By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated October 05, 2001 10:36 AM

Ben Affleck is without fear. That is, the “Pearl Harbor” star, 29, is preparing to join the ranks of such fearless superheroes as Batman, Superman and Conan the Barbarian by taking on the starring role of the comic book star “Daredevil,” says the Hollywood Reporter. Shooting is set to begin later this year. The character of Daredevil is, in fact, attorney Matt Murdock, who was blinded in a freak accident involving a radioactive transport truck. At the same time, his other senses were enhanced, giving him special powers and allowing the blind superhero to battle crime using this heightened awareness. According to one of the comic’s illustrators, J.M. DeMatteis (as quoted from a Daredevil Web site, of which there are many): “What I liked — and still like — about Daredevil is his passion. He’s a profoundly emotional, spiritual, and psychologically layered character.” Speaking of psychologically layered characters, “Starsky and Hutch,” from ’70s TV, are also getting the big screen treatment, notes the trade paper. Todd Phillips, who wrote and directed this year’s gross-out comedy “Road Trip,” is developing the film project, to star and be produced by Ben Stiller, 35, whose latest movie is the comedy “Zoolander.” No definitive word on whether he will play Starsky or Hutch. The original series, which ran from 1975-79 on ABC, starred Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as undercover cops. Both were bachelors — one brunet, the other blond — who raced around in Starsky’s 1974 Ford Torino, a bright red hot rod with a big white stripe. They reported to their never-happy boss, Capt. Dobey (Richard Ward), while Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas) was the team’s flamboyant street informant.