DEAD OF NIGHT: The best-selling horror comic in
the world is not Hellblazer or Evil Ernie, but
Dylan Dog, an Italian series about a detective of
the same name, whose cases involve supernatural
elements. The series was created by Tiziano
Sclavi, and published by Sergio Bonelli Editore.
Selling about 1 million copies per month, Dylan
Dog is unique in the comic book field because it
has almost as many female buyers as male buyers.
disegno di G.Gentili
"The movie is being fast-tracked for production,"
says Rosenberg. "The Dimension-Miramax gang love
it, specifically Bob Weinstein (co-chairman and
Dimension, and one of the heads of Miramax) and
Cary Granat (President of the Dimension label). We
already have the writing team and the director,
and everything is basically in place."
The script is now being written by newcomers
Joshua Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, who
have written unproduced scripts for Fox 2000,
Turner, and Paramount. "They really had a good
creative take on how to adapt the comic for the
movie, and we really liked the way they respected
the universe, while expanding it," says Noveck.
The film will be directed by Breck Eisner, an
award-winning commercial director (Zima, Rolled
Gold, Budweiser). "What's great about Breck is
that a lot of commercial directors come in and
start talking about the look; Breck starts talking
about the character and the story arc," adds
Although the name of Dylan Dog was well-known in
Hollywood, Platinum and Miramax realized that the
general public would not know the name, and
decided to call the film Dead of Night instead.
"The character of Dylan himself is sexy. There's
romance and love," Rosenberg notes, before adding
"and then there's absolute horror." The hard-nosed
detective is different from other supernatural
detectives such as John Constantine (from the
Hellblazer comic), Fox Mulder (from The X-Files),
or Clive Barker's Harry D'Amour (from Lord of
Illusions), though Rosenberg and Noveck are
careful about describing him too closely. "The
universe that Dylan inhabits is a very different
one," says Noveck, before Rosenberg tells me that
the veil of secrecy is tight about even what and
where the character is going in the film.
"In the comics, he's very iconoclastic," says
Noveck. "He's a classic film noir detective in a
very modern world. He's particularly choosy about
how he picks his cases; he's not a
down-on-his-luck detective. And in the comic, he's
involved with everything from serial murders to
monsters to time travel... classic horror
mythology, but all across the board." Who would
they like to see in the role? "There's no one
specific in terms of 'Oh, that's the guy we're
going after,' but there are a lot of prototypes.
Dylan McDermott comes to mind easily," says
Noveck. "There are a lot of actors who have a
physical resemblance. It ain't gonna be Danny
Once the script is finished, Platinum expects the
film to go into production quickly. "Dimension's
track record isn't waiting a couple of years to
put a movie out," says Rosenberg. Neither
Rosenberg or Noveck will comment on production
dates, but given the time involved, I'd a
franchise film series, "We're not thinking about
franchising it out yet," says Noveck. "Right now,
let's make a good movie from the comic."