A New ’Darkman’ Sequel Is In the Works
Before Hollywood fully fell in love with comic books, they were more likely to create their own superheroes to appear in movies than adapt an existing one to the big screen. The ’80s and ’90s introduced characters like RoboCop, Meteor Man, the Toxic Avenger, Blankman, and, of course, Darkman, Sam Raimi’s brilliant creation about a scientist (played by a very young Liam Neeson) who invents an experimental fake skin but then gets his face mangled in a horrific lab fire set by mobsters. Naturally, he uses his artificial skin to create masks he can use to disguise himself as anyone he meets and gets his revenge on the people who ruined his life as Darkman.
Darkman had a wild premise, and it’s a fairly dark film for the superhero genre, especially for 1990. And, surprisingly, it was a big hit in theaters, grossing some $50 million on a small budget and then doing extremely well on home video. Universal continue the series with two direct-to-video sequels, 1995’s Darkman II: The Return of Durant and 1996’s Darkman III: Die Darkman Die, truly one of the great sequel subtitles of all time. After that, the series went into hibernation while its cult reputation grew.
Apparently it’s grown to the point now that it might finally get a fourth film. Franchise creator Sam Raimi told TheWrap that Universal Pictures, the company that produced Darkman, is “talking about a Darkman sequel” and that the project has “a producer attached already.”
“I haven’t heard the story yet or gone into it,” Raimi added, “I’ve been so busy with [Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness]. But I think it’s cool.” As for whether Neeson might return for a new Darkman, Raimi said “I don’t know if he’d do it, but he’d be incredible.”
An old cranky Darkman actually sounds like one heck of a legacyquel idea. And because he’s got his masks, you could even give him a younger persona if you want to appeal that key 18-49 demo. Like maybe Darkman mostly spends the day looking like Harry Styles and only occasionally looks like Liam Neeson. This seems like a can’t-miss blockbuster. (In all sincerity, I love Darkman, and would happily watch a new one.)
Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is now playing in theaters.