The Shadow May Actually Become The Shadows

January 21, 2009
Source: MTV

The Shadow

Way, way back in 2006 we covered the confirmed involvement of Sam Raimi with the adaptation of 1930's pulp comic property The Shadow, from Street and Smith Publications, who printed a large number of the classic pulp series from the 30's and 40's. The comic was previously adapted in 1994 as a vehicle for Alec Baldwin. Since then, it's been quiet. Too quiet. That is, until now. MTV caught up with co-producer Michael Uslan (who's sharing producing duties with Sam Raimi) who revealed some details about the film that seem to be sending The Shadow in some bizarre directions, including switching up the identity.

"I think the one thing going in, is we all see The Shadow as more of a force of nature than a specific person in a secret identity. The Shadow may actually be many people." Say what? The "force of nature" part particularly concerns me, as we all know how well M. Night did making forces of nature work on screen -- running from the wind bringing back any terrible memories? Now, before you abandon ship, Uslan did at one point write The Shadow comics, so his wealth of knowledge and care for the character must be deep. And do remember, Sam Raimi is involved, although that doesn't mean we're guaranteed greatness.

If you happen to be in the minority (like me), that may not necessarily set you at ease, as I personally feel the entire Spider-man franchise has been irreparably damaged by his involvement. Regardless, and even though Uslan said the production is moving steadily with writer Siavash Farahani, we may not be seeing The Shadow on film for quite some time, if ever. If it does come to fruition, are you all even interested?

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Raimi did Darkman which was an excellent movie and was a character created directly because he couldn't get the rights to "The Shadow". He is a huge fan of the story and that could be a great thing for a movie (Look at LOTR). He also originally wanted Bruce to play the lead Character ... so there is always that possibility (and who wouldn't love another BC/Raimi collaboration). Let's be honest, the Evil Dead series is some of the best movies ever made. I can't decide if I watched Army of Darkness more as a kid, a teenager, or now as an Adult. He can be an amazing film maker. I enjoyed the first Spiderman, hated the second, and refused to see the third. It might be bias, but I don't completely blame Sam and I feel there may have been some Actor/Producer/Studio ego's that hurt the films (much like I don't blame Singer for leaving X3 when the same started to happen). This might have potential... and it CAN'T be worse than "The Spirit".

Stevo on Jan 21, 2009


#1, that fact that you hated the 2nd Spiderman and liked the first...hmmmmm. The first was alright but off so much. The 2nd was done much better but the 3rd was quite horrid. I'm not going to get excited over any "talk" anymore because that's all it is. But Brandon, to say that The Happening was scary because of some wind is ridiculous not to mention M. Knight is once again an idiot. If the trees were attacking then how does the wind move? Two separate entities and one isn't even alive. M. Knight should just crawl back into his hole and stay there forever...... Back to this, it's "talk" but be nice for them to remake some movies that could be really great with new technologies and hopefully better direction, like Spawn. Great series, the movie sucked.

Aravena on Jan 21, 2009


I for one am still a huge fan of the original with Alec Baldwin. I thought it was BAD ASS!!!! My only beef is that it is impossible to find it on DVD in widescreen - I can only find it in full screen. Which i refuse to buy even if its in those dump bins @ Wal-Mart. As for this news, why the hell are they planning to may a group of Shadows? that sounds lame! But I do trust Sam Raimi, maybehe can make this work.

Conrad on Jan 21, 2009


This isn't all that much from left field, really. The Shadow of the early pulps had numerous identities, which he used pretty interchangeably to screw with people. The idea that he's more than just Lamont Cranston (or whichever name he's using, I know Cranston was the main identity of the radio serial) isn't exactly canon, but I can kind of see where they're coming from. I still don't think that assigning those different identities to different people, rather than just making them masks used by one person, is the best idea, but it might work. Maybe.

Lady Aerin on Jan 21, 2009


damn it, the baldwin [tim curry, gandalf] one was just fine!! damn u mister hollywood!!

sng. Sheep on Jan 21, 2009


As long as Raimi's not actually writing it, it could still end up pretty good. At this point he's written more bad movies than good (and he had a pretty decent streak going there with the Evil Dead series - probably why he's going back to it). As long as they keep the essence of the serials, it should be fun to watch.

Pete the Geek on Jan 21, 2009


I'm such an idiot, I read this entire article twice and all the comments thinking "is no one noticing the glaring error here? The Shadow starred Billy Zane!" And then I realized that was The Phantom, and that was awful.

Matt on Jan 21, 2009


@ No7 - The Phantom was so bad it was actually great, that the shadow and darkman are some great movies!

Robsoma on Jan 22, 2009


I agree with you about the Spiderman movies Brandon. Raimi absolutely ruined them. God knows why Sony continued to use him after the first one. The movie did well because it was SPIDERMAN (who's probably got more fans than Wolverine), not because Raimi did a good job, and it's only gotten worse from there (although not financially??!). I've seen all three, but only ever once at the cinemas, and never again. I love the Spidey comics, and am a big afficionado of Spidey-verse, but unless they "reboot" the franchise, I can only ever see it get worse under Raimi's direction. If you ask me, Raimi is up there with Uwe Boll, and should never be involved with anything cinematic ever again.

Dan on Jan 22, 2009


Raimi rules. As a huge fan of his AND of the Shadow's I think this is fantastic news. How can you say Raimi ruined the Spider-man movies? He's the one thing that kept them from falling into Fantastic Four territory.

ballyhoo on Jan 22, 2009


I would love to re-watch the original Shadow - I remember loving it. It was a hard one to push on others though, b/c it was so left of field back then and not very widely promoted. I think Sam Raimi would bea good director, I just am having trouble picturing who would fill "The Shadow's Nose".

Jimbo Slims on Jan 22, 2009


Raimi is God , make more evil deads lord raimi, and bring back venom and i'll stop touchin myself at night.

Badkarma on Jan 22, 2009


I thought the the Alec Baldwin Shadow had all the right things going for it-the lead, the budget, the period piece setting, yet, for me, it...missed. Some great moments to be sure, but I think when they tried to give the Shadow a sense of humor and gave him one-liners, it was a mistake. Yes, I know he loves to laugh, but that's about the grim, often ironic justice/fate he's going to deliver. I thought the flying knife with the teeth was kind of corny, too. I'd love to see a real "mystery man"--as opposed to superhero--as I love this pulp concept. I think it would only work in a period piece, though. Batman (whose creation was influenced by the Shadow) as a concept lends itself to updating as a high-tech, modern nihilistic hero. Mystery Men, like the Shadow, The Spider, and The Question (Rorschach?) come out of and disappear back into the, er shadows of the city.

zubzwank on Jan 22, 2009


The Shadow has always been a favorite character of mine and still is , even after the the horrendous job done to it by Baldwin and company...The Shadow has the potential to be a real thriller if handled right but I dont see that happening based on past performances and the future project ideas thus far...a real shame...if all crime-fighters were as inept as Baldwin's Shadow the criminals would win every time...whatever their plans, I hope they get it right this time...

moldybread on Jan 22, 2009

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