<b><i>Daredevil</i></b> Director Wows Audience at LA Con - Mania.com



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Daredevil Director Wows Audience at LA Con

By Jason Lethert     January 23, 2003

The Fox marketing juggernaut continues toroll for Daredevil, as evidenced by last weekend's LosAngeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention. The highlight of the con was a candid Q&A with none otherthan Daredevil director Mark Steven Johnson. Johnson thrilled the crowdwith scenes from the film, and spent most of the time answering questions fromeager fans.

After a brief introduction, the audiencewas presented with three sets of clips from the film. The first clipstarts with a brief montage of a young Matt Murdock, most of which has beenpresented before. Then the clip transitions to a quiet characterizationscene with a ponderous Matt Murdock in church. Murdock converses withFather Everett, a character named after Daredevil co-creator, BillEverett.

The scene ends with a cool f/x shot donein "radar vision," in which Murdock feels his senses are assailed by apassing ambulance. The shot was a much better look at Daredevil's radarsense, and Johnson pointed out the fact that his radar sense allows him toactually see the sound waves an object makes. This seems to be a slighttweak to the traditional mythology, but it makes for a pretty cool visual takeon radar. The scene had some good drama, but was deleted due to pacingissues.

The second clip brought a little actionwith Daredevil chasing down a mugger. Having tracked the mugger back tohis home, Daredevil proceeds to beat the criminal to a pulp, only to realize themugger's son is watching from a few feet away. Shaken, the hero retreats.

The final clip was with Murdock at workwith Foggy Nelson. Ben Affleck and Jon Faverau showed more chemistry inthis clip, and there was plenty of snappy dialogue. There is mention ofMurdock's invitation to the ball, which the film's trailer has revealed is whereMurdock first meets Kingpin. Also, Foggy jokes about Murdock"breaking up with [Elektra] before they started dating."

The presentation had a little bit ofeverything, and the crowd reacted with enthusiastic cheers. After thepresentation, Johnson indulged a long line of fans with questions. Amongthe more interesting comments were Johnson's thoughts on a potentialsequel. Though he initially shrugged off sequel talk by saying it"depends on ticket sales," he eventually mused about thepossibilities.

He said he had initially consideredadapting the "Born Again" storyline for the first Daredevilfilm. However,he expressed hesitance at the prospect of Kingpin as the sole villain, and saida secondary plot with "another villain like Typhoid Mary, or make it aKaren Page story, or make [the] Guardian Devil [story]," saidJohnson. Johnson also mentioned that he'd like Kevin Smith to write thesequel script, so prospects of the Guardian Devil option could belegitimate. Of course previously, Johnson had said he thought Mr. Fearwould make a good sequel villain as well.

One fan asked if Johnson's experience ingetting Daredevil was similar to Sam Raimi's with Spider-Man. "Sam has had success in genre films before," said Johnson, who's onlyother film is Simon Birch. "I chased this movie for sixyears." Johnson also noted that in addition to selling himself to thestudio, he "had to sell Daredevil. He's not Spider-Man, he's not theHulk. And he's not known throughout most of the public." Johnson said in the end, it was his script that got him the job.

Johnson was also candid about histhoughts on soulless action films. "There's been a lot of greatspecial effects movies where you don't give a shit... and you walk out and yougo 'who cares?' That's why I wanted to show that clip [of the churchscene]. It's not in the trailer, and people will never see it, but that[level of characterization] is at the core of the film.

Johnson also listened to some prettyoutrageous fanboy fantasies. He was asked what he thought of a movieteam-up between Daredevil and Spider-Man, and Daredevil facing the Punisher inthe sequel. While he acknowledged they were cool ideas, he noted that theproperties being at different studios would preclude that from happening. Another fan proclaimed that if Johnson opts to have Black Widow in a sequel,then Eliza Dushku was the ONLY possibility. Johnson agreed, and after all,Kevin Smith has said her costume in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was based offof a Black Widow statue released a couple of years ago.

And when it was over, fans got to bringhome the latest Daredevil poster, which includes the three primary supportingcharacters, and a braille "man without fear" coin. But alltrinkets aside, it was another taste of what's to come regarding the Daredevilmovie that fans lapped up most readily.

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