Edgar Wright’s ‘Night Stalker’ Reboot with Johnny Depp May Be His Next Project

Published 11 months ago by

Edgar Wright on the set of Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wrights Night Stalker Reboot with Johnny Depp May Be His Next Project

The Marvel brand has been dominating the first half of 2014, with the record-breaking success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier directly informing (and improving) the final episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season. Then, Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past bowed to big numbers and the promise of major world-building in the Spider-Man and X-Men movie universes.

As Marvel Studios gears up for the release of director James Gunn’s ambitious Guardians of the Galaxy in August, the finely-oiled that is their product assembly line has hit something of a snag – with the surprising news of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World director Edgar Wright’s departure from his long-in-development Ant-Man film.

While the going rumor has Wright exiting Ant-Man over rewrites to he and Joe Cornish’s script, we have no official word from the director himself aside from a hastily-deleted photo. While the initial reactions across the blogosphere have varied – with some calling for Disney to hire him for a Star Wars film now that he’s off Ant-Man – Wright’s next project might actually be one he started developing years ago.

However, a report from Deadline seems confident that Wright will, instead, directly move on to direct the movie reboot of cult-favorite 70s TV show The Night Stalker, which still appears to have Johnny Depp attached to star.

Johnny Deep in The Rum Diary Kolchak The Night Stalker Edgar Wrights Night Stalker Reboot with Johnny Depp May Be His Next Project

Following two TV movies (1972’s The Night Stalker and 1973’s The Night Strangler), Kolchak: The Night Stalker aired on ABC for a single season in 1974 – 1975. Starring the late character actor Darren McGavin (who will be forever remembered as the Dad from A Christmas Story), the show followed newspaper reporter Carl Kolchak as he investigated mysterious crimes which often involved supernatural elements like vampires, zombies, werewolves, and even a delightfully-70s version of a murderous artificial intelligence.

We first learned that Edgar Wright was developing a film version a few years ago – and while Depp is still thought to be involved, the last update had Wright himself stating that while he’s still attached to direct, he conceded that “I think that’s still a ways off, it’s not even been written yet but yeah, it’s happening.” According to Deadline, though, the project now has a solid script by High Fidelity screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, and we know Edgar Wright has a sudden opening in his schedule.

Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary Edgar Wrights Night Stalker Reboot with Johnny Depp May Be His Next Project

Johnny Depp in ‘The Rum Diary’

So what of Johnny Depp’s availability? The star is coming off a trio of box office under-performers (and/or flops) – Dark ShadowsThe Lone Ranger and Transcendence – but the studios have yet to completely lose faith in him. He’s currently filming the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, has Alice in Wonderland 2 on deck, and may begin filming Pirates of the Caribbean 5 sometime later this year (in addition to appearing in Disney’s fairytale musical Into the Woods this December).

There’s little doubt that The Night Stalker is firmly in both Wright and Depp’s wheelhouse, but right now it’s really anyone’s guess if this is really Wright’s next project. The show is credited with helping to inspire The X-Files, which in turn is a precursor to some of television’s more fantastical offerings, such as Fringe, Haven, and Supernatural. Wright could have a ready-made cultural linchpin if he steps into The Night Stalker next, but we should wait for official details before jumping to conclusions.


The Night Stalker is currently in development.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Depp seems to be back luck to his recent movies. I tie that to a good actor being tied to a director that doesn’t know how to use him best. If Wright and Depp were to get together hopefully it would reverse Depp’s luck.

    • Agreed although to be honest, Dark Shadows never appealed to me because I’d never heard of the original show and the trailer for the film looked like every other Burton film since the late 90s, The Lone Ranger was really boring but Transcendence was pretty good, shame not many (in the US) went to see it. Criminally underrated film.

