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5 Directors Who Could Replace David Slade On The 'Daredevil' Reboot

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist July 12, 2012 at 2:55PM

There's a job vacancy going at 20th Century Fox. And one that needs to be filled pretty urgently. Late last night, it was announced that David Slade, director of "Hard Candy," "30 Days Of Night and "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," who'd won the job of helming a reboot of Marvel superhero "Daredevil" for the studio, had left the project, citing a commitment to the pilot of NBC series "Hannibal." Directors leave projects all the time, but what makes this a bit of a problem for Fox is that the clock is ticking on their option on the character, and if a film isn't before cameras before the end of the year, the rights are likely to revert back to Marvel, cutting off a potential cash cow. And so a new director is needed, and needed fast.

Boaz Yakin
Boaz Yakin
Why He Could Do It: Boaz Yakin has had a pretty eclectic career to date. He sold his first screenplay at 19, penned "The Rookie" for director Clint Eastwood at 24, and has since gone on to direct gritty urban dramas, a Jerry Bruckheimer sports movie, heartwarming chick flicks and a Jason Statham actioner. ("Fresh," "Remember The Titans," "Uptown Girls" and "Safe," respectively). What unites them is a good feel for the streets of a city, one that could be invaluable for a "Daredevil" movie. And he's played in the comic book/tentpole world before: he was attached to direct a futuristic "Batman Beyond" movie in the early '00s for Warner Bros., and contributed to the script of "Prince of Persia" more recently. And while it was underseen, "Safe" was arguably Jason Statham's best film to date, and something that in some ways would serve as a good template, tonally, for a "Daredevil" flick. Not the biggest name out there, but a solid choice, and his schedule seems clear right now.
Why He Might Not: Yakin's films have generally been OK, but he hasn't really hit a total home run yet, and he's not the kind of person that would give fans confidence in the way that Josh Trank is with "Fantastic Four." Once again, he's also a writer-director (although more of a chameleon, so less likely than Carnahan and Ayer to want to put his own stamp on it). Plus, his first screen credit was on 1989's Dolph Lundgren-starring "The Punisher" movie, and the thought of the man who wrote that tackling "Daredevil" is likely to give fanboys palpitations.

Pete Travis
Pete Travis
Why He Could Do It: Judge Dredd has always been seen as one of the trickier comic characters to get right -- a faceless, near-fascistic lawman in a futuristic dystopia. But if word out of Comic-Con is to be believed, British filmmaker Pete Travis might have delivered with "Dredd." The violent 3D actioner is picking up strong word of mouth in San Diego, and by comparison, "Daredevil" would be easy for Travis to tackle. A TV director who became a protege of Paul Greengrass when he directed the 'Bourne' helmer's script for "Omagh," Travis moved up to the silver screen with sleeper hit thriller "Vantage Point," which was ludicrous, but saw Travis do a good job in keeping things propulsive. Reviews for "Dredd," including our own, have praised his direction, and he could bring a similarly inventive take on Daredevil's unique attributes. Plus, other than a loose attachment to London-set film noir "City of Tiny Lights," his schedule seems free, so he could start on Monday if required. And "Dredd" does a lot with a relatively meagre budget, which would keep bean-counters at Fox happy.
Why He Might Not: First and foremost, Travis only just finished nearly two years of his life on a comic book movie, and as someone with more serious work in his past, he might want to not immediately repeat the experience. Particularly as "Dredd" was somewhat troubled; rumors did the rounds that Travis was being kept out of the editing room and that writer Alex Garland would be seeking a co-directing credit, although it was later denied. But ultimately, it won over the Comic-Con crowd, but it's got a long way to go before it's a hit, and studios might be wary of hiring Travis until the numbers are in.

This article is related to: Features, Daredevil, Joe Carnahan, David Ayer, Pete Travis, Boaz Yakin, Olivier Megaton