If you're a fan of Bonelli's series of Dylan Dog comic books, you should be aware by now that a film based on the character is finally in the shooting stages with Brandon Routh of Superman fame starring as the titular detective of nightmares. The film is called Dead of Night (yes, just like the classic omnibus from 1945) and has quite a decent team attached to it, lead by director Kevin Munroe and including the Oscar-winning makeup team from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The production, however, is plagued with a lot of criticism over a series of announced changes to the plot and characters including omissions of key figures and a radical location shift. The case of Constantine is being mentioned on regular basis, which certainly won't help in building any anticipation (that said, I do like Constantine for what it is).
Well, now there's an official Dead of Night production blog run by Dan Forcey (the VP of Development at Platinum Studios), which is mostly targeted at allaying fears regarding the creation of this film, and of course, triggering positive word-of-mouth for the final product. I think it works on both accounts, at least so far, and here's why. Let's start with Dan Forcey himself - he seems to be really involved in the making of this film, which is to say that he has read the comics and is aware of Dellamorte Dellamore, the brilliant Italian zombie flick based on a character from the Dylan Dog universe. Then, the name of Gioj Demarco seems to appear every now and then - this is the director and foreign library specialist attached to the film who apparently went through the script just prior to shooting and did a draft specifically intended to make things more faithfull to the comics. So far so good but what about the plot and characters?
Well, it's a mixed bag and it could still go either way, but it doesn't seem to be nearly as bad as initially thought. To begin with, the red shirt and the Beetle are there, so that's covered. Then, from what I have gathered, there probably will be a logical explanation in the film about why we'll find Dylan Dog in New Orleans and not in London, which is fine considering that there have been several episodes with Dylan Dog travelling abroad. Dan Forcey's explanation of why Groucho will not appear in the film is also quite fair, but it remains to be seen how the new character Marcus will relate to what Groucho represents in the comics. Regarding inspector Bloch, it seems that he won't appear in the film as a major character but there could be a smaller part or some kind of acknowledgment (I hope it's the first). Finally, and I think this is the most important thing: there seems to be a genuine drive towards making Dead of Night more of a mystery film than an actioneer. Whether Dylan Dog will keep his personality or not remains to be seen.
For more info in the upcoming months, keep track of the blog. In the meantime, if you need something to wet your Dylan Dog appetite, download the Simulmondo game from 1992 called Dylan Dog - The Murderers! :)