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'Dark Shadows' sees the light Warner teaming with Depp, King By MICHAEL FLEMING Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins. Warner Bros. is teaming with Depp's Infinitum Nihil and Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group to develop a feature based on the '60s daytime supernatural sudser "Dark Shadows."
Depp has said in interviews that he has always been obsessed with "Dark Shadows" and has wanted to play Collins, the vampire patriarch of the series. The role was originated by Jonathan Frid.
A rights deal just closed with the estate of Dan Curtis, the producer/director who created the soap that aired weekdays on ABC, from 1966 to 1971. Depp and King will produce with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Prods. until Curtis died last year of a brain tumor.
Over 1,225 episodes, "Dark Shadows" was a highly atmospheric, spooky soap that featured gothic horror staples like vampires, monsters, witches, werewolves, ghosts and zombies. The show has a continuing rabid fan base that populates Dark Shadows Festival conventions. Numerous TV revivals of the series and pic adaptations have been attempted over the years but none with as high-wattage a star as Depp.
Depp, who is coming off "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," is next expected to star in "Shantaram," a Mira Nair-directed adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts novel that Depp, King and Plan B are producing for Warner Bros. Depp, King and WB are also mobilizing to make a film about the life of Alexander Litvinenko, with Depp poised to play the former KGB agent, who was fatally poisoned.
From Production chart
January 02, 2008
DARK SHADOWS (Feature)
STATUS - Development PRODUCER: Graham King - Johnny Depp - David Kennedy
Based on the ABC soap “Dark Shadows” created by Dan Curtis. Released from his chained coffin after nearly 200 years, Barnabas Collins arrives at the Collinwood estate claiming to be a relative from England. Although noticing Barnabas's resemblance to his "ancestor" in the foyer portrait, the Collins family does not realize he is the same Barnabas who lived at Collinwood in the 18th century. As Barnabas moves into the Old House on the property, those around him are unaware of the horrors that will soon follow.
More from Richard Zanuck in 2008
Exclusive - Producer Richard D. Zanuck talks DARK SHADOWS 12/3/2008
Written by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Just a few hours ago I attended the press day for the upcoming Jim Carrey comedy “Yes Man”. After sitting in on the press conferences, I managed to get a one on one with producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Heyman. In case you don’t know who David is…he’s produced all the “Harry Potter” movies. And if you don’t know who Richard D. Zanuck is…he’s as close to Hollywood royalty as anyone in the business as his dad was Darryl F. Zanuck and he started 20th Century Fox back in the 1930’s!
So, as I said, Hollywood royalty.
In the coming days I’ll have the entire video interview with these two great producers, but I wanted to post what Richard said about “Dark Shadows” immediately.
As most of you know, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have been rumored to be making a film adaptation of the popular 1960’s show for awhile now. But with the way it is in Hollywood, you never know if a project is ever going to come together. Add to that, we’re talking about two of the biggest people in Hollywood and since they have their picks of the best scripts and projects; you never know what they’ll do next.
But according to Mr. Zanuck, “Dark Shadows” is going to be Tim’s next project after “Alice in Wonderland” and they’ll be shooting it next summer in London!
Fast forward to 2009:
Johnny Depp's 'Dark Shadows' Adaptation 'Very Active'...With Tim Burton Directing? Posted 3/19/09 1:32 pm EST by Eric Ditzian in News Supernatural gothic sagas are crazy hot right now: HBO’s “True Blood,” those “Twilight” flicks everyone keeps talking about, plus a host of upcoming films like Benicio Del Toro’s “The Wolfman” and Nicolas Cage’s “Season of the Witch.” Even “Spider-Man 4”’s rumored villain is a vampire. Another of these Zeitgeist-y projects is the Johnny Depp-starring adaptation of the 1960s soap opera, “Dark Shadows,” which had been in development even before this obsession with monsters, ghosts and witches took hold.
But since word of the planned film surfaced two years ago, reliable “Dark Shadows” news has been hard to come by. Now an executive in Depp’s production company, Infinitum-Nihil, which is developing the movie, confirmed some details for MTV News, left others up in the air, and hinted that we might be seeing the makings of a new supernatural franchise.
Most importantly, we wanted to know if Johnny Depp is still attached to star. “Indeed he is,” confirmed Sam Sarkar, Infinitum’s director of development.
When it came to those Internet rumors about Tim Burton signing on to direct, though, Sarkar was somewhat more circumspect. “I can neither confirm nor deny that,” he said. “But I know it’s out there in the ether.”
