Monday, April 23, 2012


Here's the last part, the entire third act, of the 1997 Daredevil movie treatment I wrote for producer Chris Columbus and director Carlo Carlei.  (In case you missed the previous posts, you can find Part One here and Part Two here.)  Enjoy!  


A body sinks down through the waters of the East River.  A trail of blood swirling behind it.  Daredevil.  Dead?
Not quite.
As he sinks, we HEAR the voice of his mother, speaking proudly of her dreams for Matt.  Of her faith in him...and in God.  
We HEAR  the voice of his father, warning him about the devils in his soul.  Begging him to drive them away, to embrace the light.
And we hear Elektra, speaking the words she said the night she and Matt first met:  “Kill me—and I will resurrect myself.  Bury me—and I will claw my way up from the grave.  And any man I give my heart to—must be capable of the same.” 
The  figure moves.  Slowly at first, weakly; then faster.  More powerfully.  With every iota of strength he has—and some that seems to have come from some divine source—he swims steadily up, up, up.   
CUT TO:  the surface.  As Daredevil breaks the waves, sucks in breath.  CUT TO: 
Hell’s Kitchen.  Deserted.  A drenched figure staggers through the streets.  He weaves, he falls, he stands up.  
Every step, we see, is pain.  Every inch he walks is agony.  And finally—
—he collapses on the steps of a building.
We HEAR a door open.  See a man’s feet ENTER THE SHOT.
Daredevil looks up.  “For...” he gasps.  “Forgive me, Father...”  And he collapses into unconsciousness.
PULL WIDE—as Father Nocenti pulls Daredevil up, and carries him into Our Lady of Refuge Church.  CUT TO:
Several days later.  Kennedy Airport, in the dead of night—as the various members of the Kingpin’s Council arrive in New York via private jets.  The time for Wilson Fisk’s coronation is at hand.
The crime-lords and their entourages are whisked into helicopters which carry them over the city to—
CUT TO:  “The Top of New York.”  Elektra’s bedroom.  Wilson Fisk, in an elegant suit, sits with Elektra, in a gorgeous, sexy evening gown, sharing a glass of cognac, awaiting the arrival of the Council members.  This is the moment he’s waited his entire life for.  He is about to be crowned King.
And he wants Elektra to be his Queen.  He looks out at New York—and it has never looked more glittering, more beautiful, more magical.  “My city, Elektra.  Your city...if you want it.”
He takes her hand.  “‘Grow old along with me,’” he whispers, quoting Browning.  “‘The best is yet to be.’”
Elektra, taken by surprise, continuing the quote:  “‘The last of life for which the first was made...”?
Fisk, with passion:  ”I love I have not loved for far too many years.  Be my bride, Elektra Natchios.  Marry me.
“I’ve always imagined,” she says, “that when I’d be proposed to...the man would be on his knees.”
Fisk kneels down.  Pulls out a diamond ring that glitters as brightly as New York.  “Please,” Fisk says.  “Without you by my life would have no meaning.  Please,” he says again, “be my wife.”  
Elektra’s silence is deep.  For a moment, Fisk looks wounded, almost afraid.  Then she smiles.  Whispers one word:  “Yes...”
She kneels beside him.  They kiss...and their passion is terrible.  We go in VERY CLOSE on them and then—
—Fisk’s eyes widen in surprise.  PULL WIDE to see that Elektra has a Sai at Fisk’s throat.  “I think,” Elektra says, “that I’ve changed my mind.”  CUT TO:
A Con Ed power station, elsewhere in Manhattan.  We HEAR a KLANKING SOUND in the distance, coming CLOSER.
It’s one of Kingpin’s Silver Crabs.  And inside of it?  Bullseye.  He looks at his watch.  Smiles.  Sits back and lights up a cigar.  CUT TO:
CUT TO:  Our Lady of Refuge.  A small room where Matt Murdock, chest bandaged, is lying on a cot.  The crucified Jesus hanging on the wall above him.  Father Nocenti walks in, carrying a tray of food, happy to see that Matt’s awake.  “How long have I...?”  “Two days,” Nocenti says.  He sits on the edge of the bed.  “You certainly haven’t lost your flair for getting into trouble,” he says with a smile, “have you, Matthew?”  Matt “looks” across the room to the Daredevil costume, hanging on a hangar. “I took the liberty of washing it.  You were considerably water-logged when you came in.”
Matt’s hands go to his face.  
“If you can’t trust a priest, Matthew,” Nocenti says, “who can you trust?”  
Matt relaxes.  “Maybe...maybe that’s why I ended up here,” he reflects.  “It’s been a long time since I trusted anyone...”   “You were very lucky,” Nocenti says.  “I had a doctor friend look at you...don’t worry, he’s the soul of discretion...and he said that whoever stabbed you missed every vital organ.”  The Father looks mystified.  “Almost as if it was intentional, he said.”  
