Thursday, April 19, 2012


The response to Part One of the 1997 Daredevil movie treatment I wrote for producer Chris Columbus (see the previous post for details) has been gratifyingly enthusiastic, so here, for your listening and dancing pleasure, is Part Two.  More to come next week. 

We're picking up exactly where we left off.  Enjoy!


A lower Manhattan courtroom—where we find Matt Murdock arguing a simple eviction case; but, for Matt, this is a cause of extraordinary passion.  He sees himself as the last line of defense between the Little Guy and the forces that would steamroll him out of existence. The landlord, Matt argues, is hungry to renovate and raise rents—and he’s willing to break the law to serve his greed.  “But the law,” Matt says, “is all we have.  It’s the only thing that stands between us and chaos.  Between good people and the devils from hell.  Please...don’t let the devils win.”  He goes so far as to mention Wilson Fisk by name, claiming that this “benevolent” businessman is responsible for dragging the city down to the depths.

Matt sits down beside his law partner, Foggy (nervously popping peanut M & Ms), and their clumsy-but-dedicated assistant, KAREN PAGE.  “Did you have to bring up Fisk?” Foggy asks.  “Yes, I did,” Matt replies.  Their client, MR. EVERETT, expresses concerns about paying the lawyers’ fees.  Matt tells him not to worry.  “I told you the first time you came to the pay me what you can...when you can.” 

“Did I mention,” a clearly annoyed Foggy says, “that I got an offer to join the legal department at MTV?”  “You won’t take it,” Matt says confidently.  “Well, no,” Foggy replies.  “But I might.  One day.”  He shovels the rest of the candy bar in his mouth.  “We’ve gotta eat, too, y’know.”  Matt:  “Somehow I’m not worried about you starving.”

As Matt, Foggy, and Karen leave the courtroom, D.A. Tower arrives.  “Here he is,” she says, only half-jokingly, “the George Bailey of the legal set.”  She goes on to tell him that none of the witnesses from inside or outside the restaurant were able to identify Bullseye in a line-up.  Matt’s outraged.  “But we had people who swore they saw him ditch the disguise.”  Tower:  “They’ve all been struck with a case of mass amnesia.”  “What about the weapons the police pulled out of the sewer?”  “Conveniently misplaced.  Maybe,” she goes on, half-joking, “we should just leave the bad guys to this Daredevil character...if he really exists.”  Matt’s furious.  “Is that what it’s come down to? We just throw up our hands and leave justice to the vigilantes?”  (As paradoxical as it sounds...he means it!)       

“Don’t get self-righteous on me, Matthew,” Tower says.  “I’ve been asking you for years to join my me nail Fisk and his maggots...but you insist on staying there in Hell’s Kitchen, working out of that storefront...”

They walk into the hallway, where a statue of Blind Justice stands.  “I’ve worked with you, haven’t I, Diane?” Matt says.  “Every free moment I’ve got has been dedicated to helping you bring Fisk down.  But I can’t leave Hell’s Kitchen, you know that.  That’s where I came from, the place I have to give back to.  Those people need me.” 

“So do I,” says Tower, who turns and walks away.  “See you around, Mr. Bailey.”

Matt walks off, Karen staring at him like a love-struck teenager.  “Forget it,” Foggy says.  “The only woman he’s in love with—”  He points to the statue of Justice.  “—is right there.”  CUT TO:

Fisk and Bullseye in a Fisk’s living room.  Sharing cigars and glasses of cognac.  Fisk is surprisingly warm, almost avuncular, with Del Toro.  “Juan,” Fisk says “your father and I were friends.  We grew up together, clawed our way up from the same wretched streets.  When he died, I made a promise to watch out for you.  And I have, haven’t I?” 

“Yes, sir,” a surprisingly-respectful Bullseye says. 

“Then why aren’t you doing the same for me?  You were asked to dispose of DeCicco quietly...”

“Mackie complaining again?” Bullseye snaps.  “That stupid Mick doesn’t know his ass from his—”  Fisk fixes Del Toro with a harsh glare that stops him cold. 

“Look, look,” Bullseye says.  “There’s nobody who’s been more loyal to you than me.  You ask me to shoot the Pope, I’ll do it.  You ask me to put a gun to my own head and I’ll do that.  But I am who I am.  I am what I am.  You know that better than anyone.” 

“I do,” Fisk says.  Then, after a moment of contemplative silence:  “I will forgive and forget.  Providing you do your next job quickly, quietly, and efficiently...”

Bullseye grins.  “Brighton Beach?  The Russians?”

Fisk:  “If my idea for the Council is to work...I can’t have Mr. Smerdyakov being difficult.”  Fisk leans back, blows out a ring of smoke.  “How would it look?”

Del Toro leans back, blows out an identical smoke-ring.  “ would it look?” he says.  CUT TO: 

“The Top of New York.”  A charity ball—where New York’s elite is on display.  Where Wilson Fisk, standing in front of a portrait of his late wife, is presenting a check for five million dollars, given by the Vanessa Fisk Foundation, to a cancer research organization.  The media is out in force, light bulbs are popping, video cameras recording every moment.  Fisk speaks movingly of his wife’s death from cancer, ten years before.  How he prays the day will come when no one has to suffer as she did.  As he did along with her.

Matt Murdock enters.  Scans the room with his radar sense.  “Reads” Fisk’s physiological responses.  Surprised that this isn’t an act.  He’s telling the truth. 

