Sam Raimi And Liam Neeson's Forgotten Superhero Deserves A Second Chance
He may not be the most famous or most celebrated superhero, but to many fans, he is the glorious, non-Marvel/non-DC sci-fi tragic hero born from a Sam Raimi ‘90s idea about a Batman/The Shadow crossover with Phantom of the Opera/Elephant Man. We are, of course, talking about Darkman.
Even if you’re not into superhero movies, this glorious low-budget ‘90s film stars Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand in a tragic Hunchback of Notre Dame kind of story. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, well, maybe Neeson going bananas will:
Neeson himself recently said he‘d be down to read a script for a sequel (there have been two direct-to-video sequels that many have simply chosen to believe don’t actually exist). That is why we here at Cracked are officially joining the campaign to get a reboot/ remake/ sequel/ requel/ whatever of Raimi’s classic horror hybrid film, Darkman. It’ll probably have to be a legacy sequel, which is totally fine because that means we’ll get to see Neeson and McDormand return in some capacity, as well as Bruce Campbell — Darkman’s final form at the end of the movie (and a swell Raimi Easter egg).
Honestly, there really isn’t much of an excuse not to make this movie, especially since so many people already seem to be on board. Josh Ruben, the director of comedy horrors like Scare Me and Werewolves Within, is a mega Darkman fan and has been campaigning for a while now over on Twitter to direct our hero for whom there is no light — only dark.
It’d be pretty rad to see the return of the first superhero who brought the R-rating to the big screen long before Deadpool did. It was the first real on-screen horror superhero, too — Blade would only hit the theaters eight years later.
Best of all, it’s not the ‘90s anymore, which means a new Darkman movie can go where the first one fought real hard to venture. Back then, Universal was constantly protesting all the movie's darkness or whatever — so much so that they were forcing cuts after every test, even though their cuts kept yielding lower and lower scores. It got so bad that, by the end, the filmmakers secretly made their final cut, and by the time the studio found out it was too late. The suits, of course, were livid, but they couldn’t do anything about it — the negative had been cut. We don’t even want to know what would’ve been lost otherwise. Horror truly is subjective.
The same thing probably wouldn’t happen this time around (we hope). The new Batman movie showed that studios are starting to tap into the darker, more horror-like filmmaking techniques. Now it’s only a question of how bonkers they're willing to go, because Darkman isn’t Batman. Darkman is wild, and way more unstable. Darkman is everyone … and no one. Everywhere, and nowhere. He is … a guy who was burned alive and is very angry and also kind of psychotic about it because he now has the superhuman ability to change his face and look like other people.
Darkman totally rules. Give us more Darkman.
Top Image: Universal Pictures