There’s a look of amazement on Matt’s face.
The Father smiles. “There must be angels watching over you, my boy.”
“I’ve got to go...”  Matt stands up, almost falls.  His legs wobbly from being in bed for two days.  His muscles aching. The priest catches him, helps him back to the bed.  “Not yet you don’t...”
Matt sits back, brooding, lost in thoughts no man could be privy to.  Then he “looks” up at the crucified Jesus  hanging on the wall.  “Father?” he says, quietly.
“I’d like to make confession.”  CUT TO:    
Fisk and Elektra yanks Fisk up, pushes him to the window.  “Say goodbye, Wilson,” she sneers, “to your city.”  “Elektra,” Fisk sputters, “Elektra what are you doing?  Elektra...I love you!  I—”
“Good,” she says.  “That’s just what I wanted.”  She cracks him across the face.  His nose bleeds all over his fine white shirt.  He falls back, almost weeping:  a pathetic sight.  He can’t believe this, he says, like a dazed and heartbroken child.  This isn’t possible.  
She knew, she says, from the beginning that he was responsible for her father’s death.  (Which means she did believe Matt when he told her; it’s just that, in her moment of grief, she made a choice to go after Fisk her own way...and knew that it could only be done if she broke off connection with Matt.)  But what she wanted was not just revenge.  She wanted to humiliate him.  She wanted him to be naked and vulnerable before her.  “I wanted your heart open....”  She lifts up the Sai.  “...before I plunged in the knife.”
Fisk clasps his hands, begging her to spare his life.  “Please, oh, please,” he pleads, like Cagney at the end of “Angels With Dirty Faces,” “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die.”  Desperate, he grabs hold of her legs—
—and from the diamond engagement ring, which he still holds in his hand, a tiny spike emerges, jabs through her calf.  
Elektra flinches.  Instantly begins to weave on her feet.  Her vision blurs.  “Wh...what...?” is all she can say.
Fisk moves quickly, jumps to his feet, grabs for his cane.  Batters her savagely, once, twice, across the face.
She crashes through the window, hanging over the edge.  “I’ve been waiting for you to make your move,” he sneers.  “And I thought it might be tonight.”
“You...” Elektra says.  “...knew...?”
“The best way,” Fisk says, “to keep tabs on your to keep them close.  And I kept you very close, my darling Elektra, didn’t I?”
He lifts her up by the throat, dangles her over the edge.  She’s so drugged that she can’t resist:  just hangs there in his grasp.  “Did you honestly think,” he says, with disgust, “that I could love you?”  And then his disgust turns to blind rage.  “There is only one woman I have ever loved, my dear...and the only thing the two of you have in common...”
CUT TO:  Matt, on his knees. “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned...”
CUT TO:  Kingpin and Elektra.  He begins to loosen his grip on her.  She starts to slip from his fingers.
“ that you’re dead.”
CUT TO:  Matt.  “I have lied...I have betrayed my family and my self...I have given in to temptation...”
CUT TO:  Kingpin and Elektra.  Fisk yanks her inside, throws her to the floor.  “But not just yet.  There is, after all, a celebration this evening.  And I want you to be part of the festivities.”  CUT TO:
A huge conference room on the roof of the hotel...encased in a bubble of two-way glass that reveals the stars above and the city below...where twenty mob leaders (and their bodyguards) from all across America gather to pay homage to the Kingpin, to cement the new Council that he will lead. 
Kingpin’s men are on hand—and they’re brandishing their new weapons:  sonic guns, microwave rifles, laser pistols.  It’s the most lavish private party in the history of this lavish city.  Food from every top restaurant in provided by a world-famous Sinatra-like crooner.  The most beautiful—and most willing—women money can buy.
Wilson Fisk enters the room—a bound Elektra, guarded by three armed men—behind him.  There’s a round of applause...and Fisk is eating it up.
CUT TO:  Bullseye.  Checking the time.  It seems to be right.  He presses a button on the Crab’s controls.  We HEAR a motor HUMMING into life.  The crab skitters toward the Con Ed power station.
CUT TO:  “The Top” the leader of the Chicago mob, MARTY LEIBER, warmly welcomes Fisk, leads him up to a raised platform where a throne-like chair awaits.  There are vows of loyalty, shared dreams of the glorious future Fisk will shape for the Council.  The riches and power that await them all under this “new regime for a new age.”  