Foggy, Karen in tow, rushes over to Matt, glad that he’s made it.  “Isn’t this incredible.  I mean,” he says, stuffing his face, “have you tasted these hors d’oeuvres?  But I still can’t understand why we were invited.”  “You were invited,” a booming voice says—

“—because I know talent when I see it.”  Fisk approaches them, accompanied by Mackie, Nikos, and Elektra:  She looks radiant, glorious, like royalty.  Kingpin tells Matt that he has no hard feelings about Matt’s campaign against him.  He knows that there have been vile accusations made.  That his character has been assassinated by experts.  “But I want you to know, Mr. Murdock, that everything you’ve heard is a bald-faced lie.”  Matt “reads” Fisk again:  the only lies are coming from Kingpin.

And yet there is something darkly charming, utterly seductive, about the man.  He’s warm, gracious, astonishingly intelligent, surprisingly funny.  This doesn’t jibe with Matt’s image of the man who killed his father—and he’s clearly thrown by it. 

When Fisk offers him a job, Matt is speechless.  “I’ve had my eye on you, Matt.  I could use a legal mind like yours.”  He offers to start Matt at $200,000.00 a year.  “And you can bring Mr. Nelson along with you.”  “I don’t think so,” Matt says—while Foggy nearly chokes on his food.  Fisk reaches out—”Just give it some serious thought”—shakes Matt’s hand.  Without thinking, Matt reaches back.

And it’s like George Bailey shaking Mr. Potter’s hand.  Matt can feel the slime oozing all over him.  He pulls back quickly.  Fisk notes the disgust on Matt’s face, then excuses himself—seeing bigger fish to fry, other men to manipulate.

“Mr. Fisk,” Matt calls out.

Fisk stops, turns.

“Do you remember a boxer named ‘Battling’ Jack Murdock?”

Fisk looks genuinely mystified.  “Should I?” he says, walking away, Mackie and Nikos behind him.  (Mackie looks back for a moment, fixing Murdock with an enigmatic stare.) 

“A fascinating man, our Mr. Fisk, isn’t he?” says a voice from behind Matt.  Matt turns to face Elektra—clearly overwhelmed by her grace and beauty.  She invites Matt to join her for a walk onto the terrace.  (As they go, Karen Page has daggers in her eyes.)  CUT TO:

Matt and Elektra together, out on the terrace.  There’s such heat between them it’s a wonder they don’t burn up:  Elektra seems a little flustered...yet totally enchanted by this man who is so different from the men she’s known in her life. 

Matt, speaking of his childhood, the deaths of his mother and father, gets Elektra to open up about her past.  How, when she was a girl, an enemy of her father’s, a man named Von Strucker, kidnapped both Elektra and her adored mother.  Maria Natchios was murdered and Elektra...  She shudders, unable to catalogue the horrors she endured.  (Let the audience fill in the details themselves.)  When her father’s men, aided by Fisk’s organization, finally located and rescued her, she swore that she would never be a victim again.  She trained for years (she’s training still)...with the best experts money could buy.  And she re-made herself, in body and mind.  “Kill me,” she says, “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,” she says, drawing closer, “must be capable of the same.”

She speaks, too, about her father.  After her mother’s death, Nikos and his daughter became closer than ever, clinging to each other, each one preventing the other from drowning in grief.  It was Nikos who guided Elektra past her blind rage, helped her move on with her life.  “Without my father’s strength, without his gentle spirit, I might have become...something terrible.” 

Since then, Elektra and Nikos have been a universe of two.  Inseparable.  Wildly protective of each other.  “If I ever lost him...” she says.  She can’t even finish the sentence.  The thought is too shattering.       

Matt, moved by her tale—and feeling a profoundly kindred spirit—tries to tell her what a devil Fisk is—but Elektra won’t, can’t, hear it.  Fisk has been a second father to her.  He helped save her life.  “He may not be without sin—and who among us is?—but he is family to me.”

Before Matt can pursue this further, Elektra takes him by the hands, leads him out onto the dance floor.  All eyes turn toward them—this elegant young woman of power and grace, and this darkly handsome blind man—as they glide across the floor as if they were born to be together.  Their bodies intuitively understand each other.  And so, we sense, do their hearts.  

We INTERCUT Matt and Elektra’s sensuous and romantic dance with—

Coney Island—where the ferris wheel spins like a glittering UFO in the night.  Where the delighted screams from the roller coaster echo out to the nearby ocean.  Where a FAT MAN—shoveling in cotton candy and hot dogs, guzzling down a giant cup of beer—is at a shooting booth, using a pellet-gun to effortlessly hit bullseye after bullseye.  Which only makes sense since it is yet another disguise. 

ON THE ROLLER COASTER—ALEXEI SMERDYAKOV, boss of the Brighton Beach Mafia, is having a helluva time...a tacky blonde on either arm...his bodyguards in the car, in front and behind him.  He’s a huge bear of a man, laughing and shouting like...well, like a kid at a carnival.

The disguised Bullseye downs his beer, tosses the cup, and—still munching his cotton candy—hops a fence and climbs on to the underside of a cab on the moving ferris wheel.

The wheel comes up alongside the roller coaster.  Grinning, Bullseye pulls out a gun, affixes a silencer to it.  Takes aim.

Then he looks at the gun, looks at the roller coaster...and snaps off the silencer.  Sighs.  “Ah, shit,” he says—

—leaping from the back of the’s a jump no sane man would attempt...onto one of the roller coaster cars.  And, as the cars head down the steepest slope of the coaster—

—he stands up on the descending car and opens fire on Smerdyakov and his men, howling at them in mock-Russian as he puts a bullet in each heart. 

There’s blood everywhere.  Dead bodies falling from the roller coaster.  Smerdyakov’s two blondes are shrieking in terror.  So is everybody else.  “So much,” Bullseye says, “for quick, quiet, and efficient.”

He leaps again, scrambles down the side of the tracks.

Pursued by three more of Smerdyakov’s men, he races down the midway.  As he goes, he passes a booth where people are throwing baseballs at milk bottles.  He grabs three baseballs, whirls, throws them...

