Darkman remains a beloved cult-classic example of '90s genre B-movie goodness. Sam Raimi's blend of sci-fi, horror and superhero action set the stage for the director's later milestone influence on the Spider-Man movie franchise – and comic book blockbuster movies as a whole. Darkman also happened to be an early launchpad for future big stars Frances McDormand and Liam Neeson, who starred as the titular "Darkman."
ComicBook.com had a chance to sit down and talk with Lim Neeson about his new film, Memory. The title of the film alone invited discussion of things past – and how many old things become new again. So could Liam Neeson ever step up to do more Darkman?
"That's a good question. I would be very interested in reading the script. Very."
As you can see in the video above (3:20), Neeson is a pro at stepping around these legacy franchise questions, by now. His mouth said he would be very interested in reading the script for a Darkman sequel, but his eyes said "I'd love to see them pull that out of their----".
Darkman is, as stated, a weird snapshot of Raimi still in something of a hodgepodge phase in his career, as he transitioned from the indie horror-comedy fame of Evil Dead, into the bigger blockbuster director he would become later. After Darkman (and the final Evil Dead film, Army of Darkness), Raimi's style would veer much more toward traditional genre fare like mystery-thrillers (A Simple Plan) or even Westerns (The Quick and the Dead) before landing Spider-Man. Now Raimi is about to drop one of the biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe movies ever (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), seems like sky is the limit after that...
The Darkman franchise continued after Raimi, with Darkman II: The Return of Durant released on home video in 1995, with the sequel's director, Bradford May, also coming back to do a third film (also direct-to-video) called Darkman III: Die Darkman Die. Neither of them had Liam Neeson making a return as scientist Peyton Westlake. Obviously, a legacy sequel would ignore Darkman 2 & 3, but there are some obvious roadblocks to it happening:
- Darkman is a franchise much more suited to be done as a streaming service feature. Liam Neeson clearly says in the video interview above that he prefers big-screen movies to TV.
- Darkman as a concept is somewhat exhausted: treatments for burn victims have come so far that Peyton Westlake's temporary liquid-skin formula is pretty much obsolete. Darkman just needs to get to LA and get a good plastic surgeon.
Liam Neeson next stars in Memory, which hits theaters on April 29th.