And then Fisk sits upon his “throne,” waiting to be “crowned” Supreme Leader of the Council.  Leiber takes out a ring, designed by Fisk himself, engraved with the cryptic symbols of the Council.  
CUT TO: he launches a missile from the Crab. It slams into the power station and the building EXPLODES in a huge fireball.  “Bullseye!” he roars—
—spinning the Crab around and skittering away.
CUT TO:  “The Top.”  Leiber’s about to slip the ring onto Fisk’s finger when he looks up, amazed.
Out there.
The lights of the city blink out.  One by one at first, then faster, until...
CLOSE ON FISK, outraged. Everything goes black.  CUT TO:
Our Lady of Refuge.  Matt’s confession ends in darkness as the lights all blink out.  Father Nocenti goes to the window.  “It’s the whole city!” he says.
He lights a candle.  Turns to Matt.
But he’s gone.  And so is the Daredevil suit.  CUT TO:
“The Top of New York.”  There’s chaos in the conference room.  The assembled crime-lords, fearing a massive hit, all turn their weapons on the Kingpin.
Fisk stays calm.  “Gentlemen, gentlemen, nothing to worry about.  We have our own generator here.  The power will be back on in just a few minutes...”
The guns don’t move.  Fisk smiles.  “Trust me...”  CUT TO:
The streets.  Fear and confusion.  Traffic backed up.  HORNS honking.  We HEAR GLASS SHATTERING in the distance.
Then through the darkness, we HEAR the SOUND of KLANKING METAL.    It’s Bullseye in the Crab.  He hits another control—
—and the mouth of a small cannon emerges.  A vortex cannon, that shoots a shock wave capable of blowing out walls.  Shattering glass.  And killing.
Bullseye races down Fifth Avenue, firing blast after blast, blowing out storefronts.  
It’s not long before the looting begins.
Bullseye’s loving every minute of this.  The Kingpin loves order...and he’s giving him a double-dose of sheer chaos.  
CUT TO:  A few blocks away:  Looters are rampaging through a store called Electronic City.  People rushing out carrying televisions, stereos, VCRs.  One of them stops, points skyward.
And there, on a rooftop across the way, is Daredevil.  Looking proud, powerful.  As heroic as we’ve ever seen him.  He doesn’t say a word, yet his presence seems to affect the mob.
They put down the things they’ve stolen.  Slowly disperse and walk away.  Not out of fear, but out of respect.  As if just the sight of this man has touched something nobler, something higher, in their souls.
Daredevil smiles, whips his billy-club cable through the darkness.  The world around him may be chaos, but he is the soul of calm.  Because he is the only one who can navigate this darkness.  We SEE the city through his radar-sense.  HEAR the SOUNDS of panic and confusion.
Daredevil moves toward “The Top of New York.”  But he will not give in to the hunger for blind vengeance.  He will not ignore the cries for help along the way:
A nine year old GIRL, racing up a fire-escape, slips and falls toward the streets below.  Daredevil is there to save her.
A WOMAN finds herself in the path of a panicked driver.  Daredevil swoops down, carries her to safety.
A COUPLE is robbed by a sneering GUNMAN.  DD takes the thug out with two lightning-fast moves, returns the purse and wallets, then leaves the mugger hanging from a lamp-post.
And then he HEARS the explosions in the distance.  And he’s off again.
CUT TO:  Bullseye in the the police give chase.  He blows their cars three blocks with one thunderous BOOM of the vortex cannon.
Up ahead is a police barricade.  Bullseye blasts the barricade to pieces; sends the police tumbling, like leaves in a hurricane, then jumps the wreckage, the Crab taking half a city block in one spectacular move.  But before it lands—
—a figure in red and black leaps down onto its back.  Daredevil!  He smashes through the bubble with his billy-club, leaps inside.
The two of them grapple in the cab of the Silver Crab, as it continues to move unrelentingly toward the hotel, crushing whatever’s in its way.  Bullseye wants to know what they’re fighting for.  They’re traveling the same path, heading for the same place, sharing the same goal.  “Let’s do it together, huh?  Let’s kill the Kingpin!”
“Same goal, maybe,” DD says. “But our paths couldn’t be more different.”
The Crab crashes through the window of a department store.  Skittering through the cosmetics department, the lingerie department, the toy department—
—and then CRASHING out the far wall.  Flipping over onto its back, its claws moving impotently back and forth.  Daredevil and Bullseye are both thrown out.  Bullseye unconscious.  
