The Hollywood Reporter broke today news of a new feature film based on The Shadow, the legendary pulp fiction, comics and radio character created by Walter B. Gibson. As the Reporter reports, Columbia Pictures acquired the film rights to the character after lengthy negotiations, and the film will be produced by the man behind the studio's latest, greatest genre franchise: Sam Raimi, director of Columbia's massive "Spider-Man" series of films. Raimi and Josh Donen will produce the film through their Buckaroo Entertainment company.
"I've been a passionate Shadow fan ever since I was a kid and have long dreamed of bringing this character to the screen," Raimi told the Hollywood Reporter. Many fans are able to see the influence of The Shadow in much of Raimi's work, most especially in his 1990 cult hit "Darkman."
The last time The Shadow was seen in cinemas was in director Russel Mulcahey's 1994 version starring Alec Baldwin. The film received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, and failed to break even at the box office.
Siavash Farahani, the writer behind the "Max Payne" adaptation for 20 th Century Fox, has been hired by Columbia to write the "Shadow" screenplay. Also producing the film is ubiquitous comics-to-film presence Michael Uslan, whose name appears in the credits of virtually every DC Comics film adaptation, and who also wrote a series of "The Shadow" comic books for DC in the 1970s.
"My first comic-book writing gig in the '70s was writing for DC's 'Shadow' comics," said Uslan. "I had the chance to spend time with Walter Gibson and derive my understanding of the character directly from the original source himself. Working with Sam, Josh and the entire team at Columbia, I know I am working with the Shadow dream team."
Raimi is not attached to direct at this time.