The Dark Is Rising Movie

Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, which was originally optioned for a movie by Jim Henson pictures in 1997, is finally hitting the big screen in September of this year, from Walden Media. 20th Century Fox is also involved. As with many books I read as a kid, I'm nervous of this being made into a film - if it's good, it'll be fantastic, but if not...

Anyway. As a Doctor Who fan, the news that Chistopher Eccleston is playing the Rider is a definite positive - he has the perfect capability to do what the Dark should, and be pleasant and dangerous at the same time. Will Stanton will be played by Alexander Ludwig, and Ian McShane (Lovejoy, from the UK series of the same name) is playing Merriman. As far as I'm concerned, most of the other characters are really rather incidental, but from the casting, I suspect that Emma Lockheart as Gwen and Gregory Smith as Max are both going to be larger parts.

Speaking of Max, he's mentioned on the Hollywood Reporter as "an edgy young man with piercings and tattoos who questions their father's authority" - which isn't terribly in keeping with the original 70s British setting, so I can only assume they're updating that. There's a rumour that the Stantons are to be an American family, but I can't find any confirmation of that. I'm not too worried about that - if some things have to explained to an American Will, that makes it that bit more accessible for an American audience, and the rest of us can just hum through those bits. As long as it's still set in England, it'll be fine. And, of course, the Rider and Merriman are both being played by Englishmen.

There's remarkably little buzz about it yet - I suspect people are sitting back and waiting to see initial reports of the filming.

Posted by Drew Shiel at March 12, 2007 12:18 PM

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That blows if they tamper with the original storyline to make it contemporary. You didn't see that with both Narnia and Harry Potter. This is one of the greatest fantasy and children's books ever written. They shouldn't mess with it.

Look at what happened to Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books. It was a disaster!

The only plus in this whole project seems to be Christopher Eccleston. Great actor - great as Doctor Who but even better as villain.

Posted by: Transuranic at April 19, 2007 12:11 AM