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Carl Kolchak + Johnny Depp = Big-Screen NIGHT STALKER!!

I am – Hercules!!

Johnny Depp could play Carl Kolchak in a big-screen version of “The Night Stalker,” based on the monster-hunting journalist played on TV by Darren McGavin.

The original blockbuster 1972 “Night Stalker” TV-movie was scripted by the great Richard Matheson (“The Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek,” “Duel,” “Trilogy of Terror”), based on the novel by Jeff Rice.

It eventually evolved into one of my favorite series ever, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” which ran a single season and featured such writers as Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and David Chase, who went on to bigger things.

Man, I hope this doesn't delay "Pirates of the Caribbean V," which I wish was in cinemas right now.

Find all of Deadline’s exclusive, which also indicates Depp is looking to make a movie about how Paul Revere warned the British, here.


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  • July 12, 2011, 12:10 a.m. CST


    by Mr.Soap


  • July 12, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    wasn't that show also the inspiration of the X Files?

    by torontoxic


  • July 12, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    They should cast David Duchovny instead

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    As Fox Mulder was the spiritual son of Kolchak (and thet even got Darren McGavin in a guest spot on The X-Files once).

  • July 12, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST


    by Tim Reuschling

  • July 12, 2011, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Oh for God's Sake

    by Michael

    Willy Wonka, Barnabas Collins, Carl many more of my early 70's childhood icons will this guy be allowed to screw up my memory of? Abrasive, aggressive, and grandiose...none of which screams "Johnny Depp" to me. At least he gets the "rumpled" right.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Because that TV remake a few years ago wasn't bad enough...

    by njscribe44

    No point going on about Hollywood's lack of originality. While the original "Stalker" was Darren McGavin's tour de force, I have to give credit to Simon Oakland as editor Vincenzo. Watching those two squabble like an old married couple was more fun than the monster scenes!

  • July 12, 2011, 12:25 a.m. CST

    I'm so tired of Johnny Depp

    by Queefer Sutherland

    So FUCKING tired. Go away, Johnny. You need a few years off, maybe more. Take a decade. You can afford it. Just get the fuck away from a camera for a while. I once liked you, but a little goes a long way. Maybe you could take a vacation on some railroad tracks. Or maybe see how well your car can fly off of a cliff or something. I know! Soak a sleeping bag in gasoline, slip inside, then light it to test its flame-resistency.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:31 a.m. CST

    If they learn from the mistakes of the remake series

    by Agent_Snake_Mcready

    This could be good. Keep the orignal's tone, a fast paced detective thriller with genuine scares. Kolchak's patter needs to be fast and cynical, its what they call, "His girl Friday", patter, watch that movie. Kolchak's not an action hero, he's an investigator - remember that, he escapes from danger by the scruff of his neck. Don't bog the character down with a backstory that kills the energy of the character (reboot series) his home life is dysfunctional because Kolchak lives for his job, which is fine by him. The monster of the piece should to used sparingly, if its on screen - then people die, you need to convey this to the audience, not over use cgi that kills the experience. Think Jaws and the original Night Stalker TV movie. Okay Hollywood, got that? Good. Now get to work.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Johnny Depp is not Carl Kolchak

    by Carl's hat

    Sure, put Kolchak up there on the big screen; I knew it'd happen sooner or later. But will somebody please tell Depp to piss off? Tonto, The Thin Man, now Carl Kolchak? Fuck off!! The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler are probably the best 2 made for tv movies ever produced, the series although short, remains as fresh today as it was when it premiered on Haloween 1975 and is still the BEST horror tv show ever made. BUT, there's no way on god's green earth that Depp can hold a candle to Darren McGavin. Same reason Stuart Townsend was no good for the role in the series from 5 or 6 years ago. He's too pretty, too freakin' SNAG. McGavin's Kolchak looked like he actually worked hard for a living. He was one of those actors hollywood can't find anymore...a real guy. Not some bloody rich, cafe latte sipping, show pony with designer stubble and pedicured toes.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    This nut thinks he's a vampire!

    by kabong

  • July 12, 2011, 12:39 a.m. CST

    That 2005 reboot had its moments but still sucked overall

    by KarlKolchak

    The original had the greatest theme song in TV history.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Depp is no Kolchak!

    by The Bear

    Why do they keep getting it wrong? Carl Kolchak is NOT a young, brooding pin-up dude. He's a middle-aged, out-of-shape, funny, constantly-irritated, badly dressed guy whose better days may be behind him but is still willing to do what it takes to get the story. He's the 50-year-old guy eating bad food and typing with two fingers in the badly lit corner of an office about to be foreclosed on. Kurl Russell could do it. Gene Hackman 30 years ago could do it. But Johnny Depp? Forget it.

