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The last time The Shadow hit movie screens, things didn’t work out so well. The 1994 Alec Baldwin version directed by Russell Mulcahy suggested that the character might have a better home on radio and in the pages of pulp magazines and comics. Yet Sam Raimi picked up the rights to the character in 2006. For a variety of reasons he has yet to pull a film together. Now he’s a step closer, as Fox has bought into the character, so Raimi should have the go-ahead to tinker again in the pulpy hero genre that produced his own film Darkman.

Latino Review says that not only has Fox bought into Raimi and his company Ghost House’s plan to revive the character, but that Raimi is likely to tap David Slade to direct. Slade helmed the adaptation of 30 Days of Night for Ghost House before going on to direct the third Twilight film.

Just over a month ago, we heard that this version of the character might be considerably different from past incarnations. “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,” said producer Michael Uslan. “The Shadow may actually be many people.”

Rumor quickly followed that Raimi could end up directing the film; easy to see why people would hope or assume that to be the case, given the director’s own predilection for pulp and superheroes. The Shadow is a character I really like, in some incarnations. He represents a great meeting ground between early comic heroes, detective fiction and urban adventure tales. It’s a cool mix, but making it work on screen isn’t so easy. Can Slade do it? I like Hard Candy, but 30 Days of Night did nothing for me. So curious to see what he’s done with Eclipse.

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