Police cars come SCREECHING up.  They race toward the crab, guns drawn, cuffing Bullseye.  Then everyone stops dead when something extraordinary happens:  ”The Top of New York” comes alive in the darkness.  The lights coming on, floor by floor by floor. CUT TO:
Fisk and his Council.  “So you see, gentlemen, nothing to get excited about.” Leiber smiles, slips the ring on Fisk’s finger. There’s wild applause.  Kingpin pops a bottle of champagne. “Now let’s get on with our celebration!”
Then he stops.  “Oh, but wait.  There’s something I forgot.”  He grabs Elektra by the hair, throws her to the floor.  “As someone once told me, a business transaction of this magnitude...must be sealed in blood.”
He takes a microwave rifle from one of his goons, aims it at Elektra.  “You were such a sweet little girl,” he says.  “But you didn’t turn out well at all.”  He squeezes the trigger— 
—and a figure descends from the night sky, crashing through the skylight overhead:
Daredevil.  He grins.  “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world, Fisk.”
Every gun in the room is aimed at Daredevil.  Every trigger ready to be pulled.
“No!” Fisk bellows—and everyone in the place freezes.  Fisk steps down from the podium, walks toward Daredevil.  “It is time this was settled...between the two of us.”  The collected criminals form a circle around Fisk and Daredevil.  No one will interfere, Fisk says.  To prove that he is truly worthy of being Kingpin of the Council, he will kill the devil with his bare hands. 
Daredevil sneers at Fisk.  “I’ve been waiting years for this—”  “As have I,” snarls Fisk.
And the fight begins.  We INTERCUT this incredible brawl with scenes of Jack Murdock in his title bout.  With images of the Fixer blasting Jack’s brains out.  All the rage and grief and anguish of Matt Murdock’s life comes roaring up and out.  Finally, finally—he will be able to lay his demons to rest.
If he survives.
Fisk, we see, is perhaps the most unstoppable physical force on two feet.  Three hundred pounds of muscle and hate, all brought to bear on a man whose body has already been pushed beyond the limit.
He pounds and pounds and pounds until Daredevil is down.  And out.  Still as death.  We INTERCUT with Jack Murdock, down and out at his title bout.
The Council-members and their goons cheer their new leader.  Fisk drinks in their adulation.  Elektra beginning to stir from her drugged haze, struggles, vainly, against her bonds.
CUT TO:  The dazed Bullseye...the police leading him away.  He staggers, drops to his knees...surreptitiously pressing a control on his belt.
And the legs on the Silver Crab invert, digging into the street.  The cabin flips over, righting itself.  “Here, boy,” says Bullseye.  “That’s a good crab.”  
The Crab advances on the startled cops, crushing their patrol car.  The police scatter and we—
CUT TO:  “The Top.”  As Daredevil—moves.  Crawling, with agonizing slowness, inch by inch across the floor toward Fisk...who looks down at him with amused disbelief.
But his disbelief turns to awe as Daredevil pulls himself to his feet—just as Jack Murdock did all those years before—launches himself at Fisk—
—and pounds the big man to his knees.  Beats him.  Breaks him.  Fisk collapses.
Daredevil stands over his unconscious opponent...bloody, weaving on his feet.  Ready for the others to pounce.  Fisk’s goons begin to move on him, but—after a nod from Leiber—the rest of the Council’s soldiers move to block Fisk’s men.  “Perhaps,” Leiber says, “this...Kingpin isn’t the man we thought he was.”  He snaps his fingers, the assembled mobsters head for the door.  But they stop when—
—Fisk scrambles across the floor, snatches up a weapon.  A laser rifle that he fires, point blank, in Daredevil’s face.  When the coruscating light fades...  
Daredevil is standing there, unfazed.  He doesn’t miss a beat:  “It’s over, Fisk.”
Fisk can’t believe this.  “ should be blind!  You should be...”  He stops as a thunderous truth reverberates in his mind.  “Blind,” he whispers, understanding at last:  that incisive intellect putting the puzzle pieces together.  “Murdock!” he roars.  Despite his apparent defeat, the Kingpin can’t help but laugh.  “Jack Murdock.  His blind boy.  And the terrible accident. Something... radioactive, wasn’t it?”  He smiles.  “All these years running around in that ridiculous suit, risking your life, and for what?  To hurt the bad man who hurt your Daddy?” He surreptitiously glances over at one of his goons.  “A trifle juvenile,” he says, his arrogance returning, “don’t you think?”
