Sam Raimi is the director of the upcoming Marvel movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. He created a famous Spider-Man trilogy for Sony. Today, he’s a director with some pull in the industry. In the late 1980s, while he was known for his work on The Evil Dead, he couldn’t get the rights to do a project like Batman, though he loved superhero stories. So, he decided to make his own, and that’s how the superhero-horror film Darkman starring Liam Neeson came to be. Now, That Hashtag Show is claiming to hear from their sources that Universal has been looking through their vault for a great horror franchise to reboot, and they’ve settled on Darkman.
The outlet said that after the recent success of horror movies like The Forever Purge, Candyman, and Halloween Kills at the box office, Universal feels that putting out some more horror projects is the correct next move. This led them to the forgotten Liam Neeson film. A lot of horror projects tend to have lower budgets, so they can afford to risk a release during the pandemic. As such, a lot of the lower-budget films are seeing better returns than they might have when they had to compete against blockbusters that studios are currently holding onto, waiting for people to return to movie theaters.
The outlet added that the studio executive couldn’t believe no one had ever thought to reboot Darkman before. They also said that Universal isn’t looking to bring Sam Raimi back to reboot the Liam Neeson film. Instead, they’re looking for a relatively unknown director for the project, which makes sense if they want to keep their budget low.
Darkman had a budget of $14 million and earned back $33 million at the box office. In 1980, the Liam Neeson movie was a superhero film before superhero films were popular. Even for how we know these films today, the movie blended genres in a way that made it hard for people to say what it was. Some people called it a horror movie, others an action film. The movie’s main character was tortured, mentally ill, and struggling to be a good man after a terrible and horrific accident. That Hashtag Show shared that the reboot for Darkman would focus more on his mental state and would be aiming for an R-rating.
While Universal didn’t decide to turn it into a big-screen franchise at the time, they did make two sequels that went direct to video. Liam Neeson didn’t return for those. Darkman also spawned video games and comic books.
Liam Neeson has been in a lot of movies since Darkman, including the very recently released The Ice Road. He’s been in quite a few action and thriller movies throughout his career, but says that The Ice Road may be his last. He cites his age as the reason, saying that he’s just not interested in doing fight scenes and the like anymore. The Ice Road proved to be very popular on Netflix though, so maybe he’ll be confused to try for another one or two before he takes on quieter roles.