The Return of the Shadow

Digital Spy has picked up on a Hollywood Reporter item that Sam (Evil Dead, Spider-Man) Raimi is to produce a new big screen adaptation of The Shadow after Columbia Pictures bought the rights to the heroic character. He apparently won’t direct this latest version featuring the adventures of the 1930s crimefighter, who has the power to cloud the minds of his adversaries.

Created by Walter B Gibson, the Shadow originated as a CBS radio show in 1931 and featured in over 300 pulp magazine stories, according to the Shadow in Review web site. I quite liked the 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin (it was directed by Russell Highlander Mulcahy and had plenty of visual panache) but I was in a minority – the film bombed at the US box office, taking just over $32 million, which didn’t recoup the estimated $40 million budget.

I’m sure that after Peter Jackson’s King Kong Hollywood execs will recognise it’s possible to set a film in the era in which the source material was created and still provide a relevance for the modern audience (just as the BBC’s underestimated Robin Hood series is doing).

Digging around, I’ve come across some great web sites devoted to the character, as well as the inevitable Wikipedia entry. The Shadow Sanctum (www.shadowsanctum.net) offers more information on the plans for the new movie and seems to offer a good range of background reference and new interpretations on the character from his many fans.



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