  • they had a trilogy of good movies imo, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow. Idc about what else they've done together. Anyway this sounds interesting, but I see a lot of you feel he wouldn't be right in the role.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:47 a.m. CST


    by RaveX


  • July 12, 2011, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Send Depp back to his shitty Pirates franchise

    by D o o d

    Seriously, I had so much respect for depp, but that was a long time ago. He even won some gold stars for the first Pirates movie. However, the flow and quality of the Pirates movies is equivalent to the flow of the sewage from a cheap burger joint.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Bryan Cranston = Carl Kolchak

    by Carl's hat

    Even Jeff Goldblum would be OK. James Gandolfini= Tony Vincenzo. Depp = Miss Emily.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:54 a.m. CST

    All you Depp haters


    can go suck on some rat poison.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    I've felt this way for years

    by ENIK REED

  • July 12, 2011, 1:16 a.m. CST


    by MooseMalloy

    Leave Kolchak alone!

  • July 12, 2011, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Give Depp some headphones and Miss NUDE America!

    by dead youngling

  • July 12, 2011, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Kolchak as an ex News of the World reporter?

    by Fred

  • July 12, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST

    2005 Remake

    by Gislef_crow

    The remake wasn't that bad: it just wasn't Kolchak. Any show with Dan Curtis and Darin Morgan participating can't be all bad. Ironically, it was the episodes that didn't air that were probably the best. The one with the guy who feeds on his victims by sucking out their moisture was fairly creepy. The one with the woman from Babylon 5 (the Minbari, can't think of her name) in the partial remake of "The Night Strangler" was also good.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:47 a.m. CST

    So weird......

    by Roffstafarian

    Remember when you'd get *excited* to hear Johnny Depp had signed on for a movie? How the times have changed.........

  • July 12, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    FRED WARD, dammit!

    by JaguarWong

    He's about 10-15 years too old now, but the only actor I could ever see as a replacement for McGavin in a KOLCHAK reboot was Fred Ward. Fred effing TREMORS Ward. And you know I'm right!

  • July 12, 2011, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Bill Murray or Vince Vaughn

    by Hercules

    Neither can really replace McGavin, but I'd still buy that ticket.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST

    I hope this DOES delay Pirates 5!

    by oisin5199

    Forever! Haven't we had enough of that franchise? Really? And I think Depp could do a fine Kolchak character. Depends on how he plays it. People here don't seem to remember that Depp's got quite a range and can most certainly do quirky and non-typical leading man roles.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:12 a.m. CST

    Pirates has damaged Depp's presence.

    by yamayama

    When i think of Depp now i think Tim Burton movies and Hans Zimmer soundtrack. Kolchak was already late in his years during the series. There is only one man who could play Kolchak in the 21st century; Lance Henriksen. Also The Night Stalker was an incredibly creepy and intense show for its time. Giving it the blockbuster treatment would ruin it i think. It would work has a proper horror tv show maybe on the Starz network.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST

    How about a Kolchack/Kojak crossover?

    by KilliK

    Kojak and his San Francisco police department try to hunt down a mysterious serial killer whose victims are found drained out of their blood. The strange circumstances that surround this case rise the interest of Kolchack who comes in San Francisco to write about this story. Kojak and Kolchack meet and after some dispute,they decide to work together and try to capture the mysterious killer. you can title the movie The K & K Files

  • July 12, 2011, 2:24 a.m. CST

    I like Cranston ...

    by heroic_duo

    And let's get Wes Anderson to direct. I'm serious- Kolchak would be at home in a Wes Anderson universe

  • July 12, 2011, 2:33 a.m. CST

    I actually really fucking liked the 2005 series.

    by nico_laos

    Yeah, it was canceled after six episodes, but I still thought it was good television. And gislef is right, some of the best episodes never aired. The DVD collection has all 10. The episode titled 'What's the Frequency Kolchack?' was some of the best televised horror I've ever seen. Genuinely creeped me out.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:58 a.m. CST

    Pirates has damaged Depp's presence.

    by Hercules

    Agreed. What did "The Tourist" and "The Brave" do for it?

  • July 12, 2011, 3:01 a.m. CST

    Johnny Depp + anything= my waning interest in movies.

