Apr 052004

Here are some exciting excerpts of a press release from Sci Fi!
SCI FI’S Upcoming Television Events Shatter the Boundaries of Imagination
NEW YORK, April 5 /PRNewswire/ — SCI FI Channel, responsible for almost single-handedly reviving the miniseries format in the past few years, has established itself as the industry’s leading producer of original movies and awe-inspiring television events. Continuing to attract Hollywood’s hottest filmmakers, SCI FI has partnered with DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg for a second miniseries (the first was the Emmy Award-winning Steven Spielberg Presents TAKEN) entitled Nine Lives, and has signed deals in recent months with Martin Scorsese, Bryan Singer, Dean Devlin, Joel Silver and Gale Anne Hurd, among others. Oscar(R)-caliber actors such as Timothy Hutton, Randy Quaid and Isabella Rossellini lead the casts of SCI FI’s upcoming 2004 miniseries, while other stars have signed on for future epics.
Following is a list of projects that lead SCI FI’s development slate, with a number of luminaries making the Channel their creative home:

Dresden Files (working title)
Based on the best-selling “Dresden Files” novels by Jim Butcher, this 2-hour backdoor pilot film will be executive produced by Academy Award(R) winner Nicolas Cage and Norm Golightly of Saturn Films. Erik Dresden is a detective with extraordinary powers, the kind that could belong only to the descendant of a long line of wizards. Where others see the typical crimes of assault, kidnapping and serial killings, Erik sees otherworldly forces at work — which only he knows how to combat. Whether consulting for the police on inexplicable crimes or following his own cases, Erik has a unique outlook on the world, and wields a wry sense of humor as one of his most potent weapons. The project is produced by Lions Gate Television and Cage’s Saturn Films (The Life of David Gale, Shadow of the Vampire), with Morgan Gendel (Law & Order, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Next Generation) writing; Gendel and Anthony Peckham (Don’t Say a Word, 5 Days to Midnight) are executive producers.

 Posted by on 2004/04/05 at 7:12 pm

  141 Responses to “Sci Fi Channel announces intentions for Dresden pilot”

  1. Erik? What the ….? I don’t care if it is Houdini’s first name, it’s not Dresden’s! OK, so Harry may suggest Potter to some, but Erik has connotations too, y’know. I was so excited to hear that they were making this, but if this is the sort of petty nonsense they are worrying about, I’m rapidly losing interest.

  2. while i really like james marsters… i have to say that he is a bit short for the role dont you think??? Dresden is suppose to be around 6’6 and also some one in their thirties would be able to pull off the cyncism just a bit better. I think James is a great actor but this needs to be more of a character role with physical resemblnce needed to really pull it off.

  3. Okay, I’ve already posted elsewhere on here about this very topic before I saw this posting. But I’ve got to repeat myself here. First of all, Erik? No way! Yuck! Sorry. I guess they are trying to steer clear of the Harry Potter thing but take it from me, Harry Potter fan or not, no one is going to care if ‘Harry’ Dresden gets to keep his name … except the fans of Harry Dresden that is, whose feelings will be ambivalent at least, furious at worse.
    Second, I love James Marsters and his work but he is not Harry Dresden. Personally, I think Vincent Ventresca would make a great Dresden. He’s got the height, and the right kind of attitude and he’s already done some great work for the sci-fi channel. Maybe his appearance isn’t quite as gritty as one might imagine Harry to be, but hey, that’s the magic of television, and I’m sure a look could be put together for him. I think here ‘attitude’ is all important and I can’t think of another actor to suit. Not saying my opinion counts and it’s the only one but right at this moment no one else springs to mind.
    But whatever they do – PLEASE, let the character keep his own name!

  4. Definitely KEEP the Name HARRY!! Good Grief.
    Julian McMahon(Cole Turner,source of all evil on Charmed) would be great as the Well dressed,sophisticated Marcone.
    Jim Marsters has enough presence to pull off Harry-and hiring Shorter co-stars would help!
    Patrick (?) from the old AVENGERS series or Darren Mc Gavin would be Great as Ebenezar.
    Susan is gonna be tough to cast-she Needs to be SHORT(Barely 5′),Smart,Assured,attractive in a low keyed way-she needs to be “strong” enough
    to be believable as a female cop in charge of the “boys” club.

  5. Good move by the Sci-Fi channel in picking up on the idea of a Dresden Files TV show … however – a big black mark for changing his name !!! I will hold my judgement on how James Marsters fares in the role … I never envisage Harry Dresden being anything like James Marsters, but James is a great actor so it will be interesting to see how he does.

  6. Ok, yea uh.. the Erik thing has got to go. Wonder where they got that?!
    About freakin time they decided to run a pilot for the Dresden Files.
    And if James Marsters was cast as Harry, it would bring in the Buffy Fans, Marsters fans, Angel fans, and anyother fans of scifi-fantasy works that Buffy and Angel and the like incorperate.
    This series may also bring in the Harry Potter fans as well, so I see it as a WIN/WIN deal for the studio and producers!
    Please SCIFI, make The Dresden Files your new series!!!!

  7. I have to agree with the others,,, Although I am only in the 3 book, I think of the series,, more or less a Adult version of Harry Potter, only More graphic,, and Violent. Changing the characters name I can see a point, but, still you want more credit to the books I would keep the characters name,, because say if someone wants to buy the books,, they’re going to say Who’s Harry Dresden,, etc.
    Personally speking also I think James Marsters can easly pull off Harry Dresden, he did it almost as he was Spike -Buffy the Vampire Slayer ,, leather duster,,, minus the white hair.

  8. Perhaps the researchers turned up the fact that Harry Houdini’s real name was Erich Weiss. Other than that, perhaps JK Rowling, who has scads of money and bloodthirsty barristers at her command, might take exception to another ‘Harry’ out there.
    I am ambivalent about James Marsters being Dresden, I think there are other actors who could do just as well.
    It is not as bad a job as casting Keanu Reeves (sp ?) as Constantine, but let’s not go there. It’s not a pretty place.

  9. While this is great news and I hope it gets done soon, I’d love to see this on HBO or Showtime (Dead Like Me is awesome baby!). I sure hope they shoot a rated-R version that gets edited down for Sci-Fi and released unedited on DVD.
    Real people curse, “real” bad-guys blow-up, real people have intimate relationships.

  10. Boy the change in the name is a minus – though I am sure to watch the movie. I mean the whole pt is that he was named after 3 professional Stage Magicians – Though Erich was Harry’s real name – I guess it sort of still makes sense but the stage names are better

  11. it’s about time more fantasy was bought to tv but i wish they would stick more closly and faithfully to the books.

  12. I have to say that it seems to be taking an awfully long time for this project to happen. Does anyone have any updates? I still love the idea of James Marsters as Harry (Eric-arrrg). I just can’t picture anyone else. I also agree that Keanu Reeves was not a good choice to play Constantine. Ironically a poll was taken before production of the movie ever happend and James Marsters was the top choice.

  13. I cannot imagine ANYONE but James Marsters playing Harry. He’s got the talent, the attitude, the intellect, the wit, the style and huge sex appeal. A stellar actor, all ’round. So many of Harry’s (and James’) fans already assosciate Harry with James’ voice from hearing the Audio Book. He seems a natural choice. One can only hope the SCI-FI Channel studio execs and producers see it the same way.
    Looking forward to any new news on the development of the film. I’m excited to see it, and to buy it, should the DVD become available in the future. Congrats, Jim!

  14. “I have to say that it seems to be taking an awfully long time for this project to happen. Does anyone have any updates?”
    No updates. I do have to say, though, that if you’re saying things like “it seems to be taking an awfully long time”, you’ve got some pretty unrealistic expectations of how long it takes something to get off the ground in Hollywood. I’m personally not expecting to see anything happen with this, really and truly, until mid or late 2005, at the earliest.

  15. James Marsters would be perfect he is the reason I first noticed the books. Picked up the audio’s because of his voice and waiting no so patiently for the third

  16. I never saw any similarities between Harry Dresden and Harry Potter. Why do people keep bringing that up? Sure, they’re both wizards, but the Dresden files are not a “modernized Harry Potter.” Changing the lead character’s name is just another nod to rampant legal submission. Other than bringing Jim Butcher lots of money, that he so richly deserves, I wish the series would never be made into TV tripe. I have no idea who James Marsters is. Unfortunately, I picture a “pretty boy.” In my opinion, Harry Dresden would be a much more ominous and intimidating presence than the books lead him to be. Remember when he showed up at the picnic in Blood Rites. He’s no Hollywood girly-boy.

  17. Yes James Marsters is pretty but the boy can also act. And as far as playing an playing an intimidating character, Harry would be a sinch after playing Spike aka William the Bloody. James Marsters is Harry (I still won’t call him Eric) Dresdon!!!!!!!!

  18. I think a great actor to play Harry Dresden would be Vincent Spano, Zophael in the movie Prophecy 3. He has the hungry look and he fits the description of Harry from the novels. Especially after Grave Peril.

  19. Of course James Marsters would be a perfect Harry (Erik) Dresden. He is an incredible actor, and to many of us he IS Harry!

  20. Ugh! I got about halfway up the page and got tired of reading, mainly because it was the same thing basically over and over again. However, being me, I can’t help but put my two cents in.
    I am thrilled that the Dresden Files is making its way to the screen (silver or otherwise). Not at all thrilled about the very prospect of James Marsters playing Harry. I never liked him in Buffy or Angel, I found him rude and too sarchastic…but then that’s just me. I haven’t listened to the books on tape, but rather discovered the books on the last day of the School Library being open, then spent the early summer vacation furiously hunting around for an alternate method of aquiring them. And what the freak is wrong with SciFi! I personnaly am a little obsessed with nomenclature, and as such I put a lot of stock in names. I simply cannot, I repeat CANNOT fathom this character with a hard, sharp name like Eric. Harry is sufficiently soft with a dark, almost slurred pronunciation that encapsulates this character well.
    I think we would all do well to remember the almost certain fate of all books made into movies, miniseries, etc. There is always the possibility of a beloved story being torn to shreds and reassembled hapahazardly as a live-action eye sore. We should probably watch this December’s production of Earthsea to see just how well SciFi handles literature before we get too excited.
    And just to note, one person made a comment about the quality or lack thereof of SciFi’s Creature Features. The fact is, they’re just that. The movies created at SciFi are a blatant attempt to revitalize the old moster movies the execs grew up watching. So says my WIRED magazine interview with the guys who write this stuff. They operate under a few rules: The monster must appear in the first 8 or so minutes of the movie, the characters must be in grave danger, and there has to be some menial attempt to explain it, although, the explanation doesn’t have to be logical or even remotely possible. They only want a little adrenaline buzz and some classic monster movie experiances. THEY AREN’T TRYING TO MAKE BRILLIANT MOVIES, THEY JUST WANT KICKS.
    I think that summs up my rant. I’m prone to those. Sorry to be so long winded.

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