Blog: Thoughts and comments on the world of the pulp magazines

Pulps on film II

Posted by at 10:38 am Saturday, December 16, 2006 in Movies/TV/Radio, News, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Well, the recent announcement by Sony Pictures that Sam Raimi has purchased the movie rights to a platoon of Street & Smith pulp characters has sparked a storm of discussions on the FleaRun group over at Yahoo. Speculation of an all-star pulp movie gave way with a follow-up press release that Raimi would be producing a movie based on The Shadow.

Reports, from The Hollywood Reporter to, are that Raimi and Josh Donen will be producing the movie with previously announced Michael Uslan. As yet, there’s no word on whether Raimi will direct. Longtime scuttlebutt is that he wanted to make a Shadow movie in the early 1990s, but when he couldn’t secure the rights, that project morphed into Darkman. (Gee, the poster for the video release looks like The Shadow.) Well, if Raimi still has an interest in delving into the crime-ridden underworld of the 1930s, I hope he’ll take the reigns.

(For my take on how the movie should be done, see “Pulps on film.”)

Tarzan first appeared in The All-Story magazine.

Tarzan first appeared in The All-Story magazine.

The Shadow isn’t the only pulp character with the potential of returning to the screen. Variety reported Thursday that the oft-filmed apeman, Tarzan, has sparked the interest of Warner Bros., producer Jerry Weintraub and director Guillermo del Toro. John Collee, who wrote Master and Commander: Far Side of the World and Happy Feet, may pen this new version of Burrough‘s character.

“I’d love to create a new version that is still a family movie, but as edgy as I can make it,” Variety quotes del Toro as saying. “There are strong themes of survival of a defenseless child left behind in the most hostile environment.”

Apparently del Toro spent last summer reading the entire Tarzan series, according to an interview on He offers this impression of the adventures: “They’re much nastier than the Tarzan in the movies, and much more complex than the Tarzan in the movies. They have more monsters and adventures and lost cities. They have a lot more going in the fantasy aspects.”

This could get interesting. Del Toro’s Hellboy (he’s about to direct the sequel) was entertaining. I haven’t seen his latest, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Meanwhile, on the streets of Los Angeles, Philip Marlowe soon may be on the case for ABC. According to Tuesday’s Daily Variety, producer Sean Bailey is revamping Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled dick to current day, though with a noirish feel. Though Marlowe was never a pulp character, Chandler pilfered plots, action or characters from his own stories in Black Mask, Dime Detective and other pulps for use in Marlowe novels.

The disappointing aspect of the Marlowe news is that the producers don’t plan on using any of Chandler’s stories for plots in the possible series.

It seems as if there’s a new pulp movie development every few days now. Wonder who or what will be next?

– William