Long before the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe, the superhero genre already experienced a boom period during the early 2000s which was spearheaded by films like X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman Begins. However, we can all agree that not everything the studios were putting out at the time was gold.
When talking about superhero films that flopped hard during that specific era, Ben Affleck's Daredevil film instantly comes to mind which is pretty understandable. The 2003 project had no redeeming qualities and was criticized for its tone and poorly written story.
In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment to discuss Daredevil's 20th anniversary, director Mark Steven Johnson explains what led to the film being a critical and box office disaster. Admittedly, he wanted to incorporate as much stuff as he could into the film although he claims that the director's cut was night and day compared to the theatrical release.
Johnson shared: "It's definitely a more complete version. Looking back on it, one of the mistakes I made with the film was wanting to put everything in! I wanted to do Daredevil's origin story, and I wanted to do the Elektra Saga and I wanted to introduce Bullseye and Foggy. I wanted everything to be in there, but the film could only support so much. And then when you're told to cut a half-hour out and make it more of a love story, things start to feel rushed and not quite right. It's a fan thing: when you love something so much, you want to tell it all."
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At least Affleck eventually redeemed himself thanks to his brilliant portrayal of Batman, although we all know how that's going to end. As for Matt Murdock, the character is now in good hands with Marvel Studios overseeing his creative direction.
The Man Without Fear will return in Marvel Studios' Daredevil: Born Again which hits Disney+ in Spring 2024.