“I’m not here for vengeance,” Daredevil says.  “Not any more.  I’m here for justice.  I’m here in the name of all the my father...the people you’ve used.  The people you’ve crushed...”
Fisk nods.  Daredevil, sensing the shift in Fisk’s heartbeat, the movement behind him, whirls—
—as the goon opens fire...with an acoustic rifle.  Daredevil drops to his knees, screaming.  The sound-waves aren’t just hurting him, they’re throwing his hyper-senses into overload.  EVERY SOUND IN THE CITY assaults him, unfiltered.  Wave after wave of sound, pushing against him, battering him.
“You mean the way I’m crushing you now?” Fisk sneers.  He walks over to his goon, takes the rifle.  Ups the levels.
FROM DAREDEVIL’S POV—we SEE the SOUND WAVES creating havoc with his radar sense.  The RADAR-WAVES vibrating, overloading, and finally...vanishing.  All that remains is darkness.  For the first time in his life—
Matt Murdock is truly blind.  Helpless and panicked.  
Fisk approaches Daredevil.  “This would be painful to an average man,” Fisk says, “but to a blind man with hyper-developed senses?  Oh, the agony must be...”  He kicks the helpless Daredevil through the glass wall.  “...exquisite.”
Daredevil tumbles from roof; but even sightless, Matt Murdock refuses to give up.  He concentrates, whips out his billy-club...trusting memory and reflex:  The cable shoots out—
—and miraculously catches a girder on top of the half-constructed building across the way.  
But, unable to depend on his hyper-senses for guidance, he reels wildly, slamming into the side of the building.  Hard.  He nearly loses his grip...
...dangling, by one hand, a hundred stories above the city.
Fisk, loving every moment of this, keeps the acoustic rifle trained on Daredevil.  “What is it the media calls you,” he yells down, “‘the man without fear’?  I trust you and fear are on far more intimate terms now...?”
Inch by terrifying inch, Daredevil crawls up the cable.  Manages...after nearly slipping to his climb up onto the roof opposite the “Top.”  He hurls his billy-club cable across the way, trying to catch the roof of Fisk’s hotel.  Fails.  Tries again.
Every eye in the conference room is on him:  The crime-lords mesmerized by Daredevil’s incredible ordeal...and his incredible bravery.  
Elektra, her mind clearing now, reaches beneath her skirt.  Removes a Sai strapped to her thigh.
“Why, I believe he wants to come back,” an amused Fisk says.  He nods to one of his men who opens fire with a second acoustic rifle.
Assaulted by another SOUND-WAVE, Daredevil slips, falls, grabs the edge.  Pulls himself back up.
Focusing every iota of his being, he throws the cable again.  Catches the roof of the “Top.”
And he steps out onto the cable.  Like a tightrope walker in the greatest high-wire act in history, the blind man inches his way between the buildings.  
The annoyed Fisk turns to one of his men.  “Shoot him down,” he orders.  “With a real gun.”      
Elektra pulls out her Sai, slices her bonds, takes out the two goons guarding her.  Before the shooter can fire...
...Elektra hurls the Sai.  It pierces the shooter’s neck from behind.  He falls to the floor, dead, his automatic weapon spewing bullets everywhere.  Among the men who are hit is the goon with the second acoustic rifle.
“Stop her!” the angry Fisk roars—as his men swarm toward Elektra...much to their regret.  She cannot, she will not, be stopped.
On the high wire, Daredevil keeps coming.  Closer and closer.
Fisk ups the setting on the acoustic rifle.  It reaches overload levels.
Daredevil, halfway across, freezes:  He knows he can’t survive this aural onslaught.  He only has one chance:  He has to make a leap.
A leap of faith.
He jumps—
—from the wire, straight toward Fisk, plowing into the Kingpin, knocking him to the ground.
The acoustic rifle falls.  DD kicks it away.  Fisk scrambles after it.  Grabs it.
And it explodes in his face.  The blast hurls Kingpin across the room.  
Bloody, battered...but alive...Kingpin struggles to his feet; stands there, looking confused.  Takes one awkward step forward, then stops.  “You wanted justice?” he says to Daredevil.  “Well, you know what they say, Counselor...”
CLOSE ON Fisk.  And now we can see that his eyes are wide...and blind.  “Justice is blind.”
Some of the Council-chiefs’ goons reach for their weapons, train them on Daredevil and Elektra (who’s now at his side).  Leiber tells them no.  As far as he’s concerned, this is over.  The Council is a dead issue.
And so is the Kingpin. 
But it’s not.  The entire building begins to shake as if it’s being pounded by the hand of God.
One look outside provides the answer:  It’s Bullseye in the Silver Crab...climbing the building.
