Back in the early 1970s, Kolchak: The Night Stalker began as a novel, The Kolchak Papers, written by Jeff Rice. The novel revolved around Carl Kolchak’s mission to track down a serial killer who turned out to be a vampire.
Before the novel was even published, though, the television station ABC approached Rice with a contract to turn the novel into a made-for-TV film, The Night Stalker. Rice agreed.
The success of The Night Stalker allowed ABC to make a second made-for-TV movie, The Night Strangler. But when time came to create a third one, ABC denied, for they wanted a whole TV series. And so, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a short-lived 1974-1975 TV series, was born.
And now, for whatever reason, Johnny Depp is making a movie based off the original 1974-1975 Kolchak TV series. According to Blood-Disgusting, the idea was born last summer, when Depp and his friend Christi Dembrowski were sharing fond memories of their respective childhoods. Both had been fans of the original Kolchak series, so they decided to create a modern-day adaption, which will star Johnny Depp.
According to Carol Pinchefsky of Forbes.com, Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, is expected to be the driving creative force behind the film’s adaption. In addition, as reported by Fangoria, Depp has recruited the help of Edgar Wright, the director behind Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010).
However, Disney is the core financial backer of the film. While this may not seem like a big deal, Disney-backed films have to meet certain requirements. As Deadline wrote, “The subject matter [of the film] will be tailored to fit Disney’s family film mandate and likely a PG-13 rating.”
Lastly, this is not the first time the series has seen a modern-day revival. In fact, the Night Stalker television series was remade back in 2005, though it was cancelled after only six episodes due to low ratings.
Will the big-budget adaption do better than all of its predecessors? It’s hard to tell, because there isn’t even a written script, and the team is still looking for a writer to pen that potential script. Depp has a lot of work ahead of him.