    by Keith Maniac

    An update of an old television show you say ?, with Johnny Depp in the lead role you say?, but they've not even had chance to piss all over...sorry...."reboot" The Lone Ranger yet. In all fairness this sounds like a GREAT idea, i mean if your the kind of "person" who can understand why Depp would be cast as Tonto, then it makes perfect sense to think of him to take over the role of Kolchak. A character originally played by an actor who's performance and physical demeanour bare no similarity to Depp whatsoever. Yet fear not, we're in for a treat as Depp creates another "one note" character to swagger, snarl, gurgle and gurn through another cheque picking up exercise in how to make truly excruciating cinema. I used to generally like Johnny Depp, but that was before the tragedy. The tragedy i refer to is the ongoing brutalisation of good taste known as the "Pirate" movies. With this "funny Pirate" character he has somehow put himself on the map in a way that earlier, much more interesting characters could not. Its a performance worthy of nothing more than a 3 minute sketch on The Fast Show (which Depp appeared in). He staggers in to the Salty Sea Dog, slaps some tarts arse, orders a pint, challenges the local bully to a fist fight, ducks out of the fist fight, slaps another birds arse, drinks his pint, says his catchphrase "cor, i fink i'm all at sea" and falls out of the window. The most interesting aspect of the Pirate movies is how easily and with no apparent impact on the success of the series that Orlando Bloom and Kira Knightley have been jettisoned, conclusively proving what a one horse show it is. Unfortunately the horse in question is lame and bound for the knackers yard, where it will be shot and sold for Dog food and the French. The "funny Pirate" is something of an iconic character now and that in itself is an interesting comment on the times we live in, consider iconic characters of decades past, the 60s 007 James Bond, Eastwood's man with no name, the 70s Dirty Harry, Rocky Balboa, the 80s Indiana Jones, Rambo, The Terminator, the 90s bit thin on the ground actually. Now what instantly memorable characters inhabit this blighted, corporate, movie making wasteland that pursues our sheckles each summer now, Captain Jack Sparrow (the funnyish Pirate). Now you think and i mean really think about those earlier characters and the legacy they represent and contrast that with the modern equivalence and if you can find no fault, then modern Hollywood was right about you from the start.

  • July 12, 2011, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Paul Revere warned the British...

    by tomandshell

    Am I the only one that noticed that? Looks like somebody bought their history textbook at the 99 cent store.

  • July 12, 2011, 3:12 a.m. CST

    The American glorification of Paul Revere...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...utterly eludes me. It must all be down to Longfellow's poem, because actual history does not paint the bloke in a very good light at all. Read Bernard Cornwell's 'The Fort' and open your eyes to this self-serving coward...

  • July 12, 2011, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Johnny Depp dont make good films anymore

    by Gorgomel


  • July 12, 2011, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Cardinal Richelieu tried to warn all of us.

    by Keith Maniac

    Cardinal Richelieu said : ""War is one of the scourges with which it has pleased God to afflict men." Call me insane, call me obsessed to the very brink of paranoia, but i maintain that what Armand meant to say was, "Depp is one of the scourges with which it has pleased God to afflict Cinema." Maybe its just a case of reading between the lines.

  • July 12, 2011, 4:20 a.m. CST


    by unclemonty666


  • hjhj

  • He's making less and less interesting movies these days. Why hasn't he used his new found clout to get Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote back off the ground.

  • July 12, 2011, 5:21 a.m. CST

    Depp gets attached to bullshit rumours all the time.

    by V'Shael

    Case in point being the Doctor Who big movie version. No way. Just no way. But tabloids know that slapping Depp in a story will increase their readership. There are enough tweens out there in love with the guy, that they'll buy any bullshit with his face on it.

  • July 12, 2011, 5:55 a.m. CST

    X-Files precursor? Try Department S.

    by The StarWolf

    While Carter does cite KOLCHAK as an inspiration for X-FILES, the 1968 British mystery series DEPARTMENT S (one of my all time favourites) was closer to the mark. Consider the pilot episode, for instance which starts with a commercial passenger airline having what appears to be a routine flight, only to discover when they arrive that they're six days overdue. As for yet another remake, just as Falk was Columbo and no one can touch the character, McGavin was Kolchak and no one can replace him. Hollywood: take note.

  • July 12, 2011, 6:25 a.m. CST

    When did Depp become shut a craven whore?

    by ZodNotGod

    Seriously? The guy's appetite for crap movies is rivaling Travolta and Robin Williams.

  • July 12, 2011, 6:45 a.m. CST

    Depp - "I don't watch my movies."

    by elsewhere

    Maybe you should.....

  • July 12, 2011, 6:53 a.m. CST

    the last couple years has been filled with bad movies


    maybe he's just a victim of circumstance?

  • July 12, 2011, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Fuck this shit! Where's my Man from UNCLE movie?

    by Andy Pandy

  • Who is Helena Bonham Carter going to play? I've never seen the original show, is there a woman in it? If not, she can play a vampire or something.

  • July 12, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Could be okay, but Depp's not Kolchak

    by Grendel745

    And its not an age thing (McGavin was 50 when The Night Stalker movie was released in '72 and Depp is 48 now). The only way I'd buy it is if he went out of his way to alter his physical appearance like DeNiro or Bale can because that's a big part of who Kolchak is, a paunchy middle aged guy with fierce tenacity. I'd definitely like to see Cranston or Kurt Russell though....

  • July 12, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Reteam Michael Mann and Johnny Depp

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Mann could put his dirty HD cameras to use on a gritty Kolcack update.

  • July 12, 2011, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Depp & Thin Man

    by Ninjamime

    Is this going to delay the new Thin Man movie? If so, then I'm against it!

