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Michael Valle has passed on... An Appeal to Chris Columbus regarding SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE VENGENCE OF DRACULA!!!

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...

Readers Talkback
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  • April 12, 2001, 3:57 a.m. CST


    by kinekor

    Sherlock Holmes And The Vengence Of Dracula.We need a really good vampire movie now.Hey maybe if it is a big success and it will do for vampire movies what Scream did for horror movies.

  • April 12, 2001, 4:10 a.m. CST

    If there's any luck in the world:-

    by Brendon

    Columbus won't get anywhere near this, or any other, film, ever again. Cancer is merciless and cruel, but also blind and indiscriminate...

  • April 12, 2001, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Love in Vain

    by reni

    What an awful, terrible waste. Please don't let Micheal's script disappear into an abyss. Get it made. Summer is crying out for a film like this. The Mummy worked. League of Extraordinary by all accounts could be something special too. Come on. Show some courage.

  • April 12, 2001, 5 a.m. CST


    by FRANZ

    Harry Knowles, the more you write the more I like you. You have impeccable filmic taste. John Boorman wrote to me that I should fight for mythic subjects in films. So heartening to read your comments on the above. Thank you.

  • April 12, 2001, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Sounds fascinating

    by straxboy

    THIS is the type of movie we should be seing lots more of - super high concept projects whose concept stretches far beyond the mere logline and into the realms of boundless imagination.*sigh* you can just feel the perfectness of this concept - they better keep the title too if they make it - none of this bland 3 word high impact nonsense monikers they saddle films (and sit coms) with these days. On a similar note, has anyone else read Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (and its sequels The Bloody Red Baron et al.) Talking of high consepts this too is in the same league as De Valles script from what I know of it.DRacula has survived Van Helsing and his dudes and is part of the Victorian Royal family,keeping them in sanguine starved slavary. Vampirism is rampant and this provides a neat theory on the appearence of Jack th Ripper (who may or may not actually be Jack Seward).Arthur Holmwood is out for revenge and a host of other mythical and real life turn-of-the-century figures nd legends make welcome apearences at Vlads dreadful court. This, along with De Villes' screenplay, is the kind of INTELLIGENT post modern reclimation of the past that we should see more of. God (or, y'know, whoever) willing - we will.

  • April 12, 2001, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Columbus isn't the first to do Holmes/Dracula

    by dastinson

    Actually the handling of Holmes w/ Dracula with Holmes beleiving in Vampires is handled well in Fred Saberhagen's Dracula books. The Dracula Tapes is currently in reprint, covering Dracula's side of the events that took place in DRACULA. Then there is a Holmes/Dracula book, and the THORN series of books that take place in the relative present. The first book was written in the seventies with the rest coming out at various points up into the nineties.

  • April 12, 2001, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Sherlock Vs. Drac


    Also, In the late 80's Early 90s, I believe that Granada TV (a UK based TV company) turned out a vampire tinged episode of "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" With Jeremy Brett(?) Dunno how it turned out though :\

  • April 12, 2001, 6:46 a.m. CST


    by LeeScoresby

    Well done, Harry. Your enthusiasm for this project and the kind words you had towards the author were very touching and a fitting tribute to a talented screenwriter.

  • April 12, 2001, 7:10 a.m. CST

    Holmes & Dracula

    by DeathStalker

    IMHO, the >ABSOLUTE BEST< mixing of the two (and throw in Doc Savage, Henry Jekyll, JRR Tolkien, Miskatonic University, Bram Stoker, and a few others too!) was in the relatively unknown, out-of-print, and quite hard to find book called THE FELLOWSHIP (by Mary C. and Aden F. Romine). This book kicks ass and (with a few slight changes) would make a GREAT film - I HIGHLY recommend seeking out a copy!

  • April 12, 2001, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by jak flash 2000

    This ounds like good stuff. If anything they should mak this film and make it great in the name of this mans death writing abilities and honour. Though I must say that this doesnt sound like th Sherlock Holmnes that we have come to know through the years. Does anyone know where I can find a script for this film. Then I can judge for myself.

  • April 12, 2001, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Dracula Stuff

    by R_Nathan

    I'm not a big Chris Columbus fan, but I'd like to see this film made. - With respect to straxboy's post, I love the Kim Newman Dracula stories. In addition to his three novels, he's written at least two great short stories - one about Francis Ford Coppola doing a "Dracula" film instead of "Apocalypse Now" and one about Orson Welles doing a "Dracula" film. With respect to dastinson's post, the 0's novel you're referring to is entitled "Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula - or - The Adventure of the Sanguinary Count." The author is Lored D. Estleman. I'm writing my own "Dracula" screenplay - but it's not intended for production. It's "Dracula" as it would have been performed by the Marx Bros. It's not finished yet, but anyone who'd like to read it as a work in progress can find it at

  • April 12, 2001, 8:14 a.m. CST

    Sherlock Holmes Vs. Dracula website...

    by Uncapie

    Check out Its called the Vampire Hunters. Pretty cool!

