“We’re now in the process of working out with David Goyer and the producers the notes on the first draft of the script, so we can start the next draft immediately,” said Christopher Golden.
“Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Solider and the Vampire,” is an illustrated novel co-written by Golden and “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola, with art by Mignola, in which a captain in the British infantry, Lord Henry Baltimore, mistakenly wakes up a vampire with the blood on a battlefield during World War I. Golden is writing the script for New Regency with input from Mignola.
“The first thing that had to be fixed from moving from book to screenplay was the vagueness of the book,” Golden said. “You need something to hang the movie on, a propulsion engine. So there are lots of things we hint at in the book, regarding the Red King and the source of supernatural evil, but in the script we bring it to the surface and make it more clear what they’re up against.”
Golden has also strengthened the characters, so that the relationship with Baltimore’s friends is more “interesting.” “We’ve been able to look at the dynamic more closely, and it’s important who they are as individuals as well as who they are to each other,” Golden said. “I think we have a better sense in the film how Baltimore mattered to them and the impact on their lives. And for each of them, they’ve lost something vital in their lives, and they’ve done so because of their encounters with the supernatural.”
Golden imagines Paul Giamatti in the role of the doctor friend when he’s writing him, “but that doesn’t mean he will say yes!” he laughed. “I have no control over that.” Plus, though he imagines different actors in different roles, Goyer has ideas of his own, Golden said, and some of those ideas are even better — and he trusts him, Golden said, because he “gets it.”
“We were assuming that everyone in Hollywood would say dump the three stories about the three friends since it doesn’t connect to the throughline and the telescoping of time,” Golden said. “But David said those are his favorite things and he wants to preserve them as much as possible. He’s been entirely supportive of the quirky things.”
And as they get further along with drafts of the script, Golden welcomes Goyer taking a crack at it, if he were so inclined. “I would love for David to take a turn,” Golden said. “I was about to suggest a new prologue [that wasn’t part of the novel], and he suggested it before I could suggest it. It’s nice to know we’re on the same page.”
Did you read ’Baltimore’? Do you want to see a film adaptation? Who would you cast as Baltimore? His three friends? How would you want the vampire to look?