Platinum Studios announced the feature film DEAD OF NIGHT via an exclusive feature in one of Italy’s largest newspapers, La Repubblica. The feature ran as a full page on the cover of the newspaper’s entertainment section. Even the journalist who wrote the exclusive feature was excited by it – and said it was “huge!!!!!!!” See the original piece below and a rough but concise English translation follows.
View the entire article here.
“I can read the Bible, Homer or Dylan Dog for days on end without ever feeling bored,” so states Umberto Eco, a fan of the comic created by Tiziano Sclavi in 1986, published by Sergio Bonelli Editore, a comic that has since become a real popular phenomenon (56 million copies sold in 17 countries, translated in just as many languages). “Dylan Dog” is also successful in the United States where, in 1997, Platinum Studios bought the ancillary right to the property, these include TV and Film rights as well as merchandizing.
After many attempts to extract a movie based on the adventures of the fascinating London detective, usually dressed in a black blazer, red shirt, jeans and Clarks shoes, who conquers beautiful women all the while investigating paranormal phenomenon and fights absurd monsters, zombies, vampires, werewolves “Dylan Dog” will be on the big screen next year. This ambitious film project – a Platinum and Hyde Park Productions co-production – has just been announced in Los Angeles. The film, titled “Dead of Night” in the United States, but “Dylan Dog” in the rest of the world, will be realized on a budget somewhere between 30 and 50 million dollars; principal photography is said to begin in early July. The director will be by Kevin Munroe (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) and the lead will see American rising star Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) in the role of Sclavi’s hard-boiled hero. In fact, Dylan Dog had made it to the big screen once before with “Dellamore Dellamorte”, a film by Michele Soavi (1994), with Rupert Everett, a film in which, although Dylan Dog was never mentioned, his traits, the situations he usually finds himself in and the overall tone of the comic, were all clearly presented. It also wasn’t coincidental for Rupert to play the pseudo-Dylan: Tiziano Sclavi, who had named his hero after his favorite poet Dylan Thomas, also created Dylan Dog in the image of the English actor!
For Scott Rosenberg, president of Platinum Group, and Ashok Amritraj, CEO of Hyde Park (to which we owe a number of discretely successful films and which is now in Los Angeles producing “Streetfighter”, based on the videogame) to finally realize “Dylan Dog” is nothing short of a dream come true, especially after previous attempts to set up the movie at Miramax and Dreamworks. To be able to develop the film independently, without the intervention of the major Hollywood studios is what has allowed the producers to faithfully adapt the beloved comic (the project will be looking for international markets sales at the Cannes festival).
“We do not want to compromise the classic representation of Dylan Dog, nor do we want to have to deal with people who do not know the character as well as we do”, sustains Rosenberg. “We’ve been waiting for years for this moment: we really love Dog and his mystery world”. “I knew the property but I didn’t think it would be possible to make a movie from it until I received a copy of the script from Platinum Studios”, adds Amritraj. “I liked it because it’s an action movie at the center of which we find a totally original, cool, avant-guard character, he is surrounded by an absolutely interesting world that will be intriguing to all age groups”.
The story has been moved to New York in the present day, from London where Sclavi had originally set the world. Dylan Dog is forced back into his nightmare investigation after he is approached by a woman who claims to have seen her father brutally murdered by a mysterious creature. With his street smart, his gun and a set of paranormal weapons- and the help of his sidekick- Dylan seems to be the only one capable to restore order under as well as above ground. “Even though the comic was well known in many countries, it was important to create a story that would also be relevant to those who knew nothing about Dylan”, says Kevin Munroe, already on the East coast of the US to scout for a shooting location. “Dylan returns to his investigative specialty because he is not indifferent to humans’ problems, he senses that he is needed to protect the living against the monsters that live amongst them”. Producers and director affirm that what has set Dylan Dog apart has for long contributed to his success, isn’t pure action in a world populated by vampires, zombies and werewolves: “The most exciting journey is an emotional one”, continues Munroe, “in our movie, Dylan is dragged back in the darkest side of the human emotional landscape, a place he had resisted. Dylan Dog is not a super hero, nor is he super natural, he is a man who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances: gradually, over the course of the film we discover all these creatures who live amongst us and we slowly come to understand who the real bad guys truly are”.
Like in “Men in Black”, which curiously was also originally proposed to the same Rosenberg when he was at the helm of Malibu Comics before founding Platinum Studios, the comedic aspect of the story rests on the relationship between Dylan and his sidekick: in the American version of the comic, Groucho’s moustaches had been removed to respect the wishes of the Groucho Marx estate, in the movie, the sidekick was replaced by a new fictional character who maintains the bright caustic spirit so much needed by Dylan.
“Dylan Dog is interesting because he is a faulty character, unlike Superman”, explains Brandon Routh, who has been tied to the project for two years and who has known about the comic by Sclavi for a while, since he was introduced to it by a friend who had lived in Italy for a long time. “It will be exciting to bring him on the big screen, no one has ever seen a character quite like him. It is nice to think that my presence on the project will attract the attention of both the comic and fantasy worlds, due to my previous roles. For example, Dylan is a man who ends up losing his women, a problem a lot of us can understand. He is sarcastic but also has a god hearth. It is however also clear that this is a movie about escape, but at the same time one has to confront the usual questions surrounding life and death. Some will resist the fact that an American will play the part”, admits Brandon, penned in for future sequels of the movie franchize. “But I believe the audiences will be open to our interpretation”.
Munroe considers the Dylan Dog series a lot more exciting than the Ninja Turtles: “I’m fascinated by the stories,” says the director. “They are populated by classic characters in the likes of Dirty Harry and Die Hard. And like in those movies, you understand that the worst monsters of them all are precisely human beings. It isn’t by chance that, since my first meeting with Platinum and Hyde Park, even without knowing the budget, that I said that my idea was to show Dylan Dog in his world as realistically as possible, showing how the paranormal entities coexist flawlessly in a human world. The audience must believe that zombies can exist in New York, that vampires roam free even if they can’t be seen, just like in Men in Black. I want a lot of action and very little CGI, more prosthetics and less special effects. I want to make a film that unites comedy and horror, an epic tale of love and horror.” And like Indiana Jones, Munroe will end the movie with the possibility for future sequels.