Edgar Wright to Direct Johnny Depp in Night Stalker Remake

In what seems like a smart move for everyone involved, Disney has hired Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim, Shaun of the Dead) to direct Johnny Depp in The Night Stalker, a feature remake of the 1972 ABC made for TV movie of the same name and the series spin-off it inspired. The property follows reporter Carl Kolchak, whose investigations into criminal happenings lead him to all manner of supernatural villains; Depp will star as Kolchak, which sounds promising given Wright's proven track record in genre work, even if it feels like similar stories have come and gone of late with nary a blip (the Vegas-set, vampire-themed Fright Night remake, for one).

Despite the commercial disappointment of Scott Pilgrim (which nevertheless, it should be noted, went on to become a cult hit), the film demonstrated Wright's strength of vision and knack for refreshing, energetic storytelling -- qualities woefully lacking in Depp's last few projects, with the exception of Rango. Even in the well-loved and storied character of Jack Sparrow in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean there was a glint sadly, noticeably missing from Depp's eyes. Call it passion, or inspiration, or energy; Depp can pull off a starring turn in his sleep, but he's at his best when paired with directors with strong creative visions.

Meanwhile, the Disney gig also seems like a step up for Wright, who co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin and is attached to Ant-Man but has yet to shake off the specter of Scott Pilgrim. But assuming a decent writer is tapped to pen a script, and assuming Disney finds a way to sell it better than it has this season's big budget pic John Carter, Night Stalker could give all involved a strategic career boost. Fingers crossed!

Disney Taps Edgar Wright To Helm Johnny Depp In ‘The Night Stalker’ Feature Redo [Deadline]


  • ILDC says:

    "Despite the commercial disappointment of Scott Pilgrim (which nevertheless, it should be noted, went on to become a cult hit)..."

    That's because it didn't need to cost over $60 million. Who actually heard of the comic before the movie was announced? And it was being called a cult hit before it came out.

    I like Edgar, but if you're going to something really self-indulgent, do it as cheap as possible, or cast someone like Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead. Wright can clearly make a really cool-looking movie on a tight budget. Though I must admit, I mostly lay the blame on Scott Pilgrim's failure on Universal. Who would you rather see kicking ass: every action star ever, or Michael Cera?

    • Jen Yamato says:

      Well, that's why it's good for Wright to have a star like Depp as an anchor. If Cera had been more famous, more of the uninitiated might have seen SP. I hope the added boost of star power compliments Wright's style and doesn't overshadow it.