...and his three pursuers drop.  Stone dead.

Throwing off his breakaway “fat man” suit, Bullseye runs for the water.  Dives in. Swims out to a waiting boat.

He heads out to sea, sits back, puts his feet up, lights a cigar.

CLOSE on Bullseye.  Some sixth sense alerting him to...what?


—as we return to the charity ball.  Wilson Fisk’s cell-phone rings.  He listens.  Nods.  He looks grim as death.  Turns to John Mackie.  “You were worried about Bullseye?”  “Yes...?”  He strides off, strangely disturbed.  “You don’t have to worry any more...” 

ON the dance floor, Elektra invites Matt to come upstate this weekend to the country retreat her father has outside Rhinebeck.  Matt instantly accepts. She smiles.  Gives him the sweetest, gentlest kiss.

ON the brooding Fisk watching Elektra and Murdock—with jealous eyes?

CUT TO:  The Natchios Mansion, outside of Rhinebeck.  A heavy snow falling on Nikos’s three hundred acre retreat. 

INSIDE, Matt is having dinner with Nikos and Elektra—and it’s instantly clear that both father and daughter like this young man immensely. There is, it seems, room for one more in their universe of two. 

Nikos speaks of his life with almost shocking candor.  He began, he tells Matt, as a peasant in Greece.  He swore he would rise above the poverty he was born into. That he would never be used and abused by more powerful people the way his father was.  “There was a fire in me, Matt,” he says, “and I couldn’t keep it from burning.  From consuming me.”  He rose to become the unquestioned leader of the Greek Mafia...but he paid for his rise in dearest blood when one of his enemies kidnapped Elektra and her mother...torturing his daughter, killing his beloved Maria.  (And the pain, we see, is still fresh.  These are wounds that will never heal.)  He could have spent his life seeking vengeance, paying blood for blood, but he chose instead to withdraw from the criminal’s life.  The fire in his heart died with his wife.  He sold off his illegal interests, went legitimate.  “And I thank God I did.  Those that harmed my family...I leave to His justice.  What we have in this world is too precious, and I refuse to spend my life,” he goes on, passionately, “held hostage to the past.”

Nikos feels a kindred spirit in Matt.  He respects Murdock’s commitment to the poor.  His ability to transcend his handicap.  “I see something in you,” Nikos says.  “The same fire that once drove me.  To be a help people as you do...this is a noble thing.  But you are hungry for more.  Whatever it is,” he says, proposing a toast, clinking glasses with Matt and Elektra, “may you find it.”  He grows serious.  “And may it do you no harm.”

OUTSIDE—the Mansion is being watched through infrared glasses.

CUT TO:  Later.  Matt and Elektra out on the ski-slopes, dead of night, under a fat moon:  Elektra marveling at Matt’s skills.  “For a blind man?” he asks.  “For any man,” she says, impressed by his ability to keep up with her.  To surpass her.

They find themselves at a small cabin on her father’s property.  Inside, by a roaring fire, they share a moment of romance and intimacy.  They kiss, and each one is strangely shy.  Neither wants to make love yet.  It’s as if the raw passions each one constantly holds in check would destroy the delicacy, the purity, of this moment.

CUT TO:  Armed men in hooded white parkas, white pants and boots, moving silently through the snow toward the Mansion.

CUT TO:  Matt and Elektra—as they share their hopes, their dreams of the future.  They are two souls vibrating as one.  Each one knows that this is it:  They belong together, now and forever.

Matt takes out a ring.  It belonged, he tells her, to his mother.  He knows how sudden this is, but he can’t ignore or deny what he’s feeling.  He wants her to be his.  To share every secret of his soul.  “Do you have many secrets?” Elektra asks, as he slips the ring on her finger. 

They snuggle into each other’s arms, drifting off to sleep.  “You have no idea...”

CUT TO:  Nikos’s security men being taken out, silently, one by one.   Another security man walks in on this, opens fire.  The time for discretion is past.  The assassins return the fire.  It’s war now.

CUT TO: Matt bolting awake, his hyper-senses picking up the sound of gunfire.

CUT TO:  Cars boldly screeching up to the Natchios Mansion.  Dozens of armed men, all dressed identically, pouring out now.  Wild gunfire as the remaining security men try valiantly to protect Nikos.  

CUT TO:  Nikos in his bedroom.  He grabs a hunting rifle from his armoire.  Turns to find himself face to face with a hooded assassin.  A gun pointed at his head.

And a billy club knocks the gun from the assassin’s hand.  It’s Daredevil...who grabs Nikos, tells him that he’ll get him out of there.  “But, my daughter—”  “—is safe,” DD assures him.

CUT TO:  Elektra, waking up, looking for Matt.  She feels a dread to the bottom of her soul.  She reaches for something secreted in her boot.   Runs from the cabin.

CUT TO:  Daredevil and Nikos—as they race downstairs to the Grand Ballroom.  More armed men flood the room.   Nikos is ready to go down fighting alongside Daredevil.  But Daredevil convinces him to take cover...if only for his daughter’s sake.  He does.

Daredevil faces the assassins.  There’s doubt that even he can protect Nikos from all these shooters. 

But then a figure comes leaping through the window.  Half-naked, clutching a Sai, animal ferocity in her eyes.

Elektra.  And we quickly see that her years of training have paid off.  There is no stopping this woman.  She is swift, she is brutal, she is relentless.  What happened all those years ago will not happen again.  She will not lose her father the way she lost her mother.

Together Daredevil and Elektra are more than enough to take these men.

But then Daredevil becomes aware of a heartbeat behind them.

Another shooter—with a grenade launcher.

“Down!” DD roars, throwing Elektra to the ground as the room explodes around them.

