Captain America. Stash was right though. A bit too stocky.

  • Chris

    Maybe we can get an Inspector Gadget reboot?

    • Big Walt

      How did Chevy Chase not get that part in the original? A Tragedy.

      • William

        I actually liked the Ben Affleck DD Movie. My main problems with the movie were Jen Gardner as Electra, and come on Michael Clark Duncan as “The Kingpin”.
        Ryan Gosling wouldn’t be bad, I could see Chris Pine do it, but I think that Bradley Cooper would be perfect. Whoever they get as Dare Devil will be fine by me as long as he’s an American Actor. Also I hope that They cast the perfect choice for Kingpin, Paul “Big Show” Wight.

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