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It's been more than twenty-five years since Richard Ramirez began his rampage of terror, and with all that time passed, it's hard to comprehend just how frightened the city of Los Angeles once was. The majority of serial killers pick victims living on the fringes of society. They kill prostitutes, runaways and hitchhikers, but a few, like Bundy and Gacy, murdered normal people who happened to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ramirez, known as the Night Stalker very firmly fit into that second category, though unlike those two, he didn't really have a type. He used various types of weapons to kill men, women and children. He targeted both old and young, attractive and unattractive. Simply put, he was a monster, and now he's getting his own biopic.
According to Page 6, Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and screenwriter Nicolas Constantine have optioned Phillip Carlo's gripping biography The Night Stalker, and they've chosen possible future Oscar nominee James Franco to both direct and star as the main character in the upcoming film. The 127 Hours actor has been making a lot of short films recently, and one of them was reportedly about a serial killer. It's worth noting that Franco is attached to a lot of different projects, and it's unclear how he'll prioritize this amidst everything else has going on.
The project will reportedly focus quite a bit on Ramirez's drug use, as well as his reported Satanism, he drew pentagrams on himself and some of his victims. Both Cornell and Constantine have strongly emphasized Franco's portrayal will in no way glorify the serial killer but rather seek to humanize him a bit and examine exactly how he turned into the Night Stalker. As Constantine puts it,
"This isn't a horror film, nor does it glorify Ramirez in any way. James Franco shares that vision, and we all agree that he is absolutely the one actor, and now director, who can truly do this very intense role and story justice."
Serial killer movies are far from a new phenomenon. Both real and fictional, they range from Summer Of Sam to Zodiac to Se7en. We'll see how this one measures up.