When the smoke clears, Elektra is unconscious and the staggered DD scans the room to see—

—that Nikos is gone.

CUT TO:  a limousine racing across a frozen lake.   Wilson Fisk in the back with Nikos.  His cane pressed against Nikos’s chest.  “You know it’s not my way to get personally involved in these matters,” he tells Nikos; “but for you, my old friend...I had to.
You deserve this much.”  “Wilson,” the stunned Nikos says, “how can you do this?’re more than my friend.  You’ve been a brother to me.”

CLOSE on Fisk, and we see the depth of emotion on his face.  “And that brother,” he says, “will mourn you.  Wilson Fisk will weep for you.  Ah, but the Kingpin...”  His eyes ice over.  “The Kingpin will see you in Hell.” 

CUT TO:  The car reaching Nikos’s private airstrip.  Fisk and his goons get out.  Fisk removes a hi-tech grenade from his pocket, hits the detonator, rolls it under the car.  “May God have mercy on your soul,” he says, “and mine...”

The grenade detonates.  The ice beneath the car explodes.  The limo sinks.

INSIDE—we see the frightened eyes of Nikos Natchios.  CUT TO:

Daredevil racing through the woods, through the snow, in pursuit.   And there, up ahead, he “sees” the airstrip.  And the helicopter taking off.

And the distinctive scent and heartbeat—of Wilson Fisk.

He throws out his billy-club cable, catches the underside of the copter.  Swings up onto the roof.

Fisk’s men open fire, shooting through the roof—

—but Daredevil comes crashing through the front windshield, goes straight for Fisk.  He wants this man’s head—and there’s every chance he’s going to have it.

Until Fisk points out that Natchios isn’t on the copter.  DD’s senses reach out.  He “sees” the rapidly-closing hole in the ice...the swiftly-sinking car...hears Nikos’s fading heartbeat.

DD is torn between hunger for vengeance and the desire to save Nikos.  We FLASH BACK to young Matt, on the night of Jack Murdock’s death, racing through the streets, desperate to save his father.  CUT BACK to the Now—

—as Daredevil releases Fisk—

—and dives for the ice—Fisk’s men firing on him as he falls—hitting the freezing waters.  But the ice above him is rapidly sealing.  He uses his billy club to keep the gap open, dives for Nikos—

—kicking open the car window and pulling Nikos out.  We see now that Nikos has been shot in the chest, blood pooling out.

DD swims upward.

The billy club is snapping.  The ice planes about to totally seal.

DD gets Nikos up to safety.  Barely gets himself out—

—when the club snaps.  The ice seals.

Nikos dies in Daredevil’s arms.  We CUT TO:  Jack Murdock dying in young Matt’s arms.

CUT BACK to the Now—as Elektra races up, sees her father lying there, and drops to her knees, letting out a harrowing wail of grief and rage.  The one person in all the world who gave her hope and faith...who balanced the demons in her gone.

“I’m sorry,” Daredevil says.  “I tried...I tried my best—”

He pulls back his mask...tears in his blind eyes.  “—but I couldn’t save him.”

She looks at Matt, at Daredevil:  there’s a flash of surprise in her eyes that is quickly swallowed by her all-consuming grief.  He reaches out to comfort her.  She pulls away, like a frightened animal.  Buries her face against her father’s neck, weeping. 

Daredevil kneels there on the ice...silent, Elektra, moaning like a madwoman, rocks her father like a baby in her arms.  And, off that, we—

CUT TO:  A cemetery.  A few days later.  Elektra, Fisk beside her, is watching Nikos’s coffin being lowered into the ground.  Matt stands, with Foggy, away from the main group of mourners.  Elektra, we learn, hasn’t answered his calls.  She’s totally shut him out.  Foggy encourages Matt to go and talk to her.

He approaches her, she sees him.  Excuses herself from Fisk.  Walks over to Matt.  “Why are you here?” she says, in a voice like ice.

“Why?  Because I love you, Elektra, because—”

“Love?  There’s no place in this world for talk of love...”

“Listen to me, I know how you feel, but you can’t—”

“You don’t know how I feel.  No one on this Earth knows how I feel.  I see your face...and I’m back there, holding his dead body in my arms.  Whatever we had...whatever it’s over now, do you understand?  As dead as Nikos...”
“But you’ll turn to him?” Matt says, indicating Fisk, who stands glowering, watching them.

“He’s the only family I have left...”

“He murdered your father.”

She looks at him like he’s insane.

“I swear to you, Elektra, it was him.  I saw him...”

We go in CLOSE on Elektra.  For an instant, it seems as if she really hears what Matt’s saying.  Hears and believes.  Then, her eyes ice over. “You...saw him?”  She laughs a cruel laugh.  With Nikos gone, it’s as if every demon she’s struggled to contain all these rising in her soul.  “Lies,” she hisses.  “Lies to cover your own incompetence.  You let my father die...and look for others to blame.”

“I swear to you, I—”

“I know Wilson Fisk!  But, you...”  She turns out, walking back toward Fisk.  “I don’t know you at all.”

And as Matt “watches” the Kingpin embrace Elektra and lead her toward a waiting limousine, we—

CUT TO:  Dead of night.  Trucks driving into a warehouse, where John Mackie himself is supervising the opening of the crates:  The first shipment of weapons Kingpin purchased from Von Strucker.  CUT TO:

The same night.  A fog-enshrouded pier.  A figure clambers up, out of the water.  Half-naked.  Burned and scarred.  With an insane grin and blazing eyes that could incinerate a man’s soul.  Bullseye.  CUT TO:

Fisk, in his office, talks, via video link, to DON MACCHIO, godfather of the L.A. mob.  A silver-haired Mafia elder statesman in the Paul Castellano mode.  “Don Macchio,” Fisk says, in a conciliatory tone, “one word from you and the few men who oppose the Council will willingly follow me.  What can I do to change your mind?”   “Nothing,” Don Macchio replies coldly.  “Because I don’t oppose the idea of the Council...I oppose the idea of you leading it.  If I may be honest:  I respect you...but I do not trust you.  And I like you even less.  If this Council is to succeed, Mr. Fisk...”