  • July 12, 2011, 8:17 a.m. CST

    "PIRATES Damaged Depp's Presence" -- Huh?

    by Dursman2000

    Listen, I hated POTC 3, never saw 4, etc. -- but even the new movie just took in $1 BILLION dollars worldwide. He doesn't get to make these other, cool sounding projects WITHOUT Pirates. Dark Shadows, Lone Ranger, Thin Man, Paul Revere (love Colonial American history; something we don't get a whole lot of on the big screen)...even Kolchak has potential though I agree he seems wrong. The bottom line is the guy has a lot of appealing, commercial-type prospects lined up and he gets to pick and choose freely since PIRATES has established him as one of the biggest box-office draws in the world. Love it or hate those films, they've done anything BUT "damage" his presence.

  • July 12, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by Tenacious_B

    Eccentric: Yes Loveable curmudgeon: Not so much Night Stalker needs more curmudgeony lead. Darren McGavin OWNED that role Now THERE was a leveable curmudgeon. Actually I just like saying "curmudgeon" Curmudgeon.

  • July 12, 2011, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Hugh Laurie would work, too!

    by TClifton

    Like Cranston or Laurie...Depp...NO!

  • July 12, 2011, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Carl Kolchak = Ed O'Neill

    by Spyhunter

    Of course, I'd rather have a TV series with him and just forget that remake crap from a few years ago ever happened.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Kolchak's secret weapon.....RESEARCH.

    by cookylamoo

    Encounter a monster...find out what kills them, and then use it. Worked for me.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST

    I Would Rather Depp Play the Night RIDER

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    And I don’t mean the “Knight” Rider, although we know a big screen version of that is on it’s way at some point. No, I’m talking about the lunatic from Mad Max – I’m sure with the right writer’s on board there’s a compelling family drama just waiting to be told.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:21 a.m. CST


    by Truxton Spangler

    Just Hollywood strip mining more old properties with little regard. First, Depp casts himself. Next, whatever lame "updates" or "re-imagining" they think will work to attract the modern ADD-addled audience.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:28 a.m. CST

    And, I don’t really get all of the sudden Depp hate

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    I’m sure it’s just Pirates backlash mixed in with a few people who are misdirecting the anger they feel towards Skeet Ulrich. I think Depp is just piling on the cash right now while he can – Hell I would make another Pirates movie if somebody was going to pay me 60 million dollars….

  • July 12, 2011, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Kolchak and Kojak and...

    by Gislef_crow

    Kodiak, another show of that 70s era. Then they can call it the KKK Files.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    I like the David Duchovny idea

    by HapaPapa72

    I've got nothing against Depp, but yeah, give someone else Kolchak.

  • As much as I'm a fan of the Alien series, per my moniker, I'm equally a fan of some of the 70's shows that explored the occult, like Kolchak and In Search Of... What a movie like this would need is a character actor with a good, weathered look, sparkle in the eye, and an absolute disregard for his appearance. Darren McGavin was still a handsome man, but he wore his age on his face, and his bowlegged (yet spry) walk was just as important as the straw hat on his head. Depp is far better known, now, for over-the-top (like Downey) than he is for subtlety. I know he can do it, but it's just not what he's been delivering of late. You know, I hate to use this as the go-to guy, but someone like Nathan Fillon would work. He's a bit young, but he's got that humor that just works for a character like Kolchak. Other actors that would work would be Brian Cox (though he's awfully intense), Ray Winstone (again, if he flattened his accent)... God, there's gotta be more, but many, many better men would fit the role better. All that said, I just don't know if a Kolchak movie NEEDS to be made. The horror genre is in a terrible slump right now and it just doesn't feel like the public is very interested in this type of supernatural film anymore.

  • July 12, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Paul Giamatti as Kolchak.

    by v3d

    Think about it. Remember those scenes of him arguing with Howard Stern in Private Parts? Similar intensity to the Kolchak/Vincenzo screaming matches. And this role requires a serious character actor. Bill Murray and Vince Vaughn, though interesting would be all wrong.

  • Please tell us this is a joke, Herc. I was anticipating some follow-up snark, but there was none. And I concur that Depp, and the rest of us, could use a hiatus from big tentpole movies. Now that he's less "pretty", why not do some smaller budget, character driven films for a change? Just ignore the brinks truck that is, as we speak, backing up onto your front lawn. Wrong turn, id guess...

  • July 12, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Will Ferrell as Kolchak!

    by dahveed1972

    I keed, I keed. Seriously tho, would this kind of casting surprise anyone?

