Sam Raimi to direct The Shadow remake?
I'm one of a few people who stand up and say that they liked The Shadow starring Alec Baldwin, and quite a bit of that was due to Baldwin himself, but a lot was down to the styling which kept it close to the time it was set, it didn't try and modernise it and kept a heap of humour in there at the same time.
Now the new Shadow script has been read and there's a light review online, and it's exceedingly positive. Positive if we were looking at a new dark superhero tale such as Batman's new outing, but is it The Shadow?
The Shadow, for those of you who don't know, is the story of a man who has a criminal background, a dark and dangerous character who has turned to fighting crime using his skills from his past. This was the original character from back in the thirties as he was adapted by Walter B. Gibson from the radio character that was used to announce the Detective Story Hour.
From there the character evolved, mainly when he returned to the radio in the late thirties, and the magical side entered into the story. He had learned various skills when he had travelled through Asia, the ability to become invisible and to cloud men's minds, as well as heightened physical abilities.
His character, according to Wikipedia, wore a “slouch hat and a crimson-lined cloak with an upturned collar” and he was famed for his twin Colt '45's. He fought characters with either his guns or his bare hands, remember there were no cool tools back then, apart from his ability to get into other people's minds and influence them, and mainly to make them see him as a shadow.
Let's get to the main part of the story first, during a very detailed synopsis of the script for the new The Shadow film, written by Siavash Farahani, and reviewed by IESB through Collider, they suggest that their source have heard Sam Raimi is interested in directing The Shadow rather than just producing as he is now. Well he certainly has the time doesn't he?
Now that would be an interesting look and feel for The Shadow. Forgetting about the script version for the moment, let's think of Raimi's Darkman coupled with the original Shadow character, and for a fan of the original that's an enticing idea.
However I'm concerned about the direction of the new script and where they're wanting to take the character. Reading the detailed synopsis they are keeping away from modernising the story by pulling it into the modern day, but they are taking the tone right down and the violence right up.
”There is nudity and some brutal fight scenes. A man thrown into meat grinder and coming out as ground beef on the other side. Broken bones at every turn. Body parts strewn around a train station. Hookers servicing males.
You're looking at an "R" rating which ultimately can hurt box office if not given right type of marketing. Columbia Pictures doesn't want this to become the next "Watchmen" or "Punisher: War Zone" but if you go to a PG 13 you lose the ferocity of "The Shadow" that Farahanl so meticulously crafted.”
Well it's clear that the reviewer is a big fan of this version of the script, but it concerns me a little. With all the descriptions of some of the key aspects of the script, there seems to be a reliance on the big action set pieces and the increase in violence.
Now I'm all for a brutal The Shadow, and I totally understand that in the thirties he would be rather brutal, especially considering his own background, but I'm not after another The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) , that's for Batman.
This is where I think this story could go very wrong, making things far too much like the current superhero films and darkening things down because The Dark Knight did so well.
The Shadow is dark already, and you can keep him dark, retain the original spirit, without delving him into a modern day Gotham, and that's my concern.
Would Sam Raimi pull the story back from that if he did direct, or would he leap into it and we'd just get a thirties version of The Dark Knight?