Fisk’s conciliatory tone vanishes.  “Kingpin, sir, you will address Kingpin...”

Macchio:  “If this Council is to succeed, Mr. Fisk, we must all meet as equals.  Not as slaves to one man’s delusions of grandeur.  Good night.”

And the connection goes dead.

An angry Fisk slams his cane on his desk, swivels in his chair, faces a bank of video monitors behind him.  On several monitors we see the warehouse...Mackie and his men unloading the weapons.  Fisk presses a button.  We go in CLOSE on one of the weapons:  a microwave cannon. 

CLOSE ON Fisk—smiling a cold smile.  CUT TO: 

Elektra, in shock, in bed in her suite in the “Top of New York.” The phone rings and rings.  The look on her face tells us that it’s Matt—but she refuses to answer. 

“The blind man?” Fisk asks, entering.

“The past,” Elektra replies.

Fisk sits on the edge of the bed, apparently as numb with grief as she is.  “I swear to you,” he says, lying like a master, “that the men who did this will pay for their sins.  In blood.” 

“What does vengeance matter?” the numb Elektra says.  “I have lost my mother.  I have lost my father.  I have nothing.”

Fisk opens up to Elektra, talks passionately about Vanessa.  How devastated he was when she died, eaten away by that hideous disease.  How he had to fight to pull himself up out of the most soul-shattering grief he ever experienced.  “I never knew a hell like that one.  I will never know such a hell again.

“You survived,” he goes on to say, “your own hell when you were just a girl”—referring to her kidnapping—“and it didn’t destroy you.  Don’t let this destroy you.  You have your pride, your rage.  You have your father’s empire.”  He takes her hand, speaks softly, passionately.  “And you have me.  Join me, Elektra.” 

She looks up at him, surprised.  Confused.

“You have grown into such an extraordinary woman.  So beautiful.  So strong.  So much like my Vanessa.  Oh, Elektra,” he whispers, passionately.  “There is so much I can offer you.” 

For a moment, something bright, something frightening, rises in Elektra’s eyes; but it’s soon replaced by a calm determination.  “And there is much,” she replies, taking Fisk’s hand, kissing it, “I can offer you...”

CUT TO:  Late afternoon.  Nelson and Murdock’s storefront law office.  D.A. Tower was right:  this is the legal equivalent of George Bailey’s Building and Loan.  A place where every person with a problem, no matter how how poor, no matter how small, can find a helping hand. 

And today, it seems, they all decided to show up at the same time.

While Karen Page chases a chicken across the office, a grateful CLIENT is thanking Foggy for getting him out of jail.  He swears he’s going to get a good job.  But till then, will they accept the chicken in payment?

Foggy nods, a smile frozen on his face.  The man leaves.  The smile drops.  Foggy buries his head in his hands. “Where is Matt, anyway?” he asks.  Karen says Matt called and told her he had an important meeting. “With who?” Foggy asks as the chicken jumps onto his head.  CUT TO:

A run-down diner on the Lower East Side:  Matt meeting with a nervous John Mackie.  Since this business with the Council started, Mackie says, Fisk is out of control.  Loyalty, he realizes, no longer counts.  Friendship doesn’t count.  “If he turned on Natchios, he’ll turn on anyone.”

“You know about Natchios?”  Matt asks. 

Mackie nods.  “You may find this one hard to believe, Murdock... but I’ve got a heart.  I’ve got a conscience.”

“A conscience,” Matt asks, “or a fine instinct for self-preservation?”

“Natchios was a good man.  He didn’t deserve to die.”  He shakes his head, disgusted.  “Believe what you want,” Mackie says sadly.  “Believe whatever the hell you want.  Just get me out.”  Mackie wants Matt to be his go-between with the F.B.I., to negotiate his way in to the Witness Protection Program. 

“Make me believe in your conscience,” Matt says.  “Tell me what you know.”  “No,” says Mackie.  “You talk to the Feds.  Make the deal.  Then I’ll talk.  In the meantime, I’m going to need protection.  Fisk may not know about this yet...but he will.”  “You want protection?” Murdock says, smiling, “I’ll get you the best.”  CUT TO:

A raging rain-storm.  Daredevil—tailing John Mackie’s limo through the city.  He’s like a blood-red guardian angel, swinging through the night.  When Mackie reaches his brownstone, just off Central Park, DD—after scanning the place with his radar sense to make sure there are no bombs planted, no assassins waiting—fixes himself on the roof like a gargoyle.  But Daredevil doesn’t move.  Until—

—his radar-sense picks up a figure, moving across the roof-tops toward the brownstone.  A familiar heartbeat.  A familiar scent.  Elektra:  masked.  In full battle regalia, a Sai clutched in each hand.   

She descends toward the brownstone.

Daredevil bars her way.  “What in God’s name do you think you’re doing?” he says, astonished.  “Bullseye’s you’re taking his place?”  Her reply is two swift kicks that take Daredevil down.  And she leaps, crashing through the brownstone skylight, DD in pursuit.