  • July 12, 2011, 11:15 a.m. CST

    If you're going to remake a classic, make it a comedy...

    by Jack Desmondi

    At least that would show a little fucking imagination. You CAN'T replace Darren McGaven. This remake has no purpose whatsoever if they play it straight. So put Vince Vaughn in it and have him play a drunk fuckup reporter.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Further Adventures of Constable Ichabod Crane

    by JAGUART

    I watch Sleepy Hollow every year in October. I'd love to see a sequel to Sleepy Hollow by Burton/Depp.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Depp has been whoring himself for awhile now

    by proevad

    but I would go see this depending on who the director is.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:23 a.m. CST

    could work...

    by solitaire

    ...though I admit the Brian Cranston idea is inspired. Here's what you need to remember - Kolchack is not refined, handsome, cool, fashionable, fearless, stupid or clumsy. Kolchack is completely comfortable in his own skin, a great reporter, a great writer, intelligent, sarcastic, brave and world weary. Now, Depp can do anything. he can play that character, but the main issue is all the defining outer elements don't work in a modern setting - the seersucker suit, the kodack instematic with the huge assed flash, the tape recorder as big as a shoebox...even the bullpen area at INS doesn't work without typewriters. To do this, you need to put it in the early 70's like the show. I am a huge fan of the original, and Darren McGavin in general. Just as Depp didn't try to copy the great Gene Wilder in The Chocolate factory remake - he will probably want to go his own way with this too. Whatever happens, I still have the original and my Stuart Townsend dartboard.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Brian Cranston

    by D_T

    Agreed, that's an outstanding choice. Some of the others mentioned are good too like Hugh Laurie. Will Ferrell or Jim Carrey? j/k'ing :D

  • July 12, 2011, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Where is the "UNSUB" movie???

    by DangerDave

    If you know what I am talking about 1000+ internets to you.

  • July 12, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by batzilla


  • July 12, 2011, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Depp shouldn't play Kolchak. He should play:

    by Damned if I can login

    Ron Updike. Y'know...the snooty sissy-fied fop in the newspaper office that was the "tack in Kolchak's chair", so to speak.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Solitaire's right- set it in the 70s.

    by Carl's hat

    Get David Fincher as director, David Chase to write the script. Keep Janos Skorzeny just the way he was. Barry Atwater did a masterful job as the nameless vampire who didn't speak a single word. He played it all through his eyes and the way he moved and it was terrifying. Shoot it all at night and keep the jazzy eerie score.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Ron Updike! Ron Updike! Depp is *perfect* for that role!

    by Damned if I can login

    Go ahead and Google that name....tell me if Depp doesn't look like the guy!

  • July 12, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    R.I.P Sherwood Schwartz

    by wierdo27

  • July 12, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    R.I.P Sherwood Schwartz

    by wierdo27

  • July 12, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Most of your suggestions are forgetting one thing....

    by Mugato5150

    They need a LEADING MAN. Meaning an A or at least an A- list actor. Most of these suggestions are character actors that they wouldn't cast as the lead in what I assume will be a somewhat big budget film.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Ed Wood and What's Eating Gilbert Grape seem like a loong, long time ago

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    .you know, when Depp would actually act? Scruffy him up a bit, and I could actually see Brad Pitt as Kolchak. Paul Giamatti would be the interesting, bulldog-type choice. But as someone said above, he should be an A-lister.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    I love Depp's work overall...

    by Marshal_Lannes

    ...but he is in no way suited to play Carl Kolchak- not then, not now, not ever... You know who would make a great, world-weary Kolchak? Paul Giamatti...

  • July 12, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Apologies to Hercules and Depp fans.

    by yamayama

    I was trying to suggest that because Depp is so ingrained in the pirates films now that it would be difficult for the audience to buy into him being Kolchak. Depp is a good actor. I like Depp. But hes too...likeable has an actor. when i saw Kolchak i saw an old grumpy bastard with few friends, who was trying to redeem himself through his work. Thats why Darren McGavin was such a good actor, in that to he took a difficult character and he made you like him in spite of the flaws. Thats why i think Kolchak should be given to an older actor who looks like hes lived a lot. Hence my vote for Lance Henriksen. To sum up Depp is a good actor but he is all wrong for Kolchak.

  • July 12, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST


    by Continentalop

    I was thinking the exact same fucking thing. Paul Giamatti IS Kolchak!

  • I'm worried Depp will just be playing his character from the Ninth Gate all over again.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Or, for something completely different

    by Peter David

    Kevin Spacey. Kolchack should be seedy and unheroic looking. He should look like he's got a ton of mileage chasing down sensationalistic stories while drinking way more than he should. I just don't see the point in casting leading man types for a character who's a run down, bottom feeder of a reporter. PAD

  • July 12, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Vincenzo is...

    by Tenacious_B

    Now THERE"S your Paul Giamati role!

  • July 12, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    I was actually thinking of the original yesterday

    by melonman

    And I can honestly say Depp is the LAST person who should be in this. I don't want comedy drunk schtick Kolchak. I want embittered, skanky and downtrodden. Like Elliot Gould in The Long Goodbye, or Robert Forster in Alligator. Paul Giamatti or Clive Owen at a push.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    PAD, the only leading man who could maybe work

    by Continentalop

    Is maybe Russell Crowe. State of Play was a bad movie but Crowe was able to pull off a very believable performance in that film as a jaded, cynical and world-weary reporter who still has some ethics.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    peter david: Spacey's a good call

    by melonman

  • July 12, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Johnny Depp = Low com dom for goths with bad taste

    by awepittance

  • July 12, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    First Dark Shadows then this...?

    by The Alienist

    Who knew there was a Johnny Depp/Dan Curtis connection... What's next, a film remake of "Winds of War"?

