Sam Raimi is about to make his long-awaited return to the superhero world with next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and in an ironic twist, his very first entry in the comic book movie genre could be about to be rebooted — but without him at the helm.
Over a decade before he directed 2002’s Spider-Man, Raimi invented a brand-new masked vigilante in the form of 1990’s Darkman. This dark superhero flick, inspired by Universal horror films and classic pulp fiction heroes like The Shadow, starred Liam Neeson as Dr. Peyton Westlake, a brilliant scientist who’s burned alive and left for dead and seeks revenge against the crime lord responsible using a synthetic skin formula which allows him to look like anyone but only lasts for 99 minutes.
Darkman didn’t do big business at the time, though it did become a cult favorite and produce two straight-to-video sequels – without the involvement of either Raimi or Neeson. Over 30 years later, though, Universal is apparently looking to relaunch the franchise. That Hashtag Show has revealed that sources say a Darkman reboot is happening, with a story outline already submitted. THS says the plot and lead character will be much the same, but with an added emphasis on Westlake’s degrading mental state.
Universal is said to be inspired by the recent rise in R-rated comic book films — such as Deadpool and The Suicide Squad — for this one and as such is looking to give it an R-rating, in keeping with the original movie. The ever-busy Raimi is not being courted to return. THS shares that Werewolves Within‘s Josh Ruben is one name under consideration, with Universal searching for a lesser-known director. Studio execs are apparently excited about this project and are surprised it took so long for a reboot to get off the ground.
While we wait for more news on this Darkman remake, the Sam Raimi-produced family horror Nightbooks just launched on Netflix this Wednesday.