Mackie wakes up to find Elektra standing over his bed.  “You have betrayed your King,” she says, “and for that, there must be payment.”  Elektra brings the Sai down in one swift and deadly move.  When the Sai is less than an inch away from Mackie’s heart—

—a billy club swats it away.  Elektra turns just as Daredevil leaps forward, grabs her—

—and a desperate, frightened Mackie runs—out of the house, into the street.  Suddenly, a long black limo screeches up, blocking his way.  Mackie looks in, scared to the bottom of his soul and we CUT BACK TO:

Daredevil and Elektra as they battle—tumbling over the brownstone balcony, down to the street below.  Daredevil wants to know why she’s doing this; serving a devil like Fisk, after all he’s done.  Her response is a swift slash of the Sai that slices through Daredevil’s costume, cuts his chest.  A spinning double-kick to the head sends Daredevil down, flat on his back. 

“How do you know,” Elektra says with a sneer, “that the devil doesn’t serve me?”  She leans in close, kisses Daredevil...a kiss of such naked passion, such unexpected lasciviousness, that Daredevil is taken aback.  And then Elektra pulls away, races off.  By the time Daredevil scrambles to his feet, she’s gone—

—into the heart of the storm.  CUT TO:

Beverly Hills.  An thirties mansion.  Armed guards patrolling the grounds.  Don Macchio sits by the pool with his WIFE, a white-haired, attractive woman of seventy.

ON the gate of the mansion.  As it’s crushed.

By a silver crab-like vehicle, that crawls relentlessly, like a juggernaut, down the driveway, toward the mansion.  Cannons emerge from the vehicle’s hood.

One of Macchio’s men sees it coming.  “What the hell is that?”

The word is given.  Shooters come out of the woodwork.  Guns are aimed.

The Silver Crab stops.  We HEAR a HIGH-FREQUENCY WHINE as the microwave cannon comes alive.

Don Macchio looks down at the pool.  The water—

—is beginning to boil.

All across the grounds, the shooters fall, their insides turn to steaming paste.

CLOSE on Don Macchio—

—as his eyes go wide with terror...and his glasses—

—melt.  CUT TO:

Morning.  Matt Murdock’s apartment.  His Daredevil costume crumpled on the floor.  Matt bolts up out of a heavy slumber.   “Elektra...?” he cries.

On the pillow beside him is Matt’s mother’s ring.  She was there, he realizes.  In the apartment.  While he slept.

He takes the ring in his hand, runs his fingers over it.  This is final notice—if he needs it—that Elektra has chosen her path...and it no longer includes him. 

Still holding the ring in his hand, Matt slams his fist into the wall.  The phone rings.  Matt picks it up. It’s John Mackie.  “Some protection you got me.”  Matt:  “Where are you?”  Mackie:  “Forget that.  The deal’s off.”  “Where’s your conscience?” an angry Matt demands.  But Mackie hangs up.  CUT TO:

John Mackie, racking the receiver, a nervous smile on his face.  “Okay?” he says.  ANGLE WIDENS to reveal Wilson Fisk standing beside him.  “Very good, John.  Very good.”  He reaches out, massaging Mackie’s shoulders; telling him not to worry.  We all make mistakes now and then.  They’ve been associates for too long.  They’ll work this out. 

“You’ve got to understand why I went to him, Wilson,” the edgy Mackie says.  “When you had Natchios killed, I panicked—”

While continuing to massage Mackie, Fisk explains that killing Natchios tore his soul to pieces.  “I value friendship and loyalty above everything,” he says.  “And dear John...are the only true friend I have left.”    

Mackie relaxes.  Fisk—

—snaps his neck.  CUT TO:

Murdock’s apartment.  Matt picks up his mother’s ring, walks across the bedroom to a small, adjoining room; opens the door.  Inside:  a shrine to the past.  Jesus and the Saints, from Matt’s parent’s apartment...Maggie’s picture still at the center of the firmament. He puts the ring down in front of Maggie’s picture.  In his mind, he HEARS JACK MURDOCK’S VOICE, asking him to swear he’ll give up living by his fists.  To swear on his mother’s grave.

CUT TO:  Fisk standing, surrounded by dozens of burning candles, in Vanessa’s shrine.  Gazing up at his wife’s portrait with a loss and longing, love...and shame.

CUT TO: he looks from Maggie’s photo to the devil’s mask, lying on the floor.  He turns away from his mother’s eyes.

CUT TO:  Fisk, turning away from his wife’s eyes.

CUT TO:  Matt, closing the closet door behind him.

CUT TO:  Fisk, closing the door on Vanessa.

CUT TO:  A private airstrip on Long Island.  Another of Kingpin’s weapons shipments coming in from Von Strucker.

Two goons struggle with a heavy  crate, load it into the back of a truck.

The crate comes barreling out at them, pinning them to the ground. 

Daredevil stands in the back of the truck.  He’s got three days worth of beard on his face.  And a snarl on his lips.  His costume looks like it’s in desperate need of dry-cleaning.  “Tell Fisk,” he hisses, and he sounds almost inhuman, “that it ends here.  It ends now.

“Tell him,” he goes on, as the goons open fire, as he deflects bullets with his billy-club and pounds away at them with a rage that is awful to behold, “no drug deal is too small, no arms shipment too big.  Tell him that I will not sleep any more.  I will not eat any more.  I will live for one thing and one thing alone.  To.  Destroy.  Him.”

In seconds, ten men are unconscious on the ground, DD standing over them like a mad dog.  We HEAR applause.  Daredevil turns—

—to face Bullseye, standing atop the truck.  But this is a new Bullseye, masked, wearing an outrageous costume with a bullseye on the chest.  “Whaddaya think?” he says, spinning like a runway model.  “I designed it myself.”  He jumps off the truck, approaches Daredevil.  “But you were my inspiration, old buddy.”  He laughs.  “You the man!”

“Del’re alive,” is all the astonished Daredevil can say, backing up, cautious, ready for Bullseye to strike.

