Robert G. Durant is a ruthless, sadistic mob boss and is the head of his own criminal organization, he served as the secondary antagonist of the first film and the main antagonist of second film. He is portrayed by Larry Drake in all his appearances.
One of the most nefarious and brutal criminals to ever live, Durant's main business interests include drug trafficking, human trafficking, racketeering, black market weapons, money laundering, and financing for various national and international criminal and terrorist enterprises. His main business front is the Intercity Land Development, where he is able to buy out pieces of property for his illegal activities.
Durant maintains a massive network of connections with the city's most powerful individuals, such as the corrupt CEO of Strack Industries, Louis Strack Jr.. Durant controls his criminal empire through bribery, blackmail, intimidation, and murder. He also employs multiple hideouts, safe houses and hidden bunkers to remain hidden from the authority.
Durant alongside his men Rick, Pauly, Smiley, Skip, and Guzman were present during an arranged meeting near the waterfront with his rival, Eddie Black. Black refused to sell his property to Durant and threatened to make an example out of them. Seeing no reason to continue negotiations peacefully, Durant ordered his men to start killing off Eddie's men. Despite being outnumbered, Durant and his men were able to wipe out Eddie's gang and by the end of the chaotic firefight, leaving Eddie as the sole survivor. Durant then proceeded to cut off Eddie's fingers one by one, using his signature cigar trimmer.
Durant was contacted by Strack, who ordered him to retrieve the incriminating document, the "Bellasarious Memorandum" that was left in Peyton Westlake's laboratory. Upon breaking into Westlake's laboratory, they proceeded to beat the scientist, as well as his assistant, Yakitito. Durant interrogated Peyton regarding the memorandum's whereabouts, but the confused scientist was unaware of such a thing. Yielding little information, Durant had Pauly batter Peyton and Rick execute Yakitito right in front of the helpless scientist. After retrieving the memorandum, they subjected Peyton to painful torture that horribly disfigured him and then left him to die in the lab's explosion.
Durant's gang began to drop like flies, and his money being stolen, he eventually discovered Westlake survived their encounter and he orchestrated an attack on Darkman's lab. The remainder of his current crew at the time were killed off and Durant ended up dragging Darkman about the city from his helicopter while firing grenades at him. In the end, Darkman hooked the helicopter's crane cable to a truck and caused it to crash while it drove into a tunnel.
The Return of DurantEdit
Durant survived the crash and was rendered into a 878 day coma, from when he awoke from, he found his empire fledgling due to the ineptitude of his crew during his absence. To regain control black market gun trade, Durant had decided to provide a new weapon all together, more powerful than any conventional firearm. He broke out a weapons scientist named Dr. Alfred Hathaway from a state institution for the criminally insane. Durant was interested in project Dr. Hathaway was developing before his arrest, an air cooled semi-automatic particle beam weapon. He accepted Durant's proposal on the condition that they found a building with a surplus of power, as the prototype model ran on conventional electricity, Durant assured the professor that he would provide the necessary assets.
Durant found a perfect location for a factory, an inner city power plant. The only obstacle was the current owner Dr. David Brinkman, who was using the place as his lab. He attempted to buy the property, but Brinkman refused to sell.
A few nights after the monetary offer, Durant and his crew visited Brinkman with the intention of pressuring him into selling, Brinkman didn't give in and attacked the criminals with a homemade laser device. Durant had his cronies brutally torture Brinkman to death. The next move was to attempt to offer Brinkman's sister Laurie one million dollars for the property, which she agreed to. However when the day came to sign the deed over, Laurie refused upon hearing Durant's name. They then moved to force her cooperation, but she was aided by one of Durant's lackeys . They managed to capture Laurie and discover that the person helping her was none other than Peyton Westlake in disguise.
With the building, Hathaway produced several of the particle rifle's they had dubbed “The Vigilante”, and arranged the sale of these weapons to a Neo-Nazi vigilante group in hopes of wiping out all other competition in the city. Knowing Darkman was after him, Durant grew paranoid and decided that the only way they could continue without trouble is if Westlake was dead. So he decided to use Laurie as bait to lure Darkman into his grasp, then he would kill them both. He was right when he discovered Darkman attempting to poison him. Durant came close to reducing his nemesis to ashes with the new weapon, but he demanded that he have one of Laurie's fingers and all ten of Darkman's. This threw Darkman into a rage and though a destructive series of events, Durant's crew, Dr. Hathaway, and the Neo-Nazi's were killed. Darkman then finally trapped Durant in his car, taunts Durant, and killed him with a remote controlled car bomb. Durant curses (by yelling 'YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!') at Darkman out of fear and anger knowing that everything he had is gone and he's going to die.
Appearances in other mediaEdit
Durant's personality consists of sadistic, sociopathic, and cynical almost emotionless behavior. He greatly enjoys killing and torturing people, in which he treats with a cynical business like attitude, he seems to lack the ability to feel emotion other than anger or greed. He is extremely paranoid and ill tempered that he’ll kill his own men on mere suggestion if they make the slightest blunder. The motives to his actions are mainly greed, he is ambitious to the point where his personal sadistic ways are used in obtaining his goals.
Durant’s modus operandi is to sever the fingers of his victims with his golden cigar trimmer, in which he collects and keeps in a box as trophies.
Powers & abilitiesEdit
A criminal mastermind of genius level intellect, Durant was a highly skilled planner and organizer who was able to maintain the various underworld network that ran through his organization. Durant also employs his personal crew of enforcers who can easily be labeled as “violence crazed losers”, preferably those with brutality and weak wills so that he can control them easier and manipulate them for his own benefit.
Durant is also shown to be an expert sharpshooter, as shown during the shootout that transpired during Eddie Black's meeting, he was able to dispatch Eddie's men each with a single bullet despite them being in moving vehicles.
Behind the scenesEdit
Robert G. Durant was portrayed by the late Larry Drake, who recalled that when he auditioned for Durant's role, Raimi was pleased by the way he underplayed the character, "quiet and careful, yet intense,". Though Raimi had not seen Drake's portrayal as Benny Stulwicz in L.A. Law, he found that Drake's face reminded him of "a modern day Edward G. Robinson. He looked so mean, so domineering, yet he had this urban wit about him. I thought, 'My God, this guy is not only threatening-looking, he has a good physical presence – what a perfect adversary for the Darkman!'"
- Durant's finger fetish derived from Sam Raimi wanting Durant to have a specific trademark, a possible hint at a military background.
- Throughout the film, it was implied that Durant and Rick had an intimate relationship.