Burton & Depp’s ‘Dark Shadows’ Begins Production in April 2011

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 7:50 am,

Tim Burton Johnny Depps Dark Shadows movie begins production in April 2011 Burton & Depps Dark Shadows Begins Production in April 2011

Director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp will, at long last, work together (for an eighth time, that is) on a feature-length treatment of the cult TV show Dark Shadows.

Burton and Depp are (wisely) taking a break from working together on quirkier fare like Alice in Wonderland and will be on more familiar, gothic territory with their new project – which is scheduled to start production this spring.

Deadline is reporting that April 2011 is the planned start date for production to begin on Dark Shadows, which was originally a hit ABC television series that ran from 1966-1971. The Dark Shadows TV show was a macabre melodrama that featured an assortment of supernatural creatures, including werewolves, zombies, and the non-sparkling vampire Barnabas Collins (the role Depp will play in the film adaptation). It also featured the sort of stylized sets and bizarre musical score that, well, every Tim Burton movie has, and was reportedly very influential on the ghoulish auteur.

While Burton regular John August was originally brought on to script Dark Shadows, the job has now fallen to Seth Grahame-Smith, a.k.a. the author of the revisionist history/horror book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It’s safe to say that Dark Shadows will be more in the vein of Burton & Depp’s Hammer Horror-inspired collaborations (ie. Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) than their PG-Rated, more family-friendly fare like this year’s Alice or Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.

Depp and Burton on the set of 'Sweeney Todd'.

While an increasing number of moviegoers are now tired of seeing Depp – with pale makeup and an elaborate wig to boot – and Burton work together, Dark Shadows has the potential to be a deliciously dark and twisted supernatural creature tale in the age of Twilight. The subject matter is right up both artist’s alley and the two have been quite vocal about their adoration of the original Dark Shadows TV show in the past.

Burton/Depp and Grahame-Smith have found success of late in tackling previously established material and giving it a more twisted spin. We can only hope they don’t just employ Tim Burton’s Secret Formula in their approach to Dark Shadows and instead deliver something that’s a bit more inspired.

Dark Shadows will likely reach theaters by 2012.

Source: Deadline

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  1. I’ll be watching this one for sure.

  2. !!!!!!!Ahhhhh….Exhale!!!!!!! I may have waited 40 years for this given that Dark Shadows was our absolute favorite right up to the time it was taken off the air waaayyyy back in the day nearly before times of my memory… I am looking forward to just how bizarre the sound track might be!

    • I’m guessing it’ll be way out there…

      • Only if they do it right!

        I LOVE the Depp/Burton team!!! This will be fantastic

        • Foopher…. such the love monger…. Eight… its a magic number….

          Question is who will Collins be?? The dynamic man of properties and fortune or the Ne’er Do Well prodigal son with some serious complexity when it comes to the maids in the Livery…. The Hive roars and the Plot thickens…. and now… back to work for me before someone spots me polishing the lenses in the doors of perception….

          • The story says it’s goig to be Depp in the role of Collins.

            • Ford….ever the gentleman, sage, and scholar…

  3. If it weren’t for the brilliant work they did on Sweeney Todd, I would have goose-bumps right now.. not in a good way but in the more traditional way of dread and loathing. Do I trust their judgment? Weell.. it’s kind of like Anton Chigurh flipping a coin.

    • A tisket a tasket I love their yellow basket … and if they made a pink one then I would love that one as well… Clsassic reference to Chigurh there and aptly put but with the Burton vision comes a qualifier that over the top will insure some suspense and wry humor… whats not to love there?

      With Depp at the helm of whichever Madman in question we have to accept that he will be driven to evoke every internal twist and motivation for the sake of delivering the character whole and alive to us in that moment…..

      Given the fact that he has spent his entire life in quiet conversation with this particular character I am thinking that dear Lord whassis name of the Potter defamation could only wish to have an ounce of such genuine internal conflict and apparent consumption as cerebral digest….

      In fact its likely that we all trust them inherently to lead us into whichever realm of hell might have some sick little laugh or shred of sardonic humor waiting to pounce on any who wander near …

      yes I wax poetic for some actual artistry in the industry and will have it! So it goes and if some verson of Laugh In emerge in the wake of this film then let me be the first to pull down my flight bag and give the auld heave ho to Ralph the morning after but until them… Damn the Torpedoes Mr. Christian…. Full Steam and No Sleep till Collinswood! Bring me that Sunset and another bottle of rum… Avast yer knicker gnawing and get on with it already.. hahahahahahha…

      Wheres my golden guy for that performance???

