Net cages sci-fi guy Thesp ventures into TV with 'Dresden'
By DENISE MARTIN
Making his first foray into television, Nicolas Cage has set up and will exec produce two-hour pilot "The Dresden Files" for Sci Fi Channel. CablerCabler has greenlit production on the project, based on Jim
Butcher's bestselling novels. Lions GateLions Gate Television is onboard to produce in association with Cage's Saturn FilmsSaturn Films.
Hans BeimlerHans Beimler ("The District""The District") and Robert Wolfe ("The 4400") will write and exec produce alongside Cage. Saturn Films' Norm GolightlyNorm Golightly and Morgan Gendel also will exec produce.
Story follows Harry Dresden, a wizard who makes his living as a Chicago-based private eye. Using his extraordinary abilities to see the paranormal forces behind crimes, Dresden helps the police solve their
more baffling cases.
Sci Fi exec VP of programming Mark SternMark Stern said, unlike the cabler's other original dramas, "Dresden" will pursue a more procedural-style of storytelling.
"It's very much a detective procedural with a speculative sci-fi spin -- a first for us and something we've been looking to do for a while," Stern said. "What the script did so well was to make the fantasy elements
integral to (rather than superimposed on) the plot."
"There's this 'Rockford Files' quality to it that I love," he added.
"Dresden Files" is one of two pilots under series consideration at Sci Fi. Other is "Painkiller Jane," a comicbook adaptation about a young woman exposed to a biochemical weapon that gives her self-healing powers. Production on "Jane" wrapped early this year.
Sci Fi last month ordered to series "Eureka," a quirky drama about a man who stumbles upon a small town of geniuses working for the government (Daily Variety, Sept. 26).
"Dresden" is out to directors and casting. Production will begin in Toronto this fall for a target summer 2006 premiere.
Cage will next produce and star in "The Wicker Man" for writer-director Neil LaBute. He toplines Paramount's upcoming pic "The Weather Man."
And this was Jim's response to the list...
NOW it's official. :)
The script is based on the novel for Storm Front, but it ain't like it's going to be letter-for-letter or anything. Some elements are going to be discarded for the sake of story-length, others emphasized. There might be special effects! Don't expect the movie mirror the book precisely, although the writers have read the entire series and they're using elements from several different books, though not necessarily in the same way--think, I dunno, maybe X-Men comics versus X-Men movies versus X-Men cartoon series. Similar use of the story's characters and elements, but not necessarily positioned or utilized in the same way.
(Which is itself just the modern version of comedia del arte, but that's neither here nor there.)
I've seen the scenes they're using to audition for Dresden, which was interesting as hell. I hope to get a look at the full script before too terribly much longer. They're doing casting now (and I'll share
information about it as it becomes share-able) and filming is scheduled for November 19.
I'm excited about this. Even if it turns out that some unknown gets the part, I love the series too much not to make an effort to support this. Though, yes, I would love to see James in the role. I'm too damn eager to get more of him. ;)