“Not alive,” Bullseye says.   “Born again.”  He looks at the unconscious goons.  “And, as I’ve always suspected, we belong to the same church.”  He circles Daredevil warily, launching into a perfect imitation of Wilson Fisk.  “And don’t call me Del Toro.  The Bullseye.”  And he laughs like a maniac.  

As the two enemies continue to warily circle each other, Daredevil whips out his billy-club.  “Come on,” says Bullseye, “you don’t need that.  I don’t work for fat-boy any more.  I’m like you...I operate on my own...”

“You’re not like me,” Daredevil says.

“Come on, get real.  We both like to dress for success.  We both like to work outside the law.  And we’re both doing it for the same reasons...”

“And what reasons are those?”

“For the thrill of it!  For the dare!  We see a line, we have to cross it!  We see an edge...we have to go over it!”

“I serve justice,” Daredevil says...but even he doesn’t sound convinced.

“You serve yourself,” Bullseye says.  “I saw your face when you let me drop off that hard feelings, by the way, I would’ve done the same thing...and I knew we were one and the same.  But, y’know, there’s one thing you still need to develop...”

“What’s that?”

“A sense...”  Bullseye slaps a button on his belt, strike a Lord Byron pose.  “...of theater!”

DD’s hyper-senses pick up a radio signal, the tripping of switches.

He runs, jumps—

—just as every truck and every plane on the runway EXPLODES.  Fireball after fireball after fireball lighting the night.

ON Daredevil, on the ground, wreckage falling around him.  In the distance he HEARS laughter, but when he gets up—

—Bullseye is gone.  CUT TO:

The offices of Nelson and Murdock, the next day:  It’s a sea of chaos and Foggy’s drowning in it.  Adding to his frustration is the pre-packaged diet lunch on his desk.  “How’s anyone supposed to eat something like this?”  He reaches into his desk drawer for a Snickers, but puts it back—

—when a bedraggled Matt...unshaven and haggard...walks in.  Karen takes one look at him at her maternal instincts start to pop.  “Matt what is it?  What’s wrong?” 

Foggy doesn’t feel quite so benevolent:  “So glad,” he says, oozing sarcasm, “that you decided to grace us with your presence.” 

“I’m only here for one reason.” 

Something in Matt’s voice stops Foggy cold.  “What is it?”

“If that MTV job’s still open, Foggy, I’d advise you to take it.”

“What’re you..?”

“I quit,” Matt announces.

Foggy and Karen are stunned.  “You’re joking,” Foggy says.

Matt shakes his head.

“You can’t,” the agitated Karen says, “just walk away from all this.  Remember what you told D.A. Tower?  This is where you came from.  These people need you.”

“These people need something that I can’t give any more.”

“Is this all because of that woman?” Karen says.  “Matt, I know you, I—”

And Matt roars:  “You don’t know me, Karen!  You’ve never been able to see behind these glasses!”  He takes off his dark glasses, throws them to the ground, crushes them.  The eyes that stare at Karen’s are a demon’s:  blind and raging.  “Well, look, Karen.  Take a good long look at who I really am!”  She turns away.  He grabs her, forces her to face him.  “Look at me!”

And then Matt realizes what he’s done.  And he’s sickened.  Horrified.  “I...I’m,” he mutters.  But he can’t even apologize.

All he can do is leave.   
CUT TO:  “The Top of New York.”  Fisk and Elektra, in formal attire, in the ballroom where the charity gala was held.  But tonight the room is empty...except for the two of them.  A small band plays l940’s love songs...and they glide across the floor, Fisk surprisingly graceful, Elektra unsurprisingly luminous. They seem happy, at peace.  In love? 

“Things,” he says, “are going very well with the Council since I made an example of Don Macchio.  Everyone’s falling in line.  But we still have one small problem.”

“And what is that?” Elektra asks.

“Our friend Daredevil.  Something seems to have...set him off.”

“Oh, really?”

“Really.  He’s like a man possessed.  Totally out of control.  I thought perhaps there would be other ways to...tame him, but I see now that we have only one avenue open to us.”

Elektra looks at Fisk over her wine glass. 

Fisk smiles.  “Kill him, Elektra.  Bring all those glorious skills of yours to bear on our masked Galahad.”   

She pauses, silent.  Then nods.  “Is tonight soon enough?” she says.

“Tonight,” Fisk says, a three hundred pound Fred Astaire whirling a samurai Ginger Rogers, “would be delightful.”  CUT TO:

Matt Murdock’s apartment.  A tired Matt waking up out of a nightmare.  He sits there a moment, sweating and shaken, then walks toward the back room, toward his mother’s shrine—

—then turns away, heading for the kitchen instead.  He opens the fridge, grabs a cold drink.  But as he puts the juice carton to his lips—

—a Sai touches his throat.  “How long have you been here?” he asks,  unsurprised.  “I’ve been watching you sleep,” Elektra says.  “I’ve been watching the demons eat away at you.”  “What do you want?” Matt asks.  “I want you to leave New  York.  I want you to forget that I ever existed.  That there ever was a man named Wilson Fisk.”  “And, if I don’t?”

She moves the blade slowly across his throat.  A minor cut...but enough to draw blood.  And then—

Elektra’s gone.

But she knows Matt.  Despite her warning...he’s not going anywhere. 

Except after her.

CUT TO:  A wild storm.  Torrential rains.  Heavy winds.  Thunder and lightning.  Daredevil in pursuit...across the entire city.  Over buildings.  Through sewers.  She tries everything she can to lose him, to avoid the confrontation that must come...but the devil keeps coming.  He can’t, he won’t, let her get away. 

Finally, Daredevil and Elektra stand facing each other high atop the Manhattan Bridge.  The very place where he had his first confrontation with Bullseye. 