  • April 12, 2001, 8:20 a.m. CST

    You cynical sods!!!!!

    by Rox

    This is my first time on talk back and its prompted by reading the constant and spiteful comments from "so called" movie fans who seem to have lost the plot a little with regards to what the movies are about. Sit your disgusting american butter drenched popcorn and enjoy. Harrys cool...leave him alone..he has the imagination of a child and the same level of excited expectation when it comes to movies. Harrys glass is definately "Half full" (wouldnt shag him though!)

  • April 12, 2001, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Harry Knowles and the Vengence of Michael Valle

    by Regis Travolta

    Good Show Knowles! If Columbia screws this fun script up I say we seek our own form of fanboy vengence on them. Studio executives are notorious for wrecking great projects as soon as they acquire them. If Chris Columbus really wants to do this thing justice he will commit to doing it immediately after Harry Potter wraps and not screw too much with Valle's fine screenplay. Last I heard they had that hack Rand Ravitch rewriting it, for the love of God why?

  • April 12, 2001, 9:04 a.m. CST



    While it is true that Columbus has chosen this script as his next masterpiece, it should be noted that a few script changes are in the works. First of all, the studio is distancing itself away from Dracula, the mythological entity, and leaning more toward the kid friendly Bunnicula, the popular children

  • April 12, 2001, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Actually that would be vengence from beyond the grave...

    by Regis Travolta

    The scariest and most effective form of vengence there is! Michael since I know you're reading this up in heaven make arrangements to haunt those idiot executives for all eternity if they wreck your script and if they don't get it into production within the next year then you should become their very own studio poltergeist. They will have earned some sadistic mischief on your part, maybe it will scare them into making this.

  • April 12, 2001, 10:18 a.m. CST

    we need more classic horror

    by Fleagle

    jesus..I hope this film gets made, it sounds so cool. wot happened to all the cool period horror films, dance of the vampires or wotever that polanski film was called and of course, captain kronos vampire hunter. The greatest concept for a vamp ass-kicking character ever... ex prussian soldier + samurai sword + "herbal" cigarettes + hunchbach assistant = too cool!.. im of to dig out my copy!

  • April 12, 2001, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Young Sherlock Holmes = ugh

    by TheChronic

    While I had a facination with _Young Sherlock Holmes_ back as a kid, it really wasn't that great a movie. Or rather it was sort of the same old "young adventurers" stuff of the 80's merely wrapped up in the trappings of Sherlock Holmes. It got so many things about Holmes *wrong* that it wasn't funny. (i.e. the ages of Holmes vs. Watson, how they met, their backgrounds, etc) It also really didn't do justice to the characters. I fear the same with a Columbus produced Holmes vs. Dracular. The Saberhagen book actually was clever, although it got to be a bit much there at the end. (*SPOILER WARNING* - Saberhagen suggests that Holmes may himself be partially a vampire ala Blade and that this explains his abilities) Still until the end I think Saberhagen really did capture the style and substance of Holmes. That's what is needed. Not simply a remake of some movie of the period with Holmes in place of one of the characters. (i.e. replace the characters of the Goonies or ET with Holmes for the 80's, or replace Blade with Holmes for this decade)

  • April 12, 2001, 11:32 a.m. CST

    I can only wish

    by sandman325

    For anyone who is a film fan, and more than that a fanboy. This project is the kind of thing that should make us all cream in our pants, oh wait.....there it goes. This film would be an instant classic if done correctly. As I stated earlier, I can only hope.

  • April 12, 2001, 11:32 a.m. CST

    I can only hope

    by sandman325

    For anyone who is a film fan, and more than that a fanboy. This project is the kind of thing that should make us all cream in our pants, oh wait.....there it goes. This film would be an instant classic if done correctly. As I stated earlier, I can only hope.

  • April 12, 2001, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Michael Jackson

    by Usul

    Hopefully they can nail down Michael Jackson for the part of Holmes as soon as possible

  • April 12, 2001, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Somebody Smack Me One...

    by Buzz Maverik

    I'm an insomniac so I think about weird shit when real people are sleeping. I was reevaluating Columbus' career the other night. In the 80s, I liked GREMLINS and couldn't help liking YOUNG SHERLOCK, and GOONIES was the Hardy Boys/Little Rascals movie I'd always wanted to see, but I'd grown weary of a director who, film after film seemed incapable of putting out anything mature or even above avegerage sitcom level. But I started thinking about some of his stuff that I hated. MRS. DOUBTFIRE: divorce. NINE MONTHS: committment and parenthood. STEPMOM: death, remarriage, parenting. BICENTENNIAL MAN: mortality. So now, I just don't like his movies because he casts them with overly cute, sitcomish actors and goes for the sitcom laugh instead of the cinema roar. As for this SHERLOCK HOLMES movie, I'm sorry the writer died, and maybe I'm not aware of improvements made to the script, but unless it's changed, this doesn't become a work of genius because the writer died. Dracula was going to turn everybody into a vampire by putting his blood into London's gaslights? Moriarity came across more as Dr. Evil than anything else. I dunno. Scripts change, usually by getting worse, but maybe this one got better. Besides, how can Sherlock Holmes take out Dracula when Billy the Kid already did?

