Dark Shadows Fall on Burton, Depp

— by CAM SMITH —

I’m not a vampire guy. Never have been, likely never will be. In fact, I can probably count the number of nocturnal fang-bearer flicks I’ve actually enjoyed on one hand (maybe two if I’m feeling charitable and/or on a wicked sugar-high.

So, I’m a mite torn on how to feel about the story which broke over Sci Fi Wire confirming that one of my favorite film makers, Mr. Tim Burton, will be delving into the so-hot-it’s-getting-tiresome vampire genre with a feature-length adaptation of the gothic TV soap opera “Dark Shadows,” which ran on ABC from 1966-71.

Those who caught the program in its original run will no doubt fondly recall that it portrayed the brood-tastic exploits of toothy Barnabas Collins (played by Jonathan Frid), a morose night-stalker drawn back to his family’s moody New England estate after a newly appointed governess comes snooping around trying to uncover her mysterious origins.

Since Mr. Frid is now circling his mid-80s, the production has been forced to go with their distant second choice: a pleasant-looking chap named Johnny Depp. I’m sure there are a few thousand Twi-hards who won’t be too broken up by this casting change. When in doubt, cast sexy every time!

The more I think about it, I’m actually somewhat surprised that Burton hasn’t already jumped into this particular well, as he’s such an obviously perfect stylistic choice for taking a spin in the coffin-wagon.

Although, a fairly solid, in-depth argument could probably be made — by someone else, preferably — that the significant chunk of his past characters share more than a few mutual characteristics with the blood-sucking mythological monsters.

Nonetheless, if there’s any film maker who stands a chance at making me excited to see a vampire picture, it’s him. Sparkles, or no sparkles!

Producer Graham King has publically stated that “Dark Shadows” will get under way in either September or October, once Burton has recouped from his much-anticipated “Alice in Wonderland” re-interpretation and Depp gets a break in his increasingly chaotic schedule.

For the curious (and the insomniacs), I’ve attached a five-minute clip of an episode of the original series below for educational purposes:

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2 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. moviefan #

    i remember seeing reruns of this as a kid. Also been reading for past few years depp/burton been circuling this project. Cant wait to see if it happens or not. I am sure they will make an interesting film together.

  2. Mo GB #

    Oh, man. That clip was the worst.

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