  • July 12, 2011, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Since Ghostbusters 3 is probably never going to happen...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Bill Murray, playing it straight, would be awesome as Kolchak. Giamatti's a very strong choice, too.

  • July 12, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    "all wrong for kolchak"?

    by JaredP

    i think not. the character i remember from the show was eccentric, smart and funny. describes most of depps charcters of late too a tee. if they can get tim burton to direct even better

  • July 12, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    queefer suthereland

    by JaredP

    you're a douchebag go fuck yourself

  • July 12, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST



    don't forget Nick Charles...maybe not 70's but another probable thrashing

  • July 12, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST

    So long as he handles a situation by waiting until he's terrified

    by UltraTron

    to the point of mindlessness- then bursting out of the vampire's closet and forward flipping over the stair rail down to the second floor- miraculously landing without breaking a bone- then runs away screaming. And make sure to film everything in easily the lowest natural onset lighting found in any 70s series. Oh and have the chief of police call a woman a derogatory remark involving cabbage. Oh and his editor should be russel crowe

  • July 12, 2011, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Who should the editor be?

    by UltraTron

  • July 12, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    The perfect Kolchak: old & schlubby John Cusack

    by Dr.Weird

    He *is* Kolchak:

  • July 12, 2011, 2:28 p.m. CST

    I guess "The Rum Diary" is on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust?

    by Dr Gregory House

  • July 12, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Kolchak lead

    by maxwello

    I like the Brian Cranston idea. Jeff Bridges could be brilliant, but I doubt he'd want it. I know I'm gonna get flamed, but if the studio insists on a leading man, middle-aged Tom Hanks could work. His inflections and speaking cadences, particularly when agitated, remind me of McGavin, for some reason. He'd be believable in that slumpy, middle aged posture. I can picture him as a character who's still pushing, but worried he needs to be 15 years younger to get the job done, but knowing that if he doesn't do it, maybe no one else would. I don't know. Just thinking.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    who played the gay vampire on True Blood?

    by Nice Marmot

    From News Radio. He could do Kolchak...

  • July 12, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    by Michael

    Duchovny works for me, too. I wonder if he'd take it since it's so close to Mulder, but hell, it wouldn't hurt to ask him.

  • July 12, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    of course Im thinking new tv show. not movie...

    by Nice Marmot

  • July 12, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    John Getz as Kolchak

    by reni

  • July 12, 2011, 3:35 p.m. CST

    The original THE NIGHT STALKER is to Horror what DUEL is to Action.

    by SnootyBoots

    TV Movies that transcended their medium to become classics of their genres. Man, did THE NIGHT STALKER scare me as a kid.

  • July 12, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Depp single handedly proving that even second tier stars of the past

    by JackieJokeman

    completely dominate the pathetic top tier movie stars of today.

  • July 12, 2011, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Bruce Willis would be a good choice

    by murray_hamilton

    Picture an older version of his Joe Hallenbeck character from The Last Boy Scout. Throw a hat and a crappy suit on him, stick a cigarette in his mouth and there ya go: Kolchak.

  • July 12, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Bill Murray

    by Blanket-Man

    Now that would be an inspired casting move. I thought John Malkovich might be interesting, if he could try actually *acting* for the first time in awhile. Then again I've only seen him in stuff like BURN BEFORE READING and RED lately, where he's only required to play "Bizarre John Malkovich."

  • July 12, 2011, 4:50 p.m. CST

    bill murray would be sick


    bruce willis not bad either

  • July 12, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    General Depp hate aside, I'm pleased to hear this news

    by solarangel

    Yeah, Depp is currently a bit over-exposed, particularly with the latest Pirates film still knocking around our various Googolplexes. Nonetheless, I think he's a terrific, versatile actor and if he chooses to try to play Carl Kolchak, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt ahead of less talented guys in the same category, or some general unknown (the Stuart Townsend debacle is still ringing in my ears). The fact that he's a fan of the original material counts for a lot in my book. My ideal scenario has always been Hugh Laurie as Kolchak -- he's got the rumpled, edgy, smartass-y qualities you'd look for in a potential candidate, and his yank-accented voice is tonally similar to McGavin's. Whatever happens, I'm just glad this doesn't look like it's going to become a lame comedy vehicle for the likes of Adam Sandler or Rob Schneider. "You can do it, Carl!!!"

  • July 12, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Hey Depp, Peter Falk's been dead a whole week and a half now..

    by Carl's hat

    Why not dance on his grave while you're at it, and announce you and Disney (WTF?) are gonna remake Columbo? p.s. Bill Murray as Kolchak? Give me a fuckin' break.

  • July 12, 2011, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Radical Idea For Vincenzo...

