Johnny Depp has once more inserted the rose-colored lenses in his quirky designer frames, setting his sights on another nostalgia project: Deadline reports that he is teaming with his new patrons at Disney for an adaptation of The Night Stalker, the 1970s ABC TV movie about a Chicago crime reporter investigating the paranormal. It’s a solid premise, evident in the fact that it inspired its own series spinoff and influenced shows ranging from The X-Files to just about every network drama on the 2011 pilot lineup that isn’t a Mad Men rip-off. But short of ABC’s ill-advised 2005 reboot, it’s mostly existed as a fondly remembered cult curiosity name-dropped by hip filmmakers and showrunners over the years. Ergo, it’s all primed to be Depp-ified, with Depp potentially starring in the lead role in much the way he finally got to realize his lifelong dream of playing Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s upcoming Dark Shadows, and remaking it in his image the same way he will The Thin Man and The Lone Ranger.
And since Dark Shadows and The Night Stalker seem to have temporarily sated Depp’s yen to put himself in all the old supernatural shows he once loved (at least, until the Manimal rights clear), Depp has also turned his attention to non-televised history. He’s planning to retell Paul Revere’s story, particularly those famous 24 hours in which the silversmith took off on horseback to, as Sarah Palin recently elucidated, warn the British that Americans planned to protect their Second Amendment rights, just as soon as they wrote a document to which the Second Amendment could be amended. The project is in the hands of Batman Forever writers Lee and Janet Batchler, which seems like an odd choice until you realize that film was really about America’s increasingly fractured psyche in the wake of the turbulent 1960s. So, plenty of room for similar, Johnny Depp-aided reinterpretation there.