Sam Raimi is gearing up to make his return to the superhero sandbox in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, a full 15 years after the end of his Spider-Man trilogy. Of course, the web-slinging trio wasn’t his first dalliance with the genre, with Darkman a firmly established cult classic.
30 years ago, lifelong comic book fan Raimi had been wanting to tackle a project that catered to his interests, but after failing to secure the rights to either The Shadow or Batman (which were ironically both eventually made at around the same anyway), he decided to create one of his own from the ground up.
The end result was Liam Neeson’s Dr. Peyton Wilder, who was left severely disfigured and psychologically damaged after an attack orchestrated by a ruthless crime lord, but a drastic experimental procedure manages to save his life and give him abilities that illuminate his quest for revenge.
Darkman made close to $50 million at the box office on a $14 million budget, drawing strong reviews in the process, but it never came close to launching a franchise. However, Neeson was asked in an interview with ComicBook if he’d ever be willing to reprise the role, and the veteran action star responded by saying “that’s a good question. I would be very interested in reading the script. Very.”
Given that he turns 70 years old in a few months, we don’t see a Darkman 2 ever coming to fruition, but it’s nonetheless a fascinating “what if?” to think about.
This article includes affiliate links, which may provide small compensation to We Got This Covered.