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    Why not Ed Asner reprising his Lou Grant persona? Seriously, he can do gruff VERY well. As for Kolchak, Spacey would be a superb choice, and there's nothing wrong at all with Cranston. If done right, this could be a winner. The original scared the shit outta me as a kid, and the series also had a follow-up episode with a female vampire that was even scarier, if you can believe it.

  • July 12, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Dreaded..that was an epsiode called "Vampire"

    by Carl's hat

    and the female vampire in that was one of Skorzeny's victims from the original tele-movie. Nice bit of continuity there. No way was it scarier than the original but it was still excellent and had that ending with the huge burning crucifix. Remember that?

  • July 12, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    by Michael

    Depp is going to play Nick Charles? Seriously?

  • July 12, 2011, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Kyle Chandler For Kolchak

    by TheJudger

    I dont know much about this guys tv show run. He was great in Super 8, and I'm really hoping he gets to play Capt. Dan in The Black Hole remake. I can see him as Kolchak. A little more serious somehow, but I can see it.

  • July 12, 2011, 6:35 p.m. CST

    JK Simmons as Kolchak

    by m_prevette

    I'm there.

  • July 12, 2011, 6:46 p.m. CST

    That's a big fat NO to Depp....

    by BrilliantDisguise

    ....just all kinds of wrong for this role, and we ALREADY had to endure one pretty-boy version of 'Ol Carl, I don't think my poor heart could take another. Some really interesting suggestions on here with Cranston, Kurt Russell, Hugh Laurie, Spacey, Giamatti....every one I could see pulling it off....BUT....I got you all beat. The one guy I could really see totally knocking it outta the park would be JK Simmons. Repeat after me... JK Simmons IS Carl Kolchak. JK Simmons IS Carl Kolchak. That is all.

  • July 12, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Gary Oldman does burnt out like no one can

    by Dark Doom

    He would be perfect, the guy who has seen it all and has debts no honest man can pay. Oldman could be the spot on Kolchak, and start the movie in the underground city beneath Chicago, that eppy scared the shit out of me..

  • July 12, 2011, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Vincenzo? That's easy.

    by Peter David

    James Gandolfini. PAD

  • July 12, 2011, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Please delay Pirates V for this

    by catlettuce4

    Pirates IV was so bland it's a shame. Although actually... just about every alternate name mentioned in this talkback would be a better choice for the role, but Depp would potentially bring in a bigger audience.

  • July 12, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Vincenzo=Gandolfini. Keeps continuity

    by MGTHEDJ

    David Chase became friends with Simon Oakland, and when Night Stalker ended in 1976 and Chase moved to being a writer on The Rockford Files, he created for Oakland the character of rival P.I. Vern St. Cloud. Chase made St. Cloud mispronounce words in the same ways that 20 yrs later would become known as "Tony Soprano-isms." My favorite is St. Cloud pronouncing the French fashion designer as "Eve Saint Lore-in." So Gandolfini being cast would bring it full circle.-----later-----m

  • Please tell me you are...

  • July 12, 2011, 8:42 p.m. CST

    James Caan

    by Turingtestee

    I really like John Cusack for Kolchak . . . the Will Ferrell suggestion could have promise.

  • July 12, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    Gary Oldman to plat

    by dasaroo

  • July 12, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST play George Smiley!

    by dasaroo

    Remake of Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" Fucking awesome.

  • July 12, 2011, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Wasn't this a rumor 5 years ago?

    by mascan42

  • July 12, 2011, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Palin may not know her history

    by Rose

    but she makes it fun.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Depp is still too young-looking for this.

    by chien_sale

    Needs grizzeled veteran.

  • July 13, 2011, 12:18 a.m. CST

    But I second the idea of Duchovny. Great choice!

    by chien_sale

  • First off, people aren't giving credit to Depp with this. Depp's played a scruffy investigator before, a la "The Ninth Gate". Sure, he didn't have Kolchak's gravitas, but the character turned out to be smarter than everyone else in the film. As for the Stuart Townsend reboot; I liked it. It deserved a renewal - and not a cancellation - more so than Fringe did in its first season. That show was a total X-Files knock-off during S1 but boy did it kick booty starting with S2... Personally, if I were to create another tv series of Kolchak, I'd stake it halfway between the original series and the failed reboot in terms of tone. Townsend's Kolchak wasn't funny enough and his backstory made him to Mulder-esque. Who would I cast? Easy... Bruce Campbell. Campbell totally has Kolchak's self-importance streak, his buffoonery, yet is believable as the unlikely hero when necessary. He's also now middle-aged and that helps. Now, since newspapers are dying all around us, Kolchak today would be a blogger of anything weird and macabre; a failed serious journalist condemned to quack stories that turn out to be true yet nobody believes him except for his hardcore fan base. So "Freaky Links" had the right idea for this concept nearly a decade ago yet failed on execution. Hell, make this Kolchak the son of the original Kolchak and everyone's happy with such a result. Regardless, let's not be too harsh on Depp. He loves the property so unless Uwe Boll directs, it's probably in good hands. Besides, "Dark Shadows" will be out first...

