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The Vampire Horror Movie Classic You Likely Didn't Know Was Based On A Comic

Contrary to popular belief, not every comic book has someone imbued with superhuman abilities or advanced tech wearing a fancy outfit while punching someone else in the face for the world-saving forces of good. The big-screen box-office might well suggest that to be predominantly the case, with our theatres being filled with masters of the mystic arts, thunder gods, and yet another version of a Dark Knight. Still, there are some much-loved films from the past few decades that are based on source material you'd find on the same bookshelf as your favorite superhero tomes, but that don't have a Caped Crusader or Man of Steel in sight. 

One such entry arrived in 2007, chilling audiences to the bone with blood-curdling horror that moved and sounded like a John Carpenter classic and had bite marks in line with James Cameron's "Aliens." Boasting the talents of Josh Hartnett (who is no stranger to being offered comic book roles), Melissa George, and Danny Huston of "Yellowstone" and "Succession" as what might be one of the most underrated horror villains in years, the film is a must-see for anyone who loves a classic monster-movie setup with a twist.

30 Days of Night was based on a comic book

Published in 2004 and written by Steve Niles with illustrations by Ben Templesmith, "30 Days of Night" sees vampires descend on Barrow, Alaska, a small town in the Arctic where once every year, the sun goes down for a whole month, leaving the population in total darkness. Grossly outnumbered by fanged invaders who swoop in to take advantage of the extended sunless period, the remnants of Barrow are left under the protection of Sheriff Eben Oleson (played by Josh Hartnett in the film adaptation), who is determined to keep his home safe until sunrise — or die trying.

The 2007 film adaptation was directed by David Yates, who would later helm "Eclipse," the third film in the "The Twilight Saga," which, in comparison, is high on love triangles and low on blood spatters. Even so, his first venture into the vampiric territory is a grisly beast, even with its slight deviation from the original story. Yates' film portrays the vamps as a far more ancient and barbaric race of beings who attack Barrow in a feeding frenzy. In contrast, Niles' comics give the vampires and the lore behind them a bit more depth and connections to the wider world. Tweaks in storytelling or not, the journey to get "30 Days of Night" to the big screen was always in the cards, even before its debut as a comic book series.

30 Days of Night was a rejected movie pitch before it became a comic book

If you're wondering why "30 Days of Night" makes for such a good watch, that is because it was always meant to be one. As revealed by Steve Niles himself, his below-freezing fang fest was initially put together as a film idea that was eventually rejected. Speaking to CBR, Niles explained, "'30 Days' really all started as just a little story idea. At the time, when I thought of it, I wasn't even thinking of making movies. It wasn't until I got to LA that people began convincing me to explore the film angle."

It was a rough journey for Niles' story of snow and blood, though, as even his backup plan took a while to get accomplished after publishers initially also gave it the cold shoulder. "I did try to sell it as a movie, but I also tried to sell it to Vertigo and Dark Horse and places like that," Niles told CBR. "And they all said no." Thankfully, the tide eventually turned in Niles' favor when IDW took the title in 2002. In the spotlight, its success and time led to the claret-coated modern vampire classic that fans know and love.