The Crab crashes into the room.  Bullseye:  “Hope I didn’t miss anything important.”  The Crab moves forward, toward Fisk.  He’s lifted up in those metal claws.  DD moves toward the Crab...but the vortex cannons keep everyone back.
“I can’t believe you betrayed me, Willie,” Bullseye says.  “I can’t believe that you’d turn on your own son...”
“Son?” Elektra says, stunned.
“Willie here,” Bullseye says, “loves to say how fond he was of Vincent Del Toro.  But it was really Vincent’s wife he was fond of.  So fond that they had themselves a little love-child.”  
“Liar!” Kingpin roars.
“Momma told me herself, Willie...just before she died.”  He hits a series of switches on the Crab’s control panel.  “I really tried to please you, Dad.  To be everything you were.”  A digital read-out starts to count backwards from ten.  “Sorry I was such a dis-appointment.  But then,” he goes on, “not half the disappointment you were to your pure and perfect Vanessa.” 
“Liar!” the Kingpin repeats.  
“She didn’t die of cancer, did she, Willie?  She couldn’t bear living with an animal like you...”
“It’s a lie!  It’s a lie!  It’s a lie!” she killed herself.”
Daredevil “reads” Fisk’s physiological responses:  “It’s the truth,” he says.
Fisk’s horrified expression confirms it.
The Council members run like stampeding cattle for the exits.
“Elektra!” DD shouts, whipping out his billy-club cable.  She takes his hand—  
—and the two of them leap from “The Top of New York”—
—just as the entire top floor—
We see flames engulfing Vanessa Fisk’s shrine and then we—
CUT TO:  Later.  The top of the World Trade Center.  Daredevil and Elektra standing together...above the city.  She turns to him.  Takes his face in her hands.  They begin to kiss.
“No,” she says, pulling back.  “No?” the mystified DD replies.  Elektra:  “Take off your mask.”
They kiss...CAMERA PULLS UP AND, all around them—
—the lights of the city blink back on.  CUT TO:
Matt’s apartment.  He wakes up, reaches out for Elektra.  She’s gone.  And she’s left a note, which he “reads” with his fingertips.  You’ve chosen your path, she writes.  And I have chosen mine.  But you are my soul, Matt, and I will always carry you with me.  Elektra.
On instinct, Matt rushes to the shrine in the adjoining room, where he discovers that his mother’s gone:  Elektra took it with her.  And, despite his pain at losing his beloved again, Matt can’t help but smile.  CUT TO:
Nelson and Murdock.  Foggy sits at his desk, surprised and delighted to find a framed photo of Matt and Foggy in their high school days.  Karen’s desk is covered in flowers.  “It doesn’t quite make up for the way I acted...” says a voice.
Matt, shaved and scrubbed, walks in, looking contrite.  “...but I hope it’s a start.”  ‘Just get to work.  There’s a pile of eviction cases on your desk.”  Karen comes over to Matt’s desk.  “This came for you while you were away,” Karen says.  He opens the package.  It’s from John Mackie. Mailed before he died. A computer disc.
Foggy and Karen gather around the computer with Matt.  “It’s all the Kingpin’s private records,” Foggy says.  “Names.  Dates.  Lists of every politician on his payroll.  All his illegal activities.  I hope the jails are big enough...because they’re gonna get mighty crowded...” “I’ll get this,” Karen says, “to D.A. Tower right away.”
“I guess,” Matt says, profoundly moved, “that Mackie had a conscience after all...”
CUT TO:  Matt Murdock in court.  “Welcome back, Counselor,” says the Judge.  “Good to be back,” he says walking into the corridor, past the statue of blind Justice.  CUT TO:
Night.  A familiar looking yacht sails under a starry night sky.  In his state room, the infamous arms dealer, Baron Von Strucker, sits in bed, reading.  Then he closes his book.  Shuts out the light.
In the darkness, there’s a voice: “Baron Von Strucker?  I don’t know if you remember me.  My name is Elektra Natchios.”
Coney Island.  Night.  At a shooting booth, an OLD MAN...with a bulbous nose and rotten teeth, one arm in a sling...fires a pellet-rifle at a target.  Hits it dead center, again and again.  “Bullseye,” he says.  And, of course, it is Bullseye, in disguise:  he’s cheated death again.
The WOMAN behind the counter hands Bullseye a stuffed bear.  He takes it.  And, leaning on his father’s diamond-headed cane, Juan Del Toro...Juan Fisk...limps off—
—across the midway.  CUT TO:  
Hell’s Kitchen.  Our Lady of Refuge Church.  Father Nocenti stands on the steps, breathing in the night air.  Suddenly, a shadow crosses him from above.  He looks up, smiles.  
PULL WIDER to see Daredevil, swinging over the city:  he’s healed.  He’s whole.
He’s a true hero.  And, off that, we—

