When I was a child The Night Stalker (the movie not the serial killer) based on "The Kolchak papers" by Jeff Rice, Steven Spielberg's first movie "Duel" and "Trilogy of Terror" were three of the scariest things I'd ever seen on TV.
For those of you that might not know the story "The Night Stalker" which was a "Movie Of The Week" on ABC-TV in 1972, scored the highest rating of any feature-for-TV ever made. Kolchak (Darren McGavin) was a reporter in Las Vegas. He discovers a vampire named Janos Skorsky while investigating a string of murders. Of course his editor nor anyone else believes him. The police just want it covered up so Kolchak is on his own and even though he kills the Vampire he gets run out of town.
It spawned a sequel "The Night Strangler" and a TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker.The sequel "The Night Strangler" was a really just a pilot for the TV show andthe TV series only lasted a year due to some poor writing and McGavins frustration with it becoming a monster of the week show. Yet McGavin's portrayal was legendary His wife Kathie Browne McGavin, said of McGavin "He’s very, very close to Kolchak. The people who really love The Night Stalker love Kolchak because he never gives up. He’s fighting, always fighting. You can take the monsters and take them to be anything you want – the government, big business, corrupt officials. Their hero comes at the end, beaten up but ready to go on fighting another day. I think Darren has a lot of that in his own personality."
Apparently it affected Chris Carter too because it was his inspiration for The X Files. I'm pretty sure the creators of Buffy, Fringe, and Supernatural owe Kolchak a bit of thanks too. They tried to reboot this once already as a TV series and it was God awful. It took itself way to seriously and seemed to be more style than substance to me. I think it lasted 3 or 4 episodes. So I was pretty excited earlier this year when I heard that a remake of the original movie was planned. Then I got scared!
Scared because I heard that Disney was producing it, so it has to be PG-13, Johnny Depp was in it and Edgar Wright would be directing it. Don't get me wrong I love Edgar Wright's flms, especially when he's working with Simon Pegg and I can't wait to see his Antman. Believe me I was relieved it wasn't Tim Burton rebooting it and wrecking it like he did two of my other childhood favorites "Planet of the Apes" and "Dark Shadows". Johnny Depp is a great actor but I didn't care for his Barnabas Collins or how they turned "Dark Shadows" into a lame version of the Addams Family.
That's also what scares me, I really want to see a serious version of this done. It has been so long since I've seen Johnny Depp play a mainstream character I wonder if he remembers how.Yet somehow he probably is the only actor that could pull off wearing Kolchak's straw hat. Also after Disney's Lone Ranger bombed so bad this summer maybe Disney wonders too. Despite that he still has a lot on his plate and unless he gives up the rights to this project it's probably going to be stuck in development hell for a while. With Wright I'm afraid it might just become too funny I mean I loved both "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" and I know he loves horror films I even heard that he and Simon Pegg were doing cameos in Romero's upcoming "Day of the Dead " remake. I just don't want to see him "Take the piss" as they say on my beloved Kolchak.
So what do you think? Think Depp and Wright can pull it off? Do you think they should even bother trying? Or do you think they should just hand it over to someone else?