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    An Exclusive Interview With The Driving 'Force' Behind Bringing 'Dead of Night' To Life

    Brandon Routh took a break from filming 'Dead of Night' recently to attend the Watchmen premiere. Official photos from the movie are forthcoming, but have yet to be released. For a great explanation of where the photos are, check out the 'Dead of Night' production blog at a number of comic book-based movies are in various degrees of development right now, the most promising one just might be "Dead of Night."

    Based on Tiziano Sclavi’s "Dylan Dog" comic books (published in Italy), the movie began filming in February.

    Directed by Kevin Munroe, "Dead of Night" is the story of a detective drawn into the world of the supernatural.

    One of the primary forces in bringing the novels to life has been Dan Forcey, who is the VP of Development at Platinum Studios Inc.

    "Platinum is the multi-media company that originally optioned the rights from Bonelli to make a Dylan Dog movie," said Forcey, who is wearing multiple hats in the making of "Dead of Night."

    "I’m also here on set serving as a member of the stunt team," he said. "I did stunts before moving into development at Platinum and this film has allowed me to exercise those muscles again, which has been a ton of fun."

    Bringing Dylan Dog to the big screen has been a longtime goal for Forcey.

    "I, and other folks at Platinum, have been working on a script based on the comic for years now," he said. "We nearly made it with a couple of other partners, but after a few false starts, we finally found what we think is the perfect combination of talent to truly bring Dylan to life."

    Top-lining that talent is Brandon Routh, best known for his portrayal of Superman in the 2006 movie "Superman Returns."

    In "Superman Returns," Routh was somewhat under-utilized, despite playing the title character. In "Dead of Night," Forcey said, Routh will have a chance to really show what he can do.

    "Those folks that are only familiar with Brandon from his work on 'Superman Returns' are going to be surprised by him in this role, I think," said Forcey. "Although he was great in that movie, I think Dylan will allow him to shine even more."

    According to Forcey, Routh perfectly fit what the filmmakers were looking for when casting Dylan Dog.

    "Brandon has a dark complexity, coupled with a genuine likability, that is essential to bring Dylan to life," he said. "We talked a lot about who could handle Dylan with Kevin and the consensus was that a lot of actors could act the part of Dylan, but Brandon was the only one who was it."

    Forcey said Routh has immersed himself into the world of Dylan Dog in preparation for the role.

    "He’s really dived into the comics, and at this point probably knows more Italian than I do as a result," said Forcey.

    In fact, Forcey noted, Routh "even did an entire scene in Italian in the movie."

    Forcey added that Routh has lived up to his reputation as being a nice guy behind the scenes.

    "At this point in the production, as a stuntman, I haven’t had a lot of interaction with him," he said. "But I can tell you, he’s liked by everyone on set. He’s nice, down-to-earth and a very hard worker."

    Other actors cast in the movie include Anita Briem, Taye Diggs, Peter Stormare, Kurt Angle, Kyle Russell Clements, James Hébert, Marco St. John, Dan Braverman, Kimberly Whalen and Courtney J. Clark.

    Additionally, Sam Huntington is playing Dylan Dog's sidekick, Marcus. The character marks a departure from the comics. In the original Italian comics, Dylan Dog's sidekick is Groucho, an actor for whom a Groucho Marx impersonation became his permanent personality. In the American reprints of the comics by Dark Horse, the character has been renamed Felix and even the Groucho mustache has been removed.

    According to Forcey, using a Groucho Marx likeness would have cost several million dollars and a piece of the marketing pie ("including any comics Bonelli publishes in the future”).

    For Huntington, playing Marcus in "Dead of Night" will mark his second pairing with Routh. Huntington played Jimmy Olsen in "Superman Returns," and he and Routh have remained friends since filming the movie.

    According to Forcey, that friendship ultimately may have helped Huntington to get the part, but the fact that the two actors already had worked together on a superhero movie almost worked against Huntington.

    "Brandon was definitely part of that decision (to hire Huntington)," said Forcey. "Brandon and Sam were at first under consideration independent of each other, just because we thought they were both great actors. We were actually worried about casting them because we didn't want to invite comparisons to 'Superman Returns.' Then Kevin found out from Brandon that they had remained friends after 'Superman Returns' and agreed to allow them to read together. Almost instantly, he realized they naturally had the exact kind of dynamic that Dylan and Marcus have in the script and decided he needed them both."

    The comedic dynamic between Dylan Dog and Marcus is just one aspect of a movie that is not exactly tied down to a single genre.

    "It's a thriller with a little action, a little buddy comedy and a splash of noir," said Forcey.

