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— by Ryan J. Downey

As a kid, Ben Affleck was enthralled by the red-suited Marvel Comics hero Daredevil — a blind lawyer who patrols New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood at night, using extrasensory powers gained during the same accident that robbed him of his sight. Now the 30-year-old actor isn't just into Daredevil.

He is Daredevil.

 'Daredevil' Photos
"I didn't want someone else to do it," explained Affleck, relaxing into a chair in a Pasadena, California, hotel room, "because I was afraid that they would go out and do it different from the comic and screw it up."

Which isn't to say that he jumped at the chance. While making movies like "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy," Affleck discovered filmmaker Kevin Smith shares his passion for Daredevil, so much so that Smith even ended up as one of the writers of the comic. When Marvel collected Smith's "Daredevil" stories into one volume, Ben wrote the introduction, remarking that having one of his buddies write his favorite superhero took some of the magic out of it. And for a moment, he had the same apprehension about starring in the film.

 On The Set Of 'Daredevil'
"[I was thinking] if I went and did it I wouldn't be able to go and enjoy the movie as much, because I would see it for all the artifice. So there was a little bit of that, but it was tempered by my enthusiasm for being my favorite superhero."

"Daredevil" was co-created by Stan Lee, the man responsible for Spider-Man, the Hulk and the X-Men. But it was the dark vision of Frank Miller — the comic writer and illustrator known for toughening up Batman — that produced the defining Daredevil tales. His were stories about an all too vulnerable hero and his struggles with loss, redemption, tortured spirituality and a volatile relationship with a ninja assassin named Elektra. When writer/director Mark Steven Johnson approached Fox about making the "Daredevil" movie, he didn't have much on his résumé besides "Simon Birch," but his passion for the material won them over.

 '...if we were going to fail, we'd fail emulating that particular thing.' — Ben Affleck
"Not only do we both love the comic, but we love the same issues, particularly the Frank Miller run," Affleck explained. "We both felt that it was really important to at least maintain the integrity of that tone, that story line and those characters. We figured that if we were going to fail, we'd fail emulating that particular thing."

"Sometimes [filmmakers] take the comic books and they think, 'OK, we are going to turn it into a movie, but we are going to change everything,' " he continued. "We were both such big fans of it, we were like, 'Why change it? Let's just do it and keep it what it is.' "

When you take a superhero to the big screen — especially one with more of "cult" following than, say, Batman — you run the risk of infuriating the fans who passionately followed him for years, the people who understand the characters and hold them close to their hearts. Just ask "Alias" star Jennifer Garner, who signed on as Elektra in the "Daredevil" movie.




NEXT: Jennifer Garner insists she looks sexy enough, and Colin Farrell becomes a complete maniac ...
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Photo: 20th Century Fox


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