  • April 12, 2001, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Fred Saberhagen wrote about Sherlock Holmes and Dracula over 20

    by BoltUpright

    In the late 70's - early 80's, Fred Saberhagen, the science fiction writer, wrote a series of novels about Dracula, including one where he faced Sherlock Holmes (it turned out Sherlock was Drac's nephew!). These were pre-Rice, and quite good, usually told from Dracula's point-of-view. I would love to see his novel produced.

  • April 12, 2001, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Jason Isaacs would kick ass as Sherlock

    by Vindibudd


  • April 12, 2001, 2:38 p.m. CST

    any SHERLOCK HOLMES movies= boring movie with bad lame *ss briti

    by mooncake

    this will suck big time! didn't speilburg did a sherlock holmes movie called PYRAMID OF FEAR or something?? it was a total piece of sh*t! sherlock holmes should stay in books & never be made into a film, it just won't work & those phoney brit accents are just to annoying!

  • April 12, 2001, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by Redwood

    Get it right, Sherlock.

  • April 12, 2001, 4:14 p.m. CST

    by Major Tom

  • April 12, 2001, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Chris Columbus is too toothless to tackle a horror project.

    by Batutta

    He has about as much edge as a teletubbie. The first hour of Young Sherlock Holmes is great stuff and entirely does justice to Sir Arthur's legendary investigator, but the second half is a lame Temple of Doom knockoff. I attribute the film's success more to Barry Levinson, who's made several movies better than anything Columbus has ever shit out. And Chris's best movie (Home Alone--no great masterpiece) was written by someone else. They should get someone else, anyone else.

  • April 12, 2001, 10:28 p.m. CST

    columbus day

    by jeff bailey

    Props to the Red Headed One for a nice eulogy. I'm sure it will be a much more fitting epitaph then a credit on a Chris Columbus movie. The only good thing about him being attached is that he can get a movie made. But wow, huh? I mean look at what he's made. I don't know how good the script is but I'm sure Columbus will drag it down to his level rather quickly. Could you believe when they gave him the hottest property in town? Sure you could. He makes 100 million dollar movies. Anybody see that trailer? Well, at least the kid looks like Potter. But just imagine if Gilliam or Spielberg or even Fincher had done it. At best, it will be a good, entertaining film. But it could have been a true classic. Columbus has made some nice time fillers but I agree that nothing ever gets past sitcom level. Now some of his earlier scripts were not bad. But overall I just think we can all agree he's no great auteur. And I am sure whatever good is in this project will be lost under his pedestrian direction. If it even gets made...

  • April 12, 2001, 11:50 p.m. CST

    It would be a nice tribute to make it & dedicate it to him

    by Tall_Boy

    sorry, I can't stand any fanboy geek cynical bashing. Caner is really sad shit.

  • April 13, 2001, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Columbus is a nice chap

    by gingeracrockford

    I've met the man twice, I was briefly considered for the role of Percy in Harry Potter. Didn't go anywhere but hey, it isn't every day you get to discuss the merits of Patrick O'Brian's work with a top Hollywood director. Oh, and we did some script as well.Hopefully he'll do this and get Alan Rickman for Holmes, Antonio Banderas for Dracula, Jim Broadbent for Watson and Anthony Hopkins for Moriarty

  • April 13, 2001, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Amazing Larry, You're a card !!

    by Groovy_Chainsaw

    You've got your movie icons backwards there, Hot Rod. Obviously, Lugosi played Dracula and Rathbone played the sleuth. However, this error on top of your gag about the urban slang term "Homes" as an homage to Holmes and a back-handed tribute to the white race, and your notion that inserting CGI recreations of screen legends would appear convincing and/or be accepted on any level, I can only assume you're gunnibg for some kind of AICN Class Clown title. Good luck.

  • April 14, 2001, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Rowe and Higgins!

    by Kielland

    You really got my mind going with this report, Harry. It would be brilliant to see Nicholas Rowe and Anthony Higgins reprise their roles. I always thought Rowe did a brilliant job as Holmes. Now, if we could only get Gary Oldman to take on the role as the prince of darkness. RAME TEPP, RAME TEPP!!!

  • April 14, 2001, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Will this one have a stain glass knight? HUH?!?

    by user id indeed!

    I won't wanna see this unless there is a window who jumps free from it's frame bondage and wreaks havoc on the people it was sworn to entertain with shiny images of virtue!!! MWAAAAA HA HA HAAA!!! Oooh! A'member that turkey at the beginning? And that gargoyle bookend? And those... um... little snacky cake things? Man, what a trippy movie. It wasn't exactly the kinda movie one would call "good" or "original", but it had plenty of good visual effects, which one has come to expect from Sherlock Holmes movies over the years. Ahem. Ah well, no need for cynicism, it's nice to see stain glass windows attack people. This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed! Would I pay $35 for a SD DVD just to see the stain glass window over and over again in frame-by-frame motion? SOLD!!!