Based on the celebrated horror comic created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, “Dark Days” picks up where the previous film left off, with actress Kiele Sanchez taking over the role of Stella Oleson previously played by Melissa George. Ben Ketai directs the new installment of the “30 Days” franchise, based on a script he co-wrote with Niles.
I spoke with Niles to get some thoughts on the next chapter in the “30 Days” universe and get a sneak peek at a few new shots from the film.
MTV NEWS: The first question on most fans’ minds is always going to be “How closely does it follow the book?” So…
STEVE NILES: Actually, it follows the plot very closely. It’s basically the exact plot line [of the book], so fans of the comic are definitely going to be happy about that. For anybody who’s read “Dark Days,” it takes place in Los Angeles, not Barrow [Alaska], so we had a whole different set of things we had to get done, but it’s been fun.
The main thing is, and I’m not pointing fingers at anything in particular here, but it’s just nasty killer vampires. That’s the biggest selling point, because I don’t think anybody’s doing that right now.
MTV: Yeah, most vampires these days are sparkling…
NILES: They’re either sparkling or dating or caught up in one soap opera or another. [“30 Days” vampires] are just vampires with nasty sharp teeth attacking you.
MTV: What was the biggest difference in doing this as a straight-to-DVD film rather than a theater release? We discussed some of the advantages a while back, but did everything pan out as you hoped?
NILES: I hate to be low-brow about it, but there’s some excellent violence in this movie. There are a couple things Ben did that are absolutely shocking. Also, where “Dark Days picks up is following Stella on her campaign of vengeance. She’s now well aware of what and who vampires really are, and she’s gong after them. That gave us some great opportunities to get in there and have some great action sequences.
I’m really anxious to see what the fan reaction to it is. Because of the budget restrictions, this falls somewhere between the feature film and those webisodes that Ben directed, which Fear.net ran and people really enjoyed. It’s going to be interesting, because how people react to this will determine whether we get to move on and do “Return To Barrow”
MTV: Are you thinking beyond “Dark Days” here? Are there plans to give “Return to Barrow” a similar treatment?
NILES: The “30 Days of Night” vampire universe, there’s a lot that can be done with it — even outside the lead characters. If we’re able to do the third direct-to-DVD, “Return to Barrow,” we’ll be getting back to the original setting and concept of night in Alaska, but this time they’re ready. It’s like “Aliens,” because this time they’re armed. It’s going to be a giant vampire war, so if we can get the budget to pull that off, it could be really cool.
MTV: Well, we know all about “Dark Days” now, so what else are you promoting at Comic-Con this year?
NILES: I had a new series come out called “Mystery Society” that I’m doing with Ashley Wood and Fiona Staples. The second issue came out so I’m going to be promoting that. I’m also going to be promoting on Friday with Warner Bros the “F.E.A.R. 3″ video game I wrote with John Carpenter.
The new “30 Days of Night: Dark Days” trailer will premiere during Comic-Con at a 7:30 PM (PST) panel on Friday in Room 7AB.
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