Well, shit.

Joe Carnahan diving into a new attempt to bring Daredevil to the big screen sounded like a great idea to me, and from the tweets, comments, and general responses to the revelation that it was a possibility, so did a lot of people. Turns out we heard about this pitch just a bit too soon, as the project has apparently fully collapsed despite Fox’s initial enthusiasm. To quote Joe himself, “the clock ticked down.”

Here are the tweets

@carnojoe Think my idea for a certain retro, red-suited, Serpico-styled superhero went up in smoke today kids. (11:41 PM – 13 Aug 12 via web)

@carnojoe We shall see. Time is NOT on anyone’s side. (11:42 PM – 13 Aug 12 via web)

@carnojoe Guys. To clarify. DD pitch was tremendous and everyone flipped for it. The clock ticked down at Fox, that’s why it went tits up. (7:39 PM – 14 Aug 12 via web)

Apparently, Carnahan had plans to get back to some 70s-styled, gritty Frank Miller shit with the hero with his approach. While this sounds obvious enough (and the first attempt wasn’t exactly bright and shiny), to see such a thing in this director’s able Carnahands would be something special. First of all, we all know that with Carnahan involved, “gritty” doesn’t necessarily mean humorless. Also, “gritty” means something else entirely when we’re talking about a director who dragged Liam Neeson to -120 degree weather and threw existential wolves at his face. So shut it.

In any event, the director went on to petition for interest in seeing his Daredevil sizzle reel, even going so far as to shakedown twitter for more followers! As you can imagine the responses lit up, and we were gifted with these two versions of the sizzle reel, the first of which is a bit NSFW. Keep in mind that these are merely mood-setting, tone-establishing pitch materials used by the filmmakers to convey what they want to make to studio heads. So what you’ll see is a whole lot disparate footage from other films, even comic book frames, music, and some custom-shot footage. all cut together and colored similarly.

And here’s number two…

Superfly dolemite Daredevil? Sheeeeit, definitely something I would have wanted to see! The acrobatics and action stuff look good, and the harsher period gangster tone would have been a great way to coat a superhero in such a texture. This isn’t a ton to go on, but I can see why Fox was excited, even if they didn’t scramble enough to beat the clock.

Obviously there’s some question about what’s stopping Marvel from scooping up this pitch and setting it in motion as the rights lapse back to them, but with their roadmap set and dance-card full, I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s not as if Carnahan needs to sit on his hands waiting for the keys to a spandex hero anyway- he’s got other cool things to make.

Way to blow it, Fox.