This could very well be Johnny Depp's version of a mid-life crisis: portraying all of his childhood favorite characters on the big screen. It's starting with the currently shooting Dark Shadows, in which he'll play vampire Barnabas Collins; will continue with him as Tonto in The Lone Ranger and now comes word he'll play reporter Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker.
Writes Deadline in an exclusive report, "Depp had fond memories of the ABC telepic and series The Night Stalker, and got Disney's Rich Ross and Sean Bailey sparked on a pitch for Depp to potentially play tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak. Originated by Darren McGavin, Kolchak was the dogged journalist first seen in the 1972 telepic (where he hunted a killer who was draining the blood of beautiful girls on the Las Vegas strip) and later in the ABC series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Kolchak's investigations always seemed to lead him to the doorstep of vampires, zombies, werewolves and aliens. For its time, it was pretty scary stuff. The studio will go out to writers shortly. David Kennedy will be exec producer."
Deadline failed to mention that there was a 1973 TV movie called The Night Strangler (co-starring Richard Dean Anderson as the creature, soon to be cast as Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man). There was also a teleplay for a third TV movie called The Night Killers, about robot duplicates being put in the place of people in crucial power positions. Additionally, in 2005 X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz served as the guiding force behind a revamped version of the show, there have been a number of novels and a wide variety of comic book adventures as well.
The two TV movies were directed by Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis and written by legendary writer Richard Matheson. The '70s TV series was guided by David Chase, who would go on to create The Sopranos.
Now that he's got Dark Shadows out of his system, Johnny Depp is moving forward with the reboot of the Darren McGavin TV movies/series, The Night Stalker, with Edgar Wright as director and newly hired D.V. DeVincentis as writer.EdGross - 5/19/2012
DeVincentis' previous writing credits include 1997's Grosse Pointe Blank, 2000's High Fidelity, 2012's Lay the Favorite and the currently in development King Dork.
The Night Stalker originally starred Darren McGavin as reporter Carl Kolchak, who continually finds himself in the position of uncovering supernatural threats that he desperately tries to expose via his writing - though he's inevitably thwarted from doing so. The concept began in the imagination of writer Jeff Rice, and was adapted to television by Dark Shadows' Dan Curtis as a 1972 TV movie in which Kolchak discovers a vampire in Las Vegas. For 1973's The Night Strangler, Kolchak relocates to Seattle where he battles a seemingly immortal killer. This was followed by a 20-episode TV series in 1974 titled Kolchak: The Night Stalker and a 2005 reboot starring Stuart Townsend and produced by The X-Files' Frank Spotnitz.
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