      • Why do I feel like I just read Chaucer or something? :-)

      • Don’t look now but your thespianism is showing! ;) or, on second thought, you’d better tuck that back in!! Children read ScreenRant!

        Glad you’re happy with Tim and Johnny, with the exception of Sweeney, I haven’t been a big fan of the coupling. Johnny has truly shown in Pie Rats and more serious fare like Finding Neverland and Chocolat.

        As for Dark Shadows not having a big following and therefore anything goes is cool — not at all. Film makers shouldn’t mess with proven television successes! I have said this before, Burton’s Batman being the exception because the television series wasn’t the success, it was the parasite that lived off of it. Always look to the original source material or at least the largest known successful version to gleen economic benefits from the demographic!

        Personally, vampires suck, zombies stink.. but werewolves howl! IE I like transformative creatures (tranformers being the exception). But, that said, the original Jonathan Frid character was spectacular. How can our golden boy play HIM? Johnny would make a far better Quentin!

        Well.. you did bait me. :)

        • wish I could edit these things post-post. ;)

      • But, seriously! Look at Depp’s comedic character in Sleepy Hollow! That was aweful. If it weren’t for the story line and great supporting cast, it would have fared no better than the less flamboyant Ed Wood! Now if the Coens or Peter Jackson or even Scorsese did it, wouldn’t that be something! I’d love it if Burton went back to his roots and did a sequel to Beetlejuice since Keaton is talking about it.

        • Oh man… you thought Keaton was good and Depp was awful? Gimme a break… I have yet to be able to sit through that annoying Beetlejuice film only because Keaton was such the quid…. Maybe you think that Jim Carey and Michael Keaton are worthy of Tony Joy?

          As for Sleepy Hollow… the inquisitive initiate to the ways of natural arts and magic is played fantastically by Depp and whats more it is one of the roles where he is allowed some of his fabulous humor and satirical spit… Not sure what you want from Depp past a blood offering when it comes to delivering a character that everyone can relate to…

          You likely believe Clint Eastwood is a fabulous actor with the range of buddha and the depth of captain kangaroo right?? seriously Shido.. what are you looking for when it comes to characterization? Dont run any of that Keanu Reeves stuff by me and dont even try to tell me that I am going to have to see Christian Bale as a bench mark of talent… he has played the same man ever since he starved himself to death for the Mechanic.

          Scorsese??? lord man… did you want Barnabus Collins to track down to the city for a weekend of clubbing and garment district lowlife? Wow… Burton go back for some more Keaton loaf??? Man… do you not get any of the value of Edward Scissorhands or Mad Hatter… sheesh… Sure thing… lets just have a bit of Jack Frost 2 mixed in with our Midnight Express Apertif and then maybe we can conjure our way into some Dances with Kevin Costner to point Depp in the appropriate Tonto direction of authenticity…

          Sir Arthur Conan Doyle look out… Shido is on the case… btw… your Akira and Zac Efron called and they want your notes when youre done.

  4. hmm hope they do it well-its not like that medium has any huge cult-like fans to piss off…they could do their own version with no prob.

  5. Finally we have a date! Since the rumor became evident 2 years ago this was a project this amazing team would tackle soon when the timeing was right, I tried to temper excitment. Mr. Depp growing up had Mr. Fried’s poster as Barnabus up on his wall. This will be brilliant. Alas, the younger audience has no idea about “Dark Shadows”, or the fact it was a daytime soap opera with one film to it’s credit. The cult following are in their 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. However…..I think it is just plain wrong to mention Twi-”tripe” and “Dark Shawdows” in the same article.

    • Two! House of Dark Shadows in 1970, and Night of Dark Shadows ’71. And, it would be a serious mistake to discount the old-timers who make up the largest demographic. Speaking of representation — this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bald-shadows.png looks more like laughter than pain! :)

    • It comes out on May-11- 2012:):)!!

  6. Who says we are getting tired of seeing a white-faced Johnny Depp? A dirty Johnny or a white-faced Johnny is just as good as a regular Johnny. Yummy!