Hello everyone, Harry here... While doing my daily tour of duty today, I came across some rather uncool news at Coming Attractions regarding the author of one of my favorite unmade screenplays.... Michael Valle has passed away far too early due to the treacherous horror known as Cancer.
I had the privilege to exchange several emails with Michael Valle about his unproduced screenplay, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VENGENCE OF DRACULA.... a perfect concoction of two great literary figures that seamlessly combined the two mythologies into one another. The script delighted and thrilled me. And before HARRY POTTER changed the course of Chris Columbus' career... SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VENGENCE OF DRACULA was to be his next film.
I was happy to see the film in Chris' hands, as I'm a huge fan of Columbus' own produced screenplay for the Barry Levinson directed YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES... In a dream, the 34 year old Nicholas Rowe would be perfect to play Holmes... keeping some sort of dreamlike tie between the two films.... Heck, you could even cast the wonderful Anthony Higgins as Moriarty in the film.
But all of that is just mere fanboy musings... What I would like to see is Chris Columbus.... or whomever shall undertake this film.... to preserve the magic of the wonderful drafts that Michael Valle himself wrote. This is his one screenplay.... The script was fantastic... breathless and imaginative beyond words... It was that perfect fanciful work of fiction that fans would love... Please do the memory of Michael Valle justice Chris.
Right now, Chris Columbus has been respecting the wishes of J.K. Rowling's vision of what HARRY POTTER should be... Michael Valle will never write a follow-up screenplay... no sequels will come from him... no more greatness lies to carry his name into the pantheon of screenwriters. Chris Columbus now carries this task... to protect and do justice to a great screenplay by a basically unknown screenwriter... One that he should make a point of immortalizing by breathing life into this one script.
The rumor mill has it that Columbus wants to make SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VENGENCE OF DRACULA as his next project... God willing,
The last correspondence that I had with Michael, he was uncertain of what was happening with his script. At the time, Chris Columbus had halted his own rewrite of the script, apparently he had gotten as far as page 50 of the rewrite when he committed to Harry Potter... The chief concerns that were being addressed was that Holmes accepted the supernatural aspects of Dracula too quickly, that Moriarty sought out Holmes too quickly and to strengthen Dracula's romance with Constance. All things that in the letter from Valle, he seemed upbeat about.
But to give you an idea of what Valle thought when he first heard that Columbus was coming aboard to direct, this is what he had to say to me:
I'm glad you enjoyed my Sherlock Holmes. I heard that Chris Columbus is a nice guy and I look forward to working with him. I have no idea if he plans to rewrite my script and what changes (if any) he would want to make. I'll do my best to keep you and your readers posted on the progress of this project. Thanks again for taking the time to read the script and let's both hope the movie turns out great!
Let's all hope the movie turns out great... for Michael...