After finding massive success with Disney thanks to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and last year’s Alice in Wonderland, Johnny Depp is ready to expand his partnership with the studio well beyond Captain Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter. EW has confirmed that, as first reported by Deadline, Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, has worked out a deal with Disney to develop two major movies for Depp to produce and potentially star in. The first is an adaptation of the cult 1970s TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a sort of precursor to The X-Files about a newspaper reporter named Carl Kolchak whose investigations of mysterious crimes lead him into the realm of vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, and the like. The second is a big-screen take on the story — well-known to schoolchildren everywhere and in the news again recently thanks to Sarah Palin — of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
Depp isn’t officially set to star in either project at this point. But he has long expressed a nostalgic fondness for The Night Stalker, and the role of Kolchak (originally played by Darren McGavin) has to be tempting for him — indeed, it almost seems inevitable given that Depp is currently shooting a film version of another of his childhood TV obsessions, the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. As for Paul Revere, well, what movie star wouldn’t jump at the chance to portray an American patriot who rode through the countryside ringing bells and warning the British not to take away the colonists’ guns … or something like that?