  • July 13, 2011, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Holy shit...the perfect cinematic Kolchak...Bill Nighy

    by lynxpro

    But can Mr. Nighy do a Chicago accent? And then for Vincenzo, go with Ray Liotta or James Woods. I'd even suggest Ray Winstone but I'm not sure about his accent. But back to Depp. I'd say just as with a proposed cinematic Doctor Who adventure, I'd prefer Robert Downey Jr. His take on Paul Avery for "Zodiac" was close to a real-world Kolchak as one could get... Final thought...if they truly go for a remake of "The Night Stalker" tv film, it better be set in Las Vegas. However, the way Kolchak kills the vampire should be a mix between the ending to the tv movie as well as the later episode of the Kolchak series entitled "Vampire" where Kolchak overwhelmed the vampiress by burning a giant cross in the field he suckered her into chasing him in. That was so bad ass and it would be so un-PC for today that you'd just have to give it merit for being ballsy. Of course, you couldn't cast a black actor in the role of the vampire unless you just wanted to be a giant cinematic dick. Okay, maybe that really would be cool...if the vampire was portrayed by Wesley Snipes... Tarantino would probably think that was the coolest thing ever if he were to direct...

  • July 13, 2011, 4:59 a.m. CST

    Loved the Night Stalker as a kid

    by Longtime Lurker

    and I found some of the eps to be genuinely creepy. Also, a number of suggestions for casting here are intriguing. HOWEVER, I simply refuse to choke down any more of these remake/re-imagine/reboot hairballs. Sorry. Just. Done.

  • July 13, 2011, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Theendispie - There was one

    by The StarWolf

    An UNCLE movie, that is, it was called THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E or THE FIFTEEN YEAR LATER AFFAIR. Starred all the usuals and even had an amusing cameo by George "James Bond" Lazenby. They don't name his character, but his car's plates have "JB" on them. Yes, it's out on DVD. I like James Caan, but think he might be too old. McGavin was twenty years younger when he played Kolchak. 71 is pushing credibility for the action sequences the title character tended to find himself in.

  • July 13, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST

    The Episode was "Vampire"...Figures...

    by The Dreaded Rear Admiral

    Overguessed it! Yeah, the movie scared me, but the female vampire made that horrid hissing sound when she was about to attack. THAT scared the bejebus out of me. During some of her pick-ups, she remained perfectly normal, but then...HSHSSSSS! Oh, the episode is on YouTube, if anyone wants to check it out. Also, Bill Nighy...perhaps. Will Ferrell...may be a VERY long shot, but he could do it. I'm still leaning for Cranston, and I'm still enamoured of the idea of Asner replacing Vincenzo. You can't REPLACE the characters, but you can come close. Oh, and Jack Grinnage, aka Ron Updyke, is practically the only living cast member, so HE has to have a part, just for continuity's sake.

  • July 13, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Once again: Depp is perfect for Ron Updike

    by Damned if I can login

    Check the IMDB entry for Jack Grinnage, who played Ron Updike in Kolchak, and look at his photos. Depp is tailor-made for the role.

  • July 13, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Updyke...with a "y"?

    by Damned if I can login

    Guess I outta check the name spelling before posting, huh? Argh. I still say Depp should play that role.

  • July 13, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    The Vampire was damned scary, but the *really* scary one:

    by Damned if I can login

    The Spanish Moss Murders The one where "Paramafait", the moss-covered creature from the Louisiana bayou was running amok. I watched most of it from behind the couch, and that was two years ago when I got the DVD set! I kid...I was 12 when I saw it and it scared the livin' piss outta me.

  • July 13, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    PAD - I second Spacey!

    by Cadillac Jones

    I've always said he'd be a perfect Kolchak! Vincenzo? Two words - Mark Addy. Tell me you couldn't see the two of them bickering non-stop over publishing a story where a mummy woke up, killed a museum guard and walked out through a wall!

  • July 13, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    Oooh! Bruce Campbell is good too.

    by Cadillac Jones

  • July 13, 2011, 11:20 a.m. CST

    by Cadillac Jones

    But I still say Mark Addy is Vincenzo.

  • July 13, 2011, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Perfect cinematic Kolchak...Bill Nighy??? HELL YEAH

    by m_prevette

    Actually an excellent idea. As long as he can pull off a midwest America accent...he has the chops, the looks, the world weariness, the humor and the dead seriousness. Wild idea....LOVE IT

  • July 14, 2011, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Oh yes, the Spanish Moss Murders :)

    by Longtime Lurker

    When the Monster, (who I believe was Richard Kiel and who played an American Indian spirit in another ep) rises up out the water down in the sewer, that really got to me as a kid. Also that "Chopper" one with the headless biker.... I admit that the headless costume in "Chopper" was cheese, but the fact that when you heard the bike from far away and you knew he was coming.....with a sword....if you were young enough, that was a scare. :)