While speaking to Sam Raimi about his gonzo new superhero movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” we brought about his first gonzo superhero movie, “Darkman.” And whether or not there’s a possibility for a new installment in the franchise.
“Darkman” was released in 1990, accompanied by one of the more memorable promotional campaigns of the period (“Who is Darkman?”) and starring two future dynamos: Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand. It was Raimi’s first big studio movie after the indie success of his horror classic “Evil Dead II,” and while Universal probably wanted it to be the next “Batman,” it was far zanier and more esoteric, a superhero movie by way of old Universal monster movies, neo-noirs from that period and Raimi’s love of classic radio serial “The Shadow” (when we asked if he still wanted to do a “Shadow” movie, he gave an emphatic “Yes”).
And while “Darkman” wasn’t the blockbuster Universal was hoping for, it did moderately well, established a long and loyal cult following and inspired a number of ancillary material, including video games, comic books and a pair of direct-to-video sequels, 1995’s “Darkman II: The Return of Durant” and 1996’s “Darkman III: Die Darkman Die” (both had Arnold Vosloo taking over the Neeson role). There was also a pilot produced for a “Darkman” weekly TV series that was never picked up.
TheWrap asked Raimi if he’s ever thought about a “Darkman” legacy sequel. And much to our surprise, the answer was yes. “Yes. Universal is talking about a ‘Darkman’ sequel. There’s a producer attached,” Raimi confirmed. “I haven’t heard the story yet or gone into it, I’ve been so busy with this movie. But I think it’s cool.”
Universal has not yet announced any plans to continue the “Darkman” franchise nor have they confirmed the project officially, so any discussions may just be exploratory at this time.
Raimi admits that there were initially plans for a “Darkman” franchise in the ’90s but they were thwarted by the disappointing box office. “We were probably thinking if it’d be successful there’d be more,” he said. But he isn’t sitting on some ideas from that period that he’d love to finally bring to fruition.
One thing’s for sure – if Liam Neeson is up for it, Raimi would love to have him back. “I don’t know if he’d do it,” Raimi said. “But he’d be incredible.”
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is in theaters across the multiverse today.