Edgar Wright to Direct Johnny Depp in ‘Night Stalker’ Reboot

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 31st, 2013 at 10:07 am,

We’re only a few months away from the latest whimsical supernatural flick to feature Johnny Depp (the Dark Shadows movie) and there’s already an important update on the quirky A-lister’s next cinematic foray with creatures that prefer the cover of darkness: The Night Stalker, a reboot of the franchise concerning the antics of tabloid reporter Carl Kolchak.

Depp is co-producing the Night Stalker project (via his Infinitum Nihil banner) with Walt Disney Pictures. The Mouse House has gone ahead and attached a noteworthy director to the project, even though a screenwriter has yet to be hired on. It’s a situation identical to that of the Thin Man remake, where Warner Bros. brought Rob Marshall and Depp onboard to direct and star in the flick without a complete early script draft on hand.

Edgar Wright is the man Disney has selected for the Night Stalker job. It makes sense that the Mouse House would recruit the writer/director of such cult hits as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, given that Wright is already co-writing an Ant-Man movie for the Disney-owned Marvel Studios. Whether or not he’s still on course to direct that comic book film before calling the shots on the new Depp vehicle, is not clear right now.

Deadline (in its scoop) also mentions that The Night Stalker remains “a potential star vehicle” for Depp, whereas the actor is officially signed on to headline The Thin Man. Depp’s about to commence work on Disney’s Lone Ranger adaptation – and is virtually guaranteed to add Pirates of the Caribbean 5 to his acting plate in the future – so there’s little reason to doubt that he will also end up playing the new version of Carl Kolchak.

For those not familiar with The Night Stalker, the franchise began with a 1972 TV movie about the peculiar Mr. Kolchak and his dangerous encounter with a vampire in the city of Las Vegas. Eventually the character landed his own TV series called Kolchak: The Night Stalker, which ran from 1974-75; both the TV show and original film starred Darren McGavin (of A Christmas Story fame) as the titular journalist who tended to encounter a variety of spooky monsters while on the job.

darren mcgavin night stalker Edgar Wright to Direct Johnny Depp in Night Stalker Reboot

Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak

Going off those basic ingredients (supernatural creatures and an oddball protagonist) you can already see why Disney would recruit Depp for the part of Mr. Kolchak. Nobody plays outsiders quite like Johnny, though many people are already starting to tire of seeing the actor essentially repeat his eccentric mannerisms over and over again – and that’s before many of the aforementioned Deep projects have even started production.

On the other hand, Wright is a very talented filmmaker and his off-beat storytelling style seems like both a nice fit for Depp’s screen persona and the Night Stalker series in general. Perhaps Depp will manage to find a clever new spin on his overused “quirky” acting style by collaborating on this flick with someone like Wright, whose energetic style and wit have (with good reason) earned him a solid cult following and reputation as someone who can mix wild violence and comedy with hilarious results.


We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of The Night Stalker as the story develops.

Source: Deadline

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  1. one of my favourite directors with one of my favourite actors…my expectations for this can not go higher…

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Edgar Wright has always been my favorite director and, next to Simon Pegg, I’d say Johnny Depp is right up there as one of my favorite actors.

      … This will be the greatest movie ever made.

  2. Excuse me while I have an gigantic nerdgasm!

    After seeing this movie, my life will be complete…

    • Surely your life won’t be complete until you also see The World’s End?

      • This is true! Thanks for reminding me. lol

  3. I’d imagine that Wright will be handling a good portion of the screenplay himself. In all of his work so far he has and done quite well to boot.
    I hope this ends up happening sooner than later though. Scott Pilgrim is the movie I’ve re watched the most since it’s release. And I’ve been anxious for Wright’s next directing gig.

  4. i think i would rather see ant-man first. but this sounds interesting

    • I’m with you. If he exits Ant-Man at this stage, the project could easily be pushed-back to ’14. That is, unless they’ve secretly started production, already.

  5. Original Night Stalker movie: great!
    Old reboot: haven’t seen it, looks not very good, but will watch on Netflix.
    A new reboot movie: Great if done right.
    The original Darren McGavin series: watchable.
    The Night Strangler movie: watchable, but copy of Night Stalker.
    Johnny Depp: No way, not the right man in any way for the job!

  6. Why don’t they just go ahead and do a reboot of Captain Kangaroo?

    • …. He would have more of an ‘edge’ and be ‘darker’… Mr. Green Jeans could carry a knife and have facial tats. Hmmmm could work. Maybe even Tim Burton could direct it! . Jeez….

  7. Can I speak for all of us ‘old skool’ folks who grew up with those kind of shows in saying: “THANK GOD TIM BURTON IS NOT INVOLVED!”.

    All the best guys! ~ Stark

    P.s. RIP Dark Shadows. The only thing they left off Johnny’s makeup was the red clown nose in those stills…

  8. Arrgh…I don’t know how i feel about this. Judging by the Directors past films he seems like he would do Kolchak justice. Depp…I don’t know :( I’ve seen and own the movies, tv series and have read the novels so I’m really on the fence about this. So here’s a question for anybody that knows Kolchak:

    So we have Carl, But Who’s Gonna Play Vincenzo?! Who’s gonna be able to fill those shoes?..

    • Vincenzo was the screaming editor, wasn’t he? Time to bring Dennis Franz out of retirement.

    • imo alan arkin was born for that job. no one plays an over the top employer these days like him

  9. I would like to see this short lived TV show turned into a feature film, However my problems with this is that Disney is involved which means 2 things, 1. it will be family Friendly, 2. Most likely a comedy of sort where as Depp will play the character in Characacher style and over the top version. If that is so then I will leave this behind. I would really like to see a serious horror version of the remake, I was very disappointed in Dark Shadows, but the again Tim Burton never changes his style which is Cheap Halloween make-Ups and cheesy style.

  10. Depp will do, but i really think that Aaron Eckhart would capture the genuine Kolchak essence

  11. Leave Night Stalker alone. McGavin and Oakland literally invented the characters and the chemistry of Kolchak and Vincenzo. I’d give anything to see more Night Stalker, but only with these two. I don’t want Depp doing to Kolchak what he did to Tonto and Barnabas Collins.