    And if the movie itself is hard to pin down, that just might be due to the nature of the lead character.

    "Dylan is a very complex character," stated Forcey. "He has a brand of 'optimistic melancholy' that makes him a fascinating figure in cinema, I think. We’re interested in him because he is complex and real. Despite the craziness he encounters in every issue, at the core of every story is this flawed character named Dylan. But unlike a John Constantine, who revels in his flaws or outright ignores them, Dylan is quite aware and tries to rise above them with an optimism and sense of humor that is infectious."

    And while every effort has been made to keep the character as true to the original stories as possible, moving the action to a new locale has some fans of the series up in arms.

    While the "Dylan Dog" stories typically take place in London, "Dead of Night" is set in New Orleans. Forcey said the new location is primarily story-driven.

    "The city definitely plays a part in the story. I can't go into too many details, but it does play a big part in it," he said. "More importantly, though, the city is as much a character in the film as London is in the Dylan novels. New Orleans has an age and a mysticism to it that I don't think you'd find anywhere else in the states and if a 'nightmare detective' was going to find business anywhere this side of the ocean, it would be there."

    Principal photography for the movie currently is taking place on location in New Orleans, with the release date slated for "sometime in 2010," Forcey said.

    As for the movie's budget, Forcey wouldn't reveal a number, but he did say that it was "about on par with the 'Underworld' movies." ("Underworld" cost $22 million and the most recent sequel was priced at $35 million. Unofficial estimates have put the budget for "Dead of Night" somewhere between those two numbers.)

    Forcey also is keeping details of the plot a secret. An early script was leaked, but Forcey said it was a "very, very old draft of the script."

    Since then, Forcey said, "The director and Platinum’s foreign library specialist, Gioj Demarco, went through the script just prior to shooting and did an entirely new draft that was specifically intended to make things closer to the books."

    For those wondering how the movie will relate to the stories told in the books, Forcey said, "People should think of it as a continuation of Dylan's ongoing adventures."

    Forcey added that "there will be a 'how we got from the stories in the book to where "Dead of Night" picks up' story that will be available to fans in a ... very interesting way soon."

    However, he noted, moviegoers will not be required to read the comics in order to fully comprehend the movie.

    "Like 'Iron Man' last year," Forcey said, "we've definitely added in a lot of things just for the fans, but the movie will stand on its own."

    To stay up-to-date on the filming of the movie from behind the scenes, check out Dan Forcey's blog at In addition to updates about the shoot, Forcey does a great job of explaining differences from the books to the screen (such as why Dylan Dog's white Bug with a black top has become a black Bug with a white top).

    Reader Comments (19)

    Now I really want to see this movie. I don't know anything about Dylan Dog and hadn't heard of him before I heard about this movie, but you made me want to learn more. Being a Brandon Routh fan, I enjoyed hearing about how he got this role and the history behind bringing this character to the big screen. This is one story I haven't seen anywhere else.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

    What a wonderful article. I have been following the blog and also the tweets on twitter but this gave a lot of information that I have not read elsewhere.

    I have been a Brandon Routh fan since seeing Superman Returns and am now becoming a Dylan Dog fan after reading the Dylan Dog Case Files book of stories.

    I think pairing Brandon and Sam back up is a great idea. I agree that Brandon was under utilized in SR but even so he showed he has a wide range of acting skills and no one can deny that the camera loves him. Good to hear yet again what a great guy he is. Well he is this generation's Superman so what else would you expect. ;)

    I so look forward to seeing this movie and until then thanks so much for the info. BTW start thinking of sequels now! The fans hate waiting years and years.


    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterVgerland

    This movie is sounding better and better the more I hear about it.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinden Hughes

    Wow. I really want to see this movie now. 2010 is too far away. :(

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

    Sounds great!! Can't wait.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered Commenterstargazer

    Routh did a whole scene in italian? Geez...I think Forcey might be right when he implied we only got to see a little bit of his range in SR. One of the most interesting notes in the article for me was the mentioning of the budget when compared to other films like Underworld, which had a similar budget. At first, I thought DON's budget was too small for a film that promised quality Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies, even with DRAC studios involved. However, if it has the same money as UW did, then I can certainly see an awesome flick ready to be brought to life.

    Nicely written article, and I will definately be anticipating Dead of Night's arrival.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterSpanky Mcgee

    Thanks for making me sound intelligent and interesting, Sean. It's not an easy task, believe me. :-)

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan

    It was my pleasure, Dan. I think we are all really looking forward to seeing the movie.