Daredevil and his universe are ©copyright 2012 Marvel Entertainment


  1. Ow, wow. That's a heck of a finale! It seems like some of your script was folded into the later DD film, particuarly Daredevil collapsing at the church after his fight with Bullseye. Was that a coincidence?

    I love it, and seems like a nice setup for BORN AGAIN.

    My only real concern is Fisk being beaten at the end, and that's simply because I think it makes a better setup for BORN AGAIN if Fisk seems untouchable. But I totally get that you write a film in the hopes that there's a sequel, but there's no guarantee. So you need to see the bad guy defeated pretty thoroughly.


  2. Its much easier to have the villain live to fight another day in a TV series or comic book, David. A film, as you note, has to stand alone. And, of course, if there's a need to resurrect the villain...well, there's always a way!

    Very glad you enjoyed the treatment. I really got a kick out of revisiting it.

  3. I especially love DD standing atop New York as an inspirational reminds me of that Ben Reilly pose from REDEMPTION!

    Also of note, Wilson Fisk was actually blinded in the comic a few years after your treatment. I like the concept, and the 'finality' of a film's ending makes the poetic justice that much stronger.

    I hope DD gets a treatment this strong when he finally gets out of Development Hell's Kitchen!


  4. I didn't know Fisk was blinded in the comic, David. Great minds think alike and all that!

    Re: REDEMPTION. I was happy to discover that it's been reprinted in the most recent BEN REILLY EPIC tpb. Nice to see it back in print after all this time.

  5. This reads like gangbusters. Frankly, it's hard for me picturing someone like Chris Columbus producing it (or any Daredevil movie, for that matter). At least they had the good taste to hire a real writer to give it a shot, and that Columbus had the good taste to like it!

  6. One thing I learned working with Chris Columbus, Rob, is that he's a terrific writer (his early draft of the DD script was really excellent) with a wonderful story sense. He was a delight to work with—as was everyone at his company,

    Glad you enjoyed the Grand Finale. It's been great fun for me looking back at this treatment and pondering the Daredevil Movie That Might Have Been.

