Johnny Depp is ready to sink his fangs into Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows'

Johnny-Depp-Dark-ShadowsImage Credit: PR Photos; Everett CollectionSeveral years into the pop culture vampire craze, the bloodsucker genre is still showing some signs of life — or undeadness, as the case may be. After years of kicking the idea around, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are finally set to start production next April on their big-screen remake of the cult vampire TV series Dark Shadows, according to Deadline. The macabre daytime soap, which ran from 1966 to 1971, starred Jonathan Frid as the vampire Barnabas Collins and worked werewolves, ghosts, witches, zombies, and other gothic goodies into its storylines. Burton and Depp — who will be making their eighth film together — are both longtime fans of the series; Depp has called it his “childhood dream” to play Barnabas Collins. Seth Grahame-Smith, who wrote the best-selling novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, has been hired to work on the screenplay.

How the Dark Shadows schedule will affect the other projects Depp has reportedly been linked to — most notably, director Kathryn Bigelow’s next drama, Triple Frontier, co-starring Tom Hanks — remains to be seen. But given the complicated mythology of Dark Shadows, which included time travel, parallel universes, and a whole array of monsters, one could imagine it potentially becoming an ongoing franchise, à la the Twilight movies (which, just for the record, Depp and Burton, interviewed in February before the release of Alice in Wonderland, told EW they’ve never seen).

What do you think? Are you a fan of the original Dark Shadows? Does the idea of Depp playing Barnabas Collins feel right to you? Or are you just ready to put a stake through the heart of this whole vampire fad?

Read more:
‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ author will write a ‘Dark Shadows’ remake for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

Comments (144 total) Add your comment
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  • beth

    FINALLY!!! i just hope i don’t die before i get to see it!!!!

    • blaaaake!

      Impeach Obummer!

      • pastafarian

        on what grounds exactly?

      • Ashley g

        Why? And blake quit posting this on every story or atleast explain your reasoning

      • JFWilder

        Blake-you’re a big fat idiot, just like Rush Limberger and Glen Blech

      • blaaaake!

        Being a f-ing idiot that’s why! We don’t need that racist in OUR White House.

      • justjack

        Don’t feed the trolls, people.

      • JFWilder

        cougarchats1 = LOSER LOSER LOSER and LOSER to anyone who actually thinks this isn’t spam.

      • blake only has one a in it

        by “OUR” White House did you mean white people’s? I bet so. I also bet you sleep confederate flag footed pajamas.

        that is all.

    • amj

      I agree, it’s about time!

    • Bobby’s Robot

      LOL – I know what you mean. I’ll be counting the minutes.

    • JoPat

      Funny , I said the same thing recently..

      • Sheryl M

        I said the exact same thing when I heard about it a couple of years ago. I have to stay alive to see it. Not that I’m dying. It’s just the chance that I might miss it. It’s unthinkable. I can’t leave this earth without seeing it. I’ll postpone God and become a movie theater ghost to see it.

  • claudenorth

    This has the potential to be a hugely successful and long-running franchise, provided that the filmmakers find a way to attract a young audience unfamiliar with the TV series while also staying true enough to the spirit of the original not to alienate the hardcore fans of the original.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      Just wonderin’ – Did you take your screen name from a character on the original series ot is it just a coincidence?.

  • maxwell19596

    OMG, yes, yes, yes! When I was six years old (spoiler alert, I just gave away my Dark Shadows premiered on TV. I thought it was the coolest show ever, and it scared the crud out of me. My older cousins turned me on to it. They thought it was silly, which in a way it was kind of campy. In the early 70’s the shows creator Dan Curtis made a movie called “House Of Dark Shadows” which again scared me tremendously, and actually holds up to this day as a great moody vampire piece. I’m not sure it’s even available on DVD. Then more recently uhm 1990 or so was the short lived new Dark Shadows series. I have the DVD, but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. Now Jonathin Frid was really creepy in the original show. It is a great jumping off point for Johnny Depp. I have a feeling this will be one of the better recent Tim Burton projects. It is kind of like old school Goth, before there where gothers. So let the magic begin. Man I can’t wait. (sigh, yehp I really am that old…)

    • erin

      My mom was a huge fan when she was in highschool, and I remember later when I was a kid (like around four or five) she would put on reruns, and the witch character (Angelina?) scared the mess out of me. Barbabas too. My parents dragged me to DS conventions, and I have a pic of me holding Barnabas’ cane, which I guess was capped with silver to keep away werewolves. Was heavy as heck.

      • Denise

        My favorite show when I was in grade school – I used to hurry home after school to watch it. Her name was Angelique.

    • Terry

      I loved House of Dark Shadows(its sequel, Night of… not so much) and could only hope this is more like that. I’d love to see a good scary bloody vampire film more in spirit to the Christopher Lee Dracula films and Blacula. If nothing else though, maybe this film will cause the release of the dvd for the original film.

    • lady in red

      I am the same age as you and ran home from school everyday to watch it. i even had my hair done like Josette for my brothers bar mitvah.

    • Carla

      Surprise, maxwell 19596! We are about the same age, and Dark Shadows scared me silly! Jonathan Frid was the scariest vampire since Bela Lugosi, and I used to watch the show hiding behind the hallway door, because when Barnabas bared his fangs, he scared the bejeezus out of me!