Sounds like a deal is not yet in place but that Burton, who’s currently busy with another Depp-staring movie, “Alice in Wonderland,” tops Infinitum’s list of prospective directors. Of course, Depp and Burton have a long creative history together, from “Edward Scissorhands” to “Ed Wood” to “Sweeney Todd.”
While all the pieces are not yet in place, “Dark Shadows” is still very much a go at Warner Bros. “All I can say is that one is very active,” Sarkar said. “The studio will be making some announcements regarding it pretty soon. Very soon, probably.”
“Dark Shadows” premiered on ABC in 1966. Gothic romance, ghost stories, plots involving vampires, zombies and time-travel—the daytime soap had it all, and it became a runaway hit for the network over 1,225 episodes. The task facing producers is simply finding a way to shape a movie around such abundant, wide-ranging material.
“It was a soap opera—it was a daily show,” said Sarkar. “That’s something people forget. It’s one thing to adapt a weekly television series into a movie—it’s another thing to take a soap opera that’s been serialized daily and try to boil it down to two hours.”
As much as they’ll be forced to change and excise, they’re also committed to honoring an adored show. “I think it will be very true to the spirit of 'Dark Shadows,’” Sarkar told us. “I think there’s going to be an authenticity to it.”
Any modifications will be made with the blessing of the mind behind the original series. Said Sarkar, “When Dan Curtis, the creator, was still alive, I met with [producer] David Kennedy, who originally brought the project to us and Curtis, and David has always been very adamant that there are certain things you should definitely take liberties with.”
And if the "Dark Shadows” film turns out to be a success, there's a good chance it will spawn a franchise. “Obviously, it’s a movie that can continue,” said Sarkar, “because there were so many things going on in ‘Dark Shadows.’”
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton together—enough already or gimmie more? Who else would you like to see cast in the film?
June of 2009
This interviewer asked about DARK SHADOWS as well as the other projects:
. But when I asked him about “Dark Shadows”, I could see the enthusiasm in his eyes as he said, “‘Dark Shadows’ is happening. Tim is working on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which is obviously quite a large piece of work there. So when Tim is done with ‘Alice’ and we get the script, which is very, very close, in order we’ll probably attack it next year. It’s exciting, very exciting. It’s like a lifelong dream for me. I loved the show when I was a kid. I was obsessed with Barnabas Collins. I have photographs of me holding Barnabas Collins posters when I was five or six. I’m very excited to do it.”
I’ve heard this is happening next year, and after seeing Johnny light up when talking about it, I believe it.
EXCLUSIVE: Producer Richard Zanuck Talks Dark Shadows Delays May 17th, 2010
Zanuck is set to reunite with Burton and Depp again on Dark Shadows and we recently had a chance to speak with the producer about the upcoming project. "That is still in the works but it's been delayed a bit," Zanuck confirmed. "We expected to do it much earlier, actually before Alice was finished. We must have been intoxicated when we thought that Tim could direct this picture while he was doing the post-production of Alice. Most of the post-production on Alice was done on computers and there were months and months of down time. At one point we thought that we could make it then and then we realized right away that Tim couldn't do it. Then that put it behind a couple of pictures that Johnny had lined up and right now we're waiting for him to finish The Tourist with Angelina Jolie and then he is going to take some time off and then do Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides next," explained Zanuck.
"It's unlikely, while everybody intends to make the picture, and we're still working on the script and all the rest, it's unlikely that we can start it earlier than the beginning of next year," he continued. "Johnny had committed and he has to do Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides first. He had a long-standing, firm, unchangeable contract to do that. That's a big project and he doesn't start that until later in the summer. So there you have it and we're waiting in line." Zanuck went on to say that the film was "still very much alive" and that they are currently working on the script. Finally, since the show ran for several seasons and incorporated so many different elements of sci-fi and horror we wanted to know which elements he was hoping to incorporate into the film and if the lead character would still be the vampire Barnabus Collins played by Johnny Depp? "Well the main character ... yes," answered Zanuck. "But one of the problems we've had with the script is that there are hundreds of episodes of this and boiling it down to an hour and a half or two hour movie with one story has been a real challenge and that's what we are doing now. But it will have all of the elements of the TV show. It won't be high camp, obviously. It won't be soap opera, which the show was. No, it will be scary, it'll be very funny and it will carry the Tim Burton stamp of uniqueness," confirmed Zanuck.
Dark Shadows is in development and stars