  7. This needs to become something more! That finale was great. Absolutely awesome. Hopefully, one day, this will be some type of film, tv show, or comic. Thank you Mr. DeMatteis. Born Again would be a great sequel to this. Also, you could throw in new characters in a sequel like The Chaste, The Hand, Black Widow, Purple Man etc. So much mythology.

  8. You're incredibly welcome, Rob. I don't see the outline becoming anything else after all these years, but it's been very gratifying getting responses like yours. It may not make it to theaters, but this version of Daredevil can at least play on the movie screens of our minds.

  9. I was happy to see REDEMPTION collected, too. I'd be happier still if they'd collect LOST YEARS and REDEMPTION in one oversized hardcover!

    And I really enjoy the way Fisk comes across as a complex human being, who may or may not have feelings for Elektra. Also, the idea of a man who has sainted his wife in death but may not have been the ideal husband in life is compelling. I think you'd have hit a big emotional chord with your audience there. It plays nicely against Matt and Elektra's relationship, where there's no cheating involved, but a tragic parting of ways.

    BTW, are you as excited about THE AVENGERS movie as I am, JMD? Downloaded the new Soundgarden track from the film, "Live to Rise"--highly recommended!

    There's so many Marvel movies planned right now, I hope you get a crack at one! Dr. Strange, maybe? Ant-Man? Or better still, AGENT COULSON: THE MOTION PICTURE!


  10. I would LOVE to see LOST YEARS and REDEMPTION collected together in a hardcover, David. Marvel—are you listening?

    Re: Fisk. As you well know, a villain's got to be complex—with lots of shades of grey—to be interesting. Mustache-twirling, pure evil gets very tired, very quickly.

    I'm very much looking forward to THE AVENGERS. My one fear is that, because of the large cast, it's going to be one long, loud superhero battle. But the advance word has been fantastic, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    I wrote an outline for a Doctor Strange movie some years back. Marvel wanted to get their comics people involved in the movie process—this was long before they had any success in films—and asked me to take a crack at Doc. Nothing came of it, but I've got the outline in a file somewhere. Maybe I'll post it here one of these days!

  11. Please do! And I would think in the days of "Twilight" and "Harry Potter," Marvel would see an obvious market for the Sorceror Supreme.

    I have a lot of faith in Marvel Studios at this point. Their only mediocre effort so far is IRON MAN 2.


    1. Good point about TWILIGHT and POTTER, David. And I totally agree with you re: Marvel Studios. Last summers trifecta of THOR, X-MEN and CAPTAIN AMERICA was something to behold.

    2. My wife even liked THOR and CAPTAIN AMERICA, which is a really good sign. She's not easily impressed with comic films. And right now THE AVENGERS is trending as the most anticipted film for guys, but the second choice for women! Not bad. I predict that AVENGERS could curb Hollywood's infatuation with THE DARK KNIGHT's tone. Marvel Studios injects their films with weight, humor AND hope, which never goes out of style.

    3. As is often the case, David, I agree 100%!

      (And can you believe that, after all these years, I finally figured out that I should be hitting the "reply" button instead of just typing a new comment?)

    4. I believe it, because I just noticed the 'reply' button myself!

    5. Well, THAT makes me feel a little less like an idiot! : )

    6. Clearly, the 'reply' function here has a cloaking device!

  12. I've found out today that William "Bill" Joseph Dunn has said that he will be working with James Tucker again in a new animated project.

    1. A new show from James Tucker, Nelson? That's fantastic news! Thanks for letting me know.

  13. Ever wondered what it's like to have the all seeing Eye of Amagatto? Try watching every single episode of STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES at once:


    1. It's worth watching through the opening credits...after that the mind begins to melt and I don't think even a Vulcan mind meld would help, David! But it was very cool: Thanks!

  14. If you do have time, watch the Young Justice episode "Happy New Year". Blue Beetle/Jaime makes his debut in that episode and he's very funny. Although I also liked Nightwing, Robin/Tim Drake, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Lagoon Boy and Wondergirl/Cassie Sandsmark. Plus that episode is written by producer Greg Weisman himself.

    1. I'll see if I can track it down, Nelson. Greg is a hugely talented guy.

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