      • I greatly dislike Johnny Depp, and what he and Tim Burton did to the great name of Dark Shadows should have gotten them banned from film-making forever. Adding the mess they made of Lone Ranger just adds more icing to the hate-cake! The original Dark Shadows series was one of the most fantastic shows I have ever seen on television (I bought the entire series on DVD!!). I enjoyed The Night Stalker movie, as well as it’s sequel The Night Strangler (which kind of copied the Night Stalker one), and was mildly entertained by the TV series, which was not as good but had Gabrielle Union in it whom I like. I would probably watch a reboot of this series, but I sure hope Johnny Dipp is not in it, as that would kind of sour it for me. The original moie for Night Stalker was preoduced by Dan Curtis, who also directed the original Dark Shadows.
        For anyone purchasing DS stuff on DVD, I would absolutely recommend the original series with Jonathan Frid and David Selby, as well as the two Dark Shadows movies, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. I could also speak fairly favorably of the mini-series for Dark Shadows starring Ben Cross. As for the Johnny Depp version, it was so bad that I would probably burn out the Screen Rant censor describing my dislike for that one!

        • “produced”. Oops.

          • Lone Ranger was okay actually.

            Just too long, it should’ve ended when the Indians attacked. All the major players were there and it would’ve made narrative sense. They added a whole additional act for no reason which I think threw people off. Not to mention that it’s considered such a big failure because the budget was so large, which is also weird considering it’s a Western and those are generally cheap.

            That and people seemed to hate it before it came out (I was one of them, but when I finally gave in and watched it I was all, “Huh… not bad…”).

  2. wonder if this will change deeps luck… the only thing that can is pirates. but really those have onl been his successful movies since the first pirates. his good movies are before them.

  3. The thing about Johnny Depp is he use to alternate his big picture pay-days with quirky little independent films that would get him good critical acclaim. Lately, it seems he’s just been following big pay-days, and a lot of the projects that will net him $20 million-plus pay-days are going to stink.

    I have to defend Dark Shadows, however. The film was mis-marketed. It was nothing like what the trailers would have you believe, although it was pretty much a copy of Edward Scissorshand. Lone Ranger seems like a case of letting Depp do what he wanted. It worked with Pirates of the Caribbean, but apparently it didn’t work out with the Lone Ranger (although I’ve seen some good reviews of the film after everyone else dissed it). With Transcendence, didn’t we see that movie already with Michael Douglas?

  4. Johnny Depp just needs a good director to force him out of his comfort zone, to go back to acting other than his trademark characters. Hopefully Edgar Wright, is that director.

  5. I hope so

  6. Screenrant, in talking about the history of Night Stalker you forgot to mention the 2005 ABC TV series remake starring Stuart Townsend as Kolchak. Only 6 episodes aired, but from what I remember it was not that bad, just in a horrible timeslot.

    Edgar Wright and Johnny Depp is an awesome pairing for this re-envisioning.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I was a fan of the show and Stuart Townsend in the lead. Its atomsphere was more dark than the original show, but that’s what I liked about it. If its in the same vein as those 10 episodes (the extra 4 were released on DVD), I can’t wait to see what Wright does with it.

  7. Maybe Wrigth is out of Marvel due personal problems. beyond the ant man movie.
    its strange the time this happened.

    • At least it shows it wasn’t an angry split w/MCU as some thought.

  8. Thats good to hear, Depp needed to step away from a Burton film…

    • o man yeah. I think it would do him well to play a more “john everyman” character.

  9. Please don’t ruin it like they did in the Lone Ranger. Keep Depp as far away from Kolchak as you can get.

    • Agreed, indeed!


    There is no way this new project will be anything like the old one but I think a Wright/Depp combo would still be awesome!

  11. Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about Wright’s departure from Ant Man in the same way I thought about Guillermo del Toro leaving The Hobbit a few years back.

    It totally s**ks and I would have loved to see his version of the character but the blessing in all this is that hopefully we can see another film from him sooner rather than later.

    Even though Night Stalker is an established property Wright wouldn’t be as beholden to prior work as he would have been with Ant Man and this could end up being closer to an Edgar Wright film than Ant Man would have been.

    • @ Kevin7 +1000

  12. Keep Depp far away from Kolchak, PLEASE!!!!!! I so looked forward to Dark Shadows and have never been so disappointed in a film as I was with that one. For me, the perfect actor for that role would be David Duchovny. Without Night Stalker, there would have been no X-Files and Darin McGavin guest starred on it as well. This would be a great way to come full circle. I think he could really do the role the justice and respect it deserves.