Who is Will Devokees, and why should he play Matt Murdoch in the upcoming Daredevil reboot? Read on to find out!
Rumors broke last year that Fox is planning to reboot the Daredevil movie franchise, with director David Slade attached. The screenplay, rumored to be be based on Frank Miller's 1980s Born Again storyline, will be written by Brad Caleb Kane. But who will play Daredevil after?!
While Twilight star Robert Pattinson and Tron: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund have both been considered for the role of Matt Murdock, unknown actor Will Devokees is asking fans of the character to support his bid to star in the movie with an online petition, and has even produced his own trailer (embedded below) to show off his portrayal. Will joins The Outhouse to tell us why he should play Daredevil, and how fans can support him.
The Outhouse: Let's get this out of the way. Superhero movies are big business nowadays. You'll be fighting an uphill battle trying to get movie studios to hire an unknown actor when they can get an established star. Why should they choose you?
Will Devokees: I don't necessarily want Fox or David to choose me for the role. All I am asking is for a chance to at least audition for the role, and if things work out then we will work from there. I definitely have the drive and passion to do this.
OH: Why Daredevil?
WD: I am just fascinated with the character, he is a dark and deep character that I can empathize with. We both share similar pasts, No parents, losing loved ones, emotionally unstable, growing up poor, I had to work for everything I have right now and to get where I am. So I share a lot of similarities.... Plus he is just a flat out cool character!
OH: What kind of experience do you have acting? Is there a place people can go to see some of your past work?
WD: I have acted in a lot of student films, shorts, independent films and web shows. You can check out my website www.willdevokees.com, which I will be posting more of the movies I have been in over time. Or you can go to youtube and search Will Devokees. I have a youtube channel, and a lot of the things I have worked on, bits and pieces are in my acting reel, so it's worth a gander.
OH: Is it difficult to be a blind person in the acting business?
WD: I'm not really visually impaired, but thank... no wait.. there is no way you thought I was actually blind? My acting wasn't that good. Come on.... Trying to pull the wool over my eyes.
OH: For realz!? I was totally convinced! Seriously though, how difficult is it to portray a blind guy?
WD: For realizes! Yes and No. The contact lenses I purchased really did inhibit me from seeing, especially with all the lights reflecting off the lenses, I really couldn't see anything a lot of the time. Which really made it difficult for me to direct and to see what was being shot. Plus the fight choreography was very intensive, especially being blind. Phil Scudieri from the Delaware Budakon really did kick my ass. He is amazing and really does believe in me with this. He gave up a lot of lessons at his dojo just to help me choreograph these fights and essentially train me, play stick, and let us use his dojo for free. I am very Grateful to him. If I ever get any gig I want it in my contract that he is my personal trainer. But getting back on point I did have some help from a visually impaired woman who was kind enough to walk me through a day being blind. She taught me basics of using the cane, folding money, how she prepares her morning, etc. It was definitely a neat experience.
OH: Would you be insulted if Fox hired another actor from the trailer, like one of the random bad guys you beat up, but you didn't get the part?
WD: Haha, no no, not at all. Everyone busted their butts on this shoot, mostly for free and as a favor for me. I think it would be neat. We had tons of problems getting extras, a lot of them wouldn't show up, or would leave... so the people who did arrive I thank them very much. It's a shame because a lot of the footage we have never got used, so essentially a lot of people never got seen. The guy who play the king Pin. Ryan Phillips did a phenomenal job. A lot of people didn't like him because they felt he wasn't big enough, and what I was going for is more of a Nolan realistic approach, a soft spoken guy scares me more than some bigger guy. But a lot of the other footage we used he did a very scary job... he frightened people on set. Which is weird because he is a funny guy always laughing... soft spoken.... Watch out for em.
OH: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the trailer on youtube?
WD: The trailer has received mixed reviews. I understand not everyone is going to like me as Matt Murdock or Ol' Hornhead, but I do wish they respect all the work that went into it. And I hope people get at least something out of it even if it's like "Wow... I wouldn't go with this guy, but man they did some neat things with no money." Plus the people who don't like my performance or me in general who actually give me constructive criticism, I respect and thank them for that. They could tell me easily that they didn't like it in a foul way, so I appreciate that they take time to help better me. We get a lot of people saying "Sucked, go die you'll never make it as daredevil" Which is fine we are all entitled to our own opinions. I will say this, the positive reviews that we do get, really are awesome and gratifying to read. It makes me feel really good about doing this, almost as if I made a significant difference in some one's life, even though that is not the case. I guess it is the whole entertaining thing... I really like putting on shows for people and hearing feedback. It's hard when you are doing this thing by yourself. Luckily I had help from my Buddies Josh Lynch and Ben Bostaph to make each trailer stick out. A teacher/ Mentor of mine also played with some footage and put together a really neat, visually stunning trailer together that I put up, His name is Dorian Cleavenger, teaches a Fantasy Art course at the Douglas Education Center... the man is a wizard with after effects. I wanted to shoot more footage for him to see if he could play with and cut a trailer together, but I didn't want to over whelm him. He was working on his short film entitled "US".
OH: What did you think of Ben Affleck's performance? What will you do better?
WD: I didn't mind it. I felt he did a good job. I think the director's cut is 10 times better than the theatrical version, I just feel the movie wasn't dark enough. Daredevil is a dark character and needs a dark movie. I wanted my trailer to be very violent, we cut out a lot of things, and have hours of footage that we never used. Plus tons of things we never had time to film. I wanted to show broken bones compound fracturing out of people's arms, and teeth flying. I wanted it to be brutal... but our budget just didn't settle for that. Plus people never really showed up due to we couldn't pay them.
OH: You're not just an actor - you do special effects as well. Want to tell our readers about it?
WD: Sure, I went to the Tom Savini Special effects school. I also went to the Factory Digital film making school... which without Robert Tinnell and that school this daredevil things would have never gotten done, so I owe a lot to that man. Who essentially really helped me out with my acting career by casting me in the lead in his film "The Second Chance". But special effects are a lot of work, a lot of patience goes into it and it takes a lot of drive and passion, as does anything you have an interest in. I just prefer acting, I feel I am much better at it. Although if it is something that interests you, definitely check the school out, has some of the best teachers who are industry professionals that have worked on many big budgeted movies.
OH: Have you thought about trying to ease into this through some other comic-related projects, like the Walking Dead TV show? They could certainly use your special effects skills!
WD: I have tried getting on the show as an extra, hell I'd be happy being a zombie! I would love to be part of the show. I actually would prefer it if I got the lead in a Daredevil tv series or a web series, as I feel there is so much to expand on Murdock's story... there are a ton of stories to tell and so many things they could do with it, and I feel like it could be a lot of fun... although I still would love to do the movie. My passion is in acting and it is what I would much rather be doing. Doing special effects are fun, I love creating monsters but I don't feel I am very good at special effects, it's not my passion.
OH: Would you be offended if they decide to go with a black guy for the part instead? They do that now. It caused massive internet butthurt with the Thor movie.
WD: No I would not.
OH: Last chance to make your pitch. This website is read by tens of people. Why should Fox give you the part?
WD: Fox all I am asking for is a chance to audition, let me show you what I got. .... Oh, about that tv/web series... you should really consider it J. Thank you.
Learn more about Will Devokees at his website.
Watch Will's Daredevil trailer on youtube (also embedded below).
Finally, there is a petition set up asking Fox to give Will an audition for Daredevil. There are 288 signatures at the time of this writing, with a goal of 5000. Head on over and help him out!
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror