July 13 2011

Johnny Depp Sells Kolchak to Disney

KolchakApparently Johnny Depp and Disney are ready to deepen their relationship even further, and it includes one of the best properties of the 1970’s: Kolchak, the Night Stalker.

Considering the current success of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Disney is sure to be even more in love with Mr. Depp.  He’s already signed for a Lone Ranger movie with the studio, and he’s in talks for Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Now it seems his development studio, Infinitum Nihil, has sold them two more projects. The first is a movie based around Paul Revere’s midnight ride that may see him playing the famous American.  It’s the second project that made me go, “YES! MAKE THIS NOW!”

While I am not a fan of remakes or re-imaginings, Kolchak, the Night Stalker was a series that lasted half a season and two TV movies, and may be one of the greatest tragedies of short lived series ever.  (Yes, even more so than Firefly.)  Just about anyone in horror today lists this series as an influence, and it impacted X-Files so deeply they even tried to integrate the character into the mythos.  They were never able to get the character into the show, but they did get Darren McGavin, the man who played him,  to play a role in the series as a nod to its influence.

There was a horrible remake on ABC a few seasons ago, but the idea of Depp as Kolchak?  I’ll buy my ticket now.  Why will I break my hatred of remakes in this case?  That is how badly I want more of this character in my life.  While a goodly portion was the wonderfulness of McGavin, the series was so well written, and the stories so original that pretty much anyone who watched it still gets misty-eyed just thinking back on it.

Deep down I know I will probably end up disappointed, but I will give it a try.  I have faith in Depp, and I can totally see him in this roll … oh please let this happen, and please let it not suck.

And if you’ve never seen the original series … run, do not walk, and watch it.  It is truly amazing and special.

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