Dead of Night gears up for New Orleans shoot; all they need is money

Director Kevin Munroe told SCI FI Wire he is about to start filming his supernatural superhero movie Dead of Night (formerly Dylan Dog) in New Orleans, presuming his financing comes through as hoped this month. Based on an Italian comic-book series, Dead of Night is the story of a supernatural private eye named Dylan Dog who fights crime in his signature outfit of red shirt, black jacket and blue jeans. Munroe hopes to begin scouting locations in New Orleans next week for a shoot slated to begin at the end of March or in early April.

Dylan Dog, to be played by Superman Returns star Brandon Routh, is a vegetarian alcoholic superhero with an Oedipus complex and a sidekick who resembles Groucho Marx. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced, but Munroe calls it a "fun genre cast" and says that everyone is really excited about the film.

"What's cool about the project is that it's such a familiar story in the sense that it has vampires and werewolves and everything, but it's against this backdrop of New Orleans that you don't really see often in this kind of a movie," Munroe said in an interview on Monday. "Most movies set in Louisiana and New Orleans are very 'bayou' and very 'jazzy.' This is a little bit more of a rock-and-roll, vampire, werewolf movie. And it's fun."

As far as the character of Groucho, who is a Groucho Marx impersonator/professional sidekick to Dylan Dog, Munroe says, "We can't call him Groucho. ... We have to do what Dark Horse did whenever they published the books." (When Dark Horse Comics published six books in 1999 and one more in 2002, they had to change the character to a clean-shaven man called Felix because of disputes with the Groucho Marx estate.) "There's a few nods in there for the fans, but legally, ... I don't know how the Italian comic got away with it. Good for them. But we do have the character, and we do actually have a really good cast member signed. ... Yeah. In spirit he is there, but in name he cannot be."

Munroe says he plans to use as little CGI as possible. "I want everything practical," he said. "Werewolves, ... vampires, ... the whole point to me is to do everything as practical as possible. The movie is about how these things exist in and around our world, and to do that, I think you need something that's tangible."

He also mentioned that he was "looking at casting some wrestlers" in Dead of Night while talking about his upcoming film El Zombo Fantasma, a film about a wrestler who must choose between being a guardian angel or going to hell.

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