Variety is reporting that in ongoing negotiations, the union representing Canadian actors has offered a no-strike agreement to 20th Century Fox so the studio can begin shooting its Daredevil film in Montreal as early as November. The Canadian actors union ACTRA has angered Canadian producers by offering no-strike agreements to Hollywood producers, while maintaining a hard line stance towards Canadian film and television producers. Under its current agreement ACTRA has the right to strike at any point after January 16, if an agreement is not reached by that time. The no-strike waiver would exempt Hollywood studio productions like Daredevil from the possibility of having production halted by an actor's walkout.
Writer/Director Mark Steven Johnson (Grumpy Old Men) is optimistic that Daredevil, which he describes as 'his dream project,' will begin filming on time. True to its comic source material the Daredevil film promises to be darker, edgier, and more realistic than the special effects-laden works of the current crop of celluloid spandex heroes. Early word on the screenplay for the Daredevil film has it that Bullseye, Kingpin, and Elektra are all involved.
Originally slated for a 2003 release, it appears that the Daredevil film could open in 2002 if filming does begin this November. However, there is already a logjam of Marvel movies set to release in 2002 including Blade 2, which will probably be the first film out of the box sometime in the first quarter of the year, followed by the Spider-Man movie which has a prime, early-season May 2 release date (see 'Stan Lee to Write...'). The X-Men sequel is currently slated for a late-year holiday release, which leaves precious little room in 2002 for Daredevil. Lined up behind Daredevil are a host of other Marvel movie projects in various stages of development including, among others, Ghost Rider (see 'Nicholas Cage to be Ghost Rider'), The Incredible Hulk (see 'Crouching Behemoth, Hidden Hero'), Cloak and Dagger (see 'Dimension to Develop Cloak & Dagger'), and Submariner (see 'Movie & TV Notes'). As these films reach the screen, the Marvel characters are going to reach a new, larger audience that can become consumers for other Marvel products.