He’s let Matt Murdock die, he tells her; all he has now is the devil’s mask.  The demons his father warned him against...have stolen his soul.  But if he can have her...maybe there’s hope for him.  With Elektra at his side, he could forget Fisk, forget everything he ever was, everything he ever will be.  Their love is all that matters.

Elektra approaches him.  He has been her hope, she says; she saw in him a man of dreams and ideals, fighting against his demons, triumphing over them.  She loves him in a way she’s never loved before.  Every cell in her body burns for him.  Every atom sings his name.  Perhaps, with Matt’s help, she can crawl away from her demons...embrace the light. 

They kiss.

A look of astonishment crosses Daredevil’s face.

ANGLE SHIFTS—to reveal a Sai, plunged into D.D.’s back.

Elektra steps back, a look of cold sorrow on her face.  ”I’m beyond hope of saving,” she says.

A helicopter swoops down out of the night...lights flooding the bridge tower.  Inside is Wilson Fisk, watching with terrible delight—

—as DD staggers to the edge of the bridge—

—and falls, into the roiling waters below.

Fisk lowers a rope-ladder from the copter.  Elektra takes one last look at the river below, then grabs hold.  The helicopter flies away and we—


Daredevil and his universe ©copyright 2012 Marvel Entertainment.


  1. Awesome, JMD. No one would be going for another round of popcorn in the third act, that's for sure!


  2. Glad you're enjoying it, David. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the final act next week!

  3. Just read it. Very interesting. No doubt, it's a way better script than the MSJ one. MSJ did 2 mistakes : the first was the way Matt receive his powers. You respect the one from the comic, that make him an unrewarded hero. Why had he choose to change that by making matt being hurt by the radioactive liquid while he run away from his thug father ? How can a "Man without fear" be born from an escape ?

    The second one was the big change in the Matt / Elektra relationship. What make it great in the comic is that it was a relationship from the past. They used to really love each other, in a terrific passion. Then, everything stopped with the death of her father. While Jack Murdock death turned Matt into a hero, Hugo Kostas Natchios's one turned Elektra into a ragefull and bitter assassin. Now, they are so different that all that is left are bitter memories. the hope and strengh of teen people Vs the hard adult reality.

    they are no longer lovers, neither are they true enemies... they are a sad combination of both.

    You change it (probably due to the movie legnth) but adapt it for adult. MSJ tried a combination of the two, and it unbalanced the relationship. The playground fight could have been "normal" for teenagers like in the comic book (expecially since Matt isn't DD yet) but is ridiculous for two thirty something year old adults.

    I'm eager to look at the final act.

    -- Gaël

  4. It's really impossible to compare a treatment with a finished film, Gael. The closer a movie gets to reality, the more stresses arise, the more studio executives get involved, the more matters of budget and talent impact the way a script takes shape. Had my treatment gone on to script and then filming, I'm sure it would have changed. Perhaps dramatically.

    All that said, I'm very glad you're enjoying the treatment and I hope the finale pleases you, as well.
    Be sure to let me know!

  5. Great. This was great. Can't wait for Act Three. This has to be a movie, televison show, or comic series. Its written so well. I come back wanting more immediately. Mr. DeMatteis please try your best to try and develop this into something; tv show, movie etc. This should've been the original DD movie. Reboot maybe; Ben Affleck DD = eh....

  6. Thanks so much, Rob! Very glad you're enjoying it: Act Three's coming on Monday.

    I enjoyed Affleck as Daredevil, but thought he was even better as Superman...well, as George Reeves playing Superman in HOLLYWOODLAND. If you haven't seen that movie, I highly recommend it.

  7. I've watched that Thundercats episode "Survival of the Fittest" today. Pantro was funny in that episode.

  8. Glad you enjoyed the episode, Nelson. Very happy to be a small part of the ThunderCats crew.

  9. man, buen trabajo, very good work in the caracter,
    i have some numbers where you wrote daredevil, that fights against himself in something like a lage of records...
    the first comic that i read was "the child withIn" part.IV,
    when it i was 6 old... in this moment i just enojy with the draws...and i begun to colect comics, many years later i start to look for the difernt works of artist and writters, like this i found your works, so i´m thankful for your aportation that bring inspiration!
    if you want to see some of my job chek my blog, is, at the moment where i show some of my drops...
    (i don´t want to make advertisement of myself, what i tell you is true) one more time, thanks!

  10. You're very welcome, Flip! "The Child Within" was your first comic? That was an incredibly intense story for a six year old. Glad it didn't traumatize you.

    Re: the Daredevil comic book. Yes, I wrote it for a short time and had fun playing the early "happy go luck" DD against the grim version of the character.

    I took a look at your blog: very interesting stuff. Best of luck with your work...and thanks for stopping by Creation Point.

  11. Stumbled on this as I am always looking for updates on the next Daredevil movie. Read acts I and II straight through on my smart phone.

    Great work, thanks for writing and thanks for sharing! Am a Daredevil fan of 25 years... Looking forward to act III.

  12. I really liked the cast from the DAREDEVIL film, and I could easily your script playing out with them in the same roles.


  13. Glad you stumbled on Creation Point, Rex, and very glad you're enjoying the outline. The final part goes up today. Please let me know your thoughts. Best -- JMD

  14. It was a very solid cast, David, and perhaps, in some alternate universe, they actually DID play these parts. Part Three's on its way: hope you enjoy it.

  15. It would be nice to see this script in one mini-series. Why you never wrote the book of Daredevil? You would do good work.

    1. It would be fun to do this story as a mini-series, Alex. If Marvel asks, I'm ready!

      I actually wrote DAREDEVIL for a short time in the 90's. Not long enough to really make a difference, though.

      Thanks for checking in!