Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows to Start Filming in February 2011

Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows to Start Filming in February 2011

Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows to Start Filming in February 2011

As Johnny Depp continues to arrange a wide variety of projects he's expressed interest in, it's been reported that his big screen version of the 1960s vampire soap opera Dark Shadows will begin shooting this February.

The film, which is going to be directed by frequent Depp collaborator Tim Burton, had originally had its screenplay written by John August. More recently, however, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter author Seth Graham-Smith has come on to the project and, at this point, has supposedly handed in his script.

In Dark Shadows, Depp will play 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, sealed in his coffin by his father in 1795 and inadvertently unleashed in the present where he must adjust to an entirely new world while passing himself off to relatives in Collinwood, Maine as a cousin from England.

Explains Depp, "Tim and I have tossed the idea for Dark Shadows over the years. It was a TV program in the States in the late 60s and early 70s that I remember watching as a kid. I was obsessed with this character, Barnabas Collins, who was a vampire. I came to find out many years later that when he was a kid, Tim ran home like I did to watch that Gothic soap opera. It was a very strange thing back then.We looked at ways to go, story-wise. We've started to come up with something interesting."

Interestingly, this is not the first revival of Dark Shadows. In 1991 NBC aired a primetime version with Ben Cross as Barnabas, and in 2004 a CW pilot was produced starring Alec Newman as the vampire.

Additionally, one of the most interesting aspects of the show was that the setting, which began in the present, would frequently travel to the past with the cast playing their own ancestors. The first flashback was to 1795 and the "origin" of Barnabas, which went a long way in transforming him from the villain of the piece to a sympathetic vampire. One would imagine that some aspect of this origin story will be featured in Burton's version.

Below are trailers that were put together of the first two versions of Dark Shadows' journey to the past.

1795 Flashback (Original Series)

1790 flashback (Revival Series)

And for an in depth look at the making of Let Me In, head over to the Vampires & Slayers online community by clicking the image below.

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