    And I appreciate the kind words from everyone -- and keep them coming :)

    05-1-2009 | Registered CommenterSean Gerski

    This sounds like it is going to be one awesome movie. From what I am reading here and on the blog it looks like there have been a lot of really good production choices made from casting all the way to the effects team. I love seeing a movie like this given the production values it deserves.

    BTW, so glad to hear again that Brandon Routh is so well though of. All the truly great actors have had those qualities and I hope to see him acting for a long time to come.

    I just wish we didn't have to wait so long to see it on the big screen. I know that is how long it takes to make it the best it can be. Keep us on the hook with all the updates on the web.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterVanna

    This movie sounds like it could be really good. I'm glad, because Brandon Routh deserves it. He was a fantastic Superman in the Superman movie. He did justice to the role, and I'm sure he'll also do justice to the Dylan Dog character. I'll be watching this for sure.

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterSam

    The more I read about the making of this movie, the harder it is to wait for 2010!!! I can imagine Brandon just sitting there, reading comic after comic of Dylan Dog lol!! They certainly picked the right guy for the job, he will put his heart and soul into the role, great interview Sean!!!!

    Dies at the thought of Brandon speaking a whole scene is Italian!!!

    05-1-2009 | Unregistered CommenterRose

    Thanks for the article! It sounds like a fascinating film and the more I read about it, the more excited I am! To be honest, my interest had been peaked initially because of the actor that is portraying the main character; Brandon Routh (hmm obvious from the screen name?). The basis and underlying plot for the film sounds really exciting and I'll certainly be in line to see it.

    On another sidebar; if Mr. Routh ever happens to set eyes on the article or comments, I certainly have been a supporter for awhile and wish him nothing but success and contentment with his carreer and personal life. I hope he remains true to himself, his spouse and family...that and since he's from the midwest (and from Iowa) hopefully a Cubs fan! (Alright, Cardinals fan would be okay too but really, Cubs would be better!)

    Well anything that has Brandon Routh in it I will go see. But the movie sounds interesting very interesting.
    "Brandon has a dark complexity, coupled with a genuine likability, that is essential to bring Dylan to life," he said. "We talked a lot about who could handle Dylan with Kevin and the consensus was that a lot of actors could act the part of Dylan, but Brandon was the only one who was it."
    Right on. I think he got the coveted part for Superman because of the same quality, he was the only one who was it. He is an energizing person whether he is in front of the camera or in his everyday life. He makes you feel like everything will eventually be okay.

    I also noticed the great comic interaction between him and Sam Huntington in Superman Returns and I enjoyed when they were together.

    He's the kind of actor that doesnt leave you when the lights go on. You leave the theater wanting more.

    05-2-2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatty

    I am excited to hear that they are still able to make character driven comic book movies while not breaking the bank. I am looking forward to this and it will not be soon enough.

    06-25-2009 | Unregistered CommenterThom

    Working With Brandon In Dead Of Night Was Fun.

    Brandon Is Not Only a Super Nice Guy He Did One Hell Of a Job!

    Director Kevin Munroe Has a Keen Eye And In Addition To Being a Amazing Director He Was Fun and Friendly To Everyone.

    People Are Going To love This Movie!

    And To The Stunt Crew Thanks For Putting My Heart In My Throat More Than Once!
    You Guys Are Crazy!

    And Im In It Whoot! ;D

    06-26-2009 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Nunez

    @ Casey

    Anybody that I have ever had a conversation with concerning Brandon has echoed the same sentiments.

    06-26-2009 | Registered CommenterPeter Georgiou

    I never knew of the character until they announced Routh as the lead, and now, it has become one of my most anticipated! The interview is par for the course with the standard of excellence you've set for yourself.

    06-27-2009 | Unregistered CommenterMike

    Could it be that this movie will help retain Brandon Routh as Superman in the next installment at WB? Probably not. It sounds like he already has that locked in even though his contract expired. People keep speculating, but if Routh is this good of an actor, then he will be Superman in the next film regardless of who directs it. He was underutilized in Superman Returns, but I think that was the script, not that Bryan Singer held Routh back because he sucked. Superman really doesn't talk much, but Brandon nailed every word of dialogue in that movie. I'm looking forward to this movie, and I don't really care for the the genre. I just want to see Routh's acting chops. Maybe some critical success will come his way, and perhaps some awards post 2010. If that happens, he becomes A-list, and an all but guaranteed lock for playing Superman up and through a Justice League movie.

    08-6-2009 | Unregistered CommenterAdamTrek

    That is good that people are able to take the and it opens up new possibilities.

    06-14-2010 | Unregistered CommenterWANDAGraves25

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