Fans of the ’70s television movies The Night Stalker, might be interested in the news that Johnny Depp’s production company has teamed with Disney to take the Darren McGavin series and turn it into a movie.

Originated by Darren McGavin, Kolchak was the dogged journalist first seen in the 1972 telepic (where he hunted a killer who was draining the blood of beautiful girls on the Las Vegas strip) and later in the ABC series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. Kolchak’s investigations always seemed to lead him to the doorstep of vampires, zombies, werewolves and aliens. For its time, it was pretty scary stuff.

While it was a bit slow and plodding, Depp’s performance in The Ninth Gate, and his charm in Pirates could make for a very cool Carl Kolchak.

via Deadline


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Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. LemmyCaution on

    They put out releases with Johnny up for EVERYTHING it seems…

    This is an easy one to get right. It would be fun to develop… god forbid they go with the “it’s an update of the 70s so let’s make it funny” route. As long as Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and all of the Wayans brothers stay away, I have hope.

    I’d imagine the Disney part is troubling, but if they go the PG-13 Original Fright Night route, that would be the right amount of humor vs. actually scary.

    They pretty much just have to do the original movie to fill up the two hours and then add, say, three or four other small mysteries. I’d suggest the Japanese Moss Monster in addition to the mirror witch and werewolf they will most likely pick. If they go with just a vampire for two hours, it wouldn’t capture the series as a whole. And unless it’s effectively transforms the narrative into something everyone could enjoy, like PotC, it’s unlikely to get a sequel. So it needs to get the whole thing done in one.

    I’m still hoping for Johnny as Barnabus, and to be honest, I’d rather see him in the lead of a remake of Burnt Offerings than this. There are enough other actors who I think of first. If it wasn’t for those Room 2012 movies, I’d have picked Cusack. But he’s kinda *forky done* for me now.

  2. I really loved that series. I’ve own it on DVD. I could see Johnny Depp being great as Carl Kolchak, but honestly, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role besides Darren McGavin.

    But on the other hand, anything’s better than the dreadful reboot they did with Stuart Townsend.

  3. The reboot with Townsend was more a reboot of The X-Files than Kolchak.

    The problem with doing a movie is that McGavin is so much a part of the character that I just don’t know if it can work without him. I’m trying to think of who could step into those shoes and Depp doesn’t come to mind. For some reason, a Vince Vaughn type comes to mind.

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