    • Rita

      Max,I was 15 when the show first aired on ABC. Never missed it even with all the noise happening off screen..BUT I am hoping Burton does it justice and Depp as a vampire..HOTT in one word! LOL

  • HD

    I wish Depp/Burton would stop. They pumped that well dry movies ago. I will never forgive them for what they did to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    • Zoe

      100% AGREE!

    • Marie

      They actually made Charlie and the Chocolate Factory better. Yes Gene Wilder is a better Wonka, but at least they made the story have it where Charlie didn’t disobey any of Wonka’s orders. that is what I don’t like about the original version. Wonka tells them to not drink the bubbly soda and then Charlie and grandpa go ahead and drink it. in the Burton version, Charlie doesn’t do anything bad.

      • Dave

        Yeah, didn’t Roald Dahl absolutely hate the 70s film with Gene Wilder?

      • Lisa Simpson

        And Burton added a ridiculous backstory for Wonka and ruined the ending. Neither is completely faithful to the book (big deal – most movies aren’t), but I’ll take the Wilder version. AS for Roald Dahl, he wrote the sceenplay for the ’70s version, but he didn’t like Wilder’s interpretation of Wonka.

    • MCS

      If you really wanna start this debate again, neither film was faithful to Roald Dahl’s original book. Wilder certainly didnt portray Wonka right, but neither did Depp. But that’s what a film is: an interpretation. Let it be.

    • Carla

      HD, just because you’re too stupid to get it, doesn’t mean the rest of us should be denied enjoyment.

  • MCS

    Even as a fan of both Depp and Burton, and a fan of True Blood (as part of th vampire craze), I have to say I am over the vampire craze and not terribly excited for this film. However, I am not familiar with the original series. Maybe it will be awesome.

  • Emi

    Johnny Depp is a wonderful actor, but it seems that Tim Burton doesn’t pick many actors but Johnny Depp. After a while all the movies start to seem the same. Johnny has the same look in the eyes, the smile and mannerisms. Sorry but it gets boring.

    • The Devil

      Yeah, I pretty much agree. Johnny Depp is an amazing actor, but he does tend to go towards the same character in almost all of his Burton movies.

    • llevinso

      I understand what you’re saying. I think Depp is very talented and is actually one of my favorite actors, but I’ve come to only want to see him now when he’s NOT in a Tim Burton movie.

  • AllieBoBallie

    Johnny Depp could play the role of paint drying, and I would watch. Add some campy goth creature nonsense, and I’m doubly in! I enjoy the ridiculous and fantastic, so I naturally enjoy both vampires and Depp.

  • Zoe

    The 1991 Dark Shadows was all kinds of awesome. I wasn’t born when the original show aired, so my impressions are mainly from that. (I have seen a lot of the original, though.) With all the storylines there are, I would prefer seeing a reworking as a TV show–and yes, I know that fell apart on the WB years ago. But I’m honestly tired of Depp/Burton/Bonham-Carter. After awhile, everything they do starts to look and feel exactly the same.

    • dcet30

      Me too! I remember I was riveted by that version; that being said I have high jhopes for Burton and Depp as long as they don’t go too campy with it.

    • Laura G

      Me too!! My mother loved the original version when she was in high school, and I loved the 1991 version when I was in middle school. I’m excited about this movie . . . perhaps my Mom and I will have to see it together!

    • S.

      I was a fan of the ’91 version also and was looking forward to the new movie when they started talking about it a couple of years ago, but Vampire Diaries has kind of owned Dark Shadow’s territory for me now. I’ll take a wait & see approach on the movie.

  • Lisa Simpson

    I loved the original series growing up and am excited about this (even though Burton is very hit and miss with his movies). But the real question for me is who is going to play Quentin Collins?

    • Kathy

      I could see Hugh Jackman. Don’t his WOlverine sideburns rather resemble Quentin’s?? Can’t wait for this movie as I LOVED the original “Dark Shadows”!!

      • ariettty

        Hugh Jackman – yes! I cannot wait for this movie.

      • ann

        ooh yes. he would be fabulous too!

    • Bobby’s Robot

      I’m guessing Quentin wouldn’t appear in it if it’s an orgin story. Maybe a sequel??

      • Bobby’s Robot

        That should be “origin”

  • Jason S.

    I hope they don’t start with the Unburying of Barnabas or they do that very quickly and move on to something else. That story has been told many times. I would like to see Quentin Collins in the film. It shouldn’t center around BArnabas being a reluctant vampire because that has been done to death. It should have Barnabas as already good investigating some other evil force. That is when the series really shined. Or possibly do the time travel or parralel universe stories.

  • joesmom

    Hey, now that is a remake I’d pay to see!

  • Steve Gennarelli

    It would be cool to see Depp wear the Barnabas style bangs as an “homage” to Frid. Since the first couple of years of the show were in Black & White, maybe the 1st half of the movie could start that way too..Scarlett Johanson would make a great Angelique !!!

    • sandy

      Brilliant idea of casting Scarlett J! I’ve been waiting for this movie for years and my first question was — who should be his Angelique?

  • gv

    Seth Grahame-Smith is a TERRIBLE writer. HIRE SOMEONE WORTHY.

  • Jodi

    I would love for this film to be made. I don’t remember a lot about the show (would love to have it on video)but I know I was addicted to it. I hope they keep it close enough to the original that it brings back great, creepy memories!

  • Miss M.

    I’d watch Johnny Depp read from a chemistry textbook. Count me in!

    • ele

      I´d watch Johnny Depp read from a chemistry textbook in German!!! count me in too! :)

      • justjack


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