With Disney's popular friend Johnny demanding he get to be Kolchak in a remake of The Night Stalker or he isn't going to play pirates anymore, the studio today made a large and somewhat surprising move forward by hiring Edgar Wright to direct the reboot. Wright hasn't been doing a whole lot of directing since Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World failed to impress at the box office, but he recently announced a start on writing a new project with Shaun of the Dead collaborator Simon Pegg, and Marvel--now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Walt Disney Corporation!--has long had him attached to direct an Ant-Man movie. There also still isn't a writer for this thing, so, basically, it could be a while before anything comes together.
But if and when it does happen, Johnny Depp will be taking the lead in the remake of the 1972 ABC TV movie, which focuses on investigative reporter Carl Kolchak's pursuit of a serial killer who ends up being one our most enduringly-profitable movie monsters: a vampire! Darren McGavin played Kolchak in the original, but Depp will assumedly make the role his own this time, combining the wide-eyed reporter kookiness of Depp in Hunter S. Thompson mode with all the wide-eyed "oh shit, the murders are being caused by an undead monster!" kookiness of Depp in Sleepy Hollow. In all likelihood, there is going to be quite a lot of wide-eyed kookiness, and Disney is excited to be working with esteemed director Edgar Wright to figure out a way to parlay all that into some sequels and a ride. Maybe the roller coaster drives in one wide eye and out the other?
Well, I guess things are going well over at the Dark Shadows set, because Johnny Depp is now confident that he should be in even more '70s supernatural TV series-turned-feature-films (this is now a genre). While Depp is currently working with Tim Burton on bringing the aforementioned '70s vampire soap opera to screens, now he reportedly wants to star in an adaptation of the 1970s show Kolchak: The Night Stalker, too. The original series spawned from a duo of successful TV movies, and starred Darren McGavin as a detective specializing in the paranormal, with Christmas Story dad investigating into cases involving things like vampires, werewolves, and cavemen unthawed back to life in modern day. Doesn't that sound just swell for a movie culture currently obsessed with classic monster archetypes and Encino Man? Disney thought so, too, so it's already going out to writers.
Also on John Depp's docket: a new telling of the legendary ride of Paul Revere. Apparently inspired by Sarah Palin's fictionalized take on the story (gotcha, Palin!), Depp and his Infinitum Nihil film banner have already set a Revere film up at Disney, too, and have Lee and Janet Batchler working on a script. It seems Paul W.S. Anderson was not the only one impressed by that pair's work on the Batman Forever script.
In the end, though, considering both projects are set up at Disney, none of this probably matters. They'll more than likely just take their Depp idol in hand, utter the incantation, and command him to put his Johnny Depp Pirate costume back on for a couple more of those things. Shame that.