It has been nearly ten years since Fox released the poorly-received Ben Affleck vehicle Daredevil to theaters. Though much of the criticism of that film was justified, it was certainly exaggerated. Yes, it was far from perfect, but much of the hostility about that film had more to do with Bennifer “Gigli” Affleck’s shaky career and tabloid popularity at the time, and less to do with the actual quality of the film. Given Affleck’s meteoric rise in the director’s chair in the last few years, if Daredevil were made with Affleck today, I doubt very much it would have been panned so harshly. It still would have received its fair share of deserved criticism, but Affleck wouldn’t have gotten a Razzie for it. Daredevil definitely had its problems, but many of those were remedied in the 2004 Director’s Cut version of the film. If you’re a Daredevil fan and were disappointed with the theatrical release, then you need to check out the R-rated Director’s Cut. It’s darker, more violent, and includes an interesting subplot that was entirely cut from the theatrical version. Yes, some unforgivable problems still remain, such as the atrocious soundtrack where the orchestral score would have sufficed, and the unintentionally funny fight scene in the park still made the cut. But in general, it’s a vast improvement over the original, and certainly worth two hours of your time. It’s a very fun movie, and it looks great. And frankly, I think Ben Affleck looks the part and did a good job playing it too.
It has been announced that Bryan Singer will direct the sequel to 2011’s X-Men: First Class. It was previously believed that Matthew Vaughn would return as director of the new X-Men movie franchise, however he has since backed out. Vaughn will most likely be a producer for the movie set for a 2014 release.
Singer had previously directed X-Men and its sequel X-2: X-Men United before famously abandoning the franchise, along with James Marsden (Cyclops), to work on Superman Returns. We all know what happened next. X-Men: The Last Stand was a mess and the return of Superman was met with a unanimous yawn.
X-Men: Days of Future Past will presumably be based on the 1981 story, by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, about a dystopian future where Mutants have not only been outlawed, but were placed into internment camps. The story revolves around the present day X-Men trying to prevent the events that would lead to such a disastrous future. The storyline is widely considered one of the best X-Men stories ever written.
In the meantime, X-Men mainstay Wolverine will be starring in The Wolverine, which will be in theaters July 26 2013. Hugh Jackson will be returning for his 5th go around as the clawed mutant and will also be producing the movie. Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to direct, but left after several delays. He was replaced by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, 3:10 to Yuma).
The Wolverine is a sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but will take place after the original three X-Men movies. Based on the 1982 comic from Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, Wolverine travels to Japan to confront figures from his mysterious past.