By Gilbert Cruz
December 11, 2006 at 12:00 PM EST

Now tell me, do you see any similarities between this guy, and this guy, and this guy? It’s a rhetorical question, of course, because The Shadow is so clearly the model for a bunch of comic book crimefighters that it’s a shame that all modern-day audiences have to remember him by was 1994’s abominable big-screen version, starring Alec Baldwin. There must have been something in the water that year, which also saw the release of another awful old-time radio movie, George Lucas’ Radioland Murders. (For those of you who don’t know the story of The Shadow, he was basically a rich playboy who learned the ability to “cloud men’s minds” somewhere in Asia, an ability that he used to fight bad guys. The 1930s radio show popularized the phrase, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”)

Thankfully, Spider-Man‘s Sam Raimi, pictured (who also directed Darkman, the second picture link above) has teamed up with Columbia Pictures to take another shot at The Shadow. For an old-time radio fan like me (I’ve been listening to tapes and CDs of Orson Welles-era Shadow episodes for years), this is wonderful news, for Raimi seems to have the appropriate respect for the character, though I can’t vouch for his choice of screenwriter (have any of you heard of Siavash Farahani?). And, at the very least, we can rest assured that anything he makes will never be as bad as the Billy Zane version of The Phantom.

addCredit(“Sam Raimi: Gregg DeGuire/”)