Cal McDonald Moving Closer to the Big Screen

Steve Niles' Cal McDonald Heading to the Big ScreenMy name is Cal McDonald. I’m a private detective. I don’t handle cases most detectives handle because I don’t have that kind of luck. I deal with monsters and freaks and every dark, fucked up thing normal law won’t.

So says the MySpace page for the drug-infused anti-hero detective, who has been appearing for nearly 20 years in Steve Niles’ Criminal Macabre adventures with Dark Horse Comics. As MTV’s Splash Page describes him, “Between several comic book series, novels, and online content, McDonald has killed a monster in almost every medium.

Sound like your kind of guy? Then you’ll be happy to hear Niles and Dark Horse are close to finalizing a film deal. But it hasn’t been an easy road for Cal … or Niles.

The filmmaking process is nothing new to Niles. Between the success of 30 Days of Night and plans to adapt many of his other works to film, the writer has seen enough of Hollywood to understand why it’s taken a while to get Cal McDonald on the big screen. ‘We had it set up at MGM years ago, and it just didn’t quite take,” Niles told the site. “[Criminal Macabre] went through a lot. The first instance, everyone was like, ‘Clean him up, we can’t have a character like this.’ And then they realized I’m not trying to do ‘Cheech and Chong’ here. This is, to me, a modern Philip Marlowe. He has all the same problems, but they’re modernized because hard drinking just doesn’t cut it anymore.

While the theatrical details are being worked out, fans can expect a new Criminal Macabre series in the future, including self-published prose, comics, music, and more. “I’m doing limited edition books of short stories, at least six a year, straight from a website [Bloody Pulp Books],” explained Niles, who added that a “music/sound component” would also be made available for the novels, allowing readers to “pop in a little Cal McDonald CD while they read.” An announcement regarding who might be contributing said musical component should be forthcoming shortly.

Looks like lots of news is on its way from Mr. Niles. As soon as we hear more, so will you!

Debi Moore

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  • Grot6

    Cal Mcdonald is ten tons of balls!!

    This story would make an AWSOME movie or series of movies!!!

    Mordok ROCKS!!! and the chain smoking, hard drinking Cal has Bad azz written all over him!!

    Steave Niles rocks!!!

    You want a good Cal? Clancy Brown, Dennis Leary or James Woods!!!

  • nonserviam03


  • The Unknown Murderer

    Thomas Jane as Cal, please.


    • David

      I agree. I have a Timothy Bradstreet cover with Tom Jane as Cal, so I can’t see anyone else in the role now. I’m all for more movies about nightmare detectives, so news that a faithful Cal McDonald adaptation is moving forward again is great.