Veteran “X-Files” helmer Dan Sackheim has signed on to direct Frank Spotnitz’s ABC drama pilot “The Night Stalker.”
Sackheim spent six years on “The X-Files,” working with former “X” man Spotnitz as a producer and director. Duo also teamed up on the pilot of Fox’s “Harsh Realm.”
More recently, Sackheim has been directing and serving as consulting producer of the Fox drama “House.”
Deal reps the first time Sackheim has helmed an ABC pilot, though he directed multiple segs of “NYPD Blue” from 1993 until 1996.
Spotnitz said he wanted someone he could trust at the helm of “Night Stalker,” which will try to put a whole new spin on the spooky skein.
“Dan understands this genre and how to get (on camera) what you need to scare people,” he said. “A lot of directors can talk a good game, but when you get to the soundstage, they can’t deliver the goods. Dan’s not one of those guys.”
Spotnitz said he and Sackheimer are going for a “very contemporary, sleek and scary look,” adding “Night Stalker” will have “a style very much its own.” He also promised a number of visual tricks, but declined to talk specifics.
Lensing on the pilot starts in early March in and around Los Angeles, where the show will be set.
“Night Stalker” is a reworking of the ABC cult fave “Kolchak: The Night Stalker,” which, after a pair of 90-minute Dan Curtis-produced telepics in 1972 and 1973, bowed as a weekly ABC series in September 1974 (Daily Variety, Oct. 14, 2004). Show revolves around a reporter named Carl Kolchak who uncovers mysteries involving vampires, serial killers and other freakish occurrences.
Chris Carter, creator of “The X-Files,” has often cited “Night Stalker” as an inspiration for his hit Fox skein.
In addition to multiple episodes of “ER” and “Judging Amy,” Sackheim helmed the pilots for NBC’s “Hawaii” and “Homeland Security.” He also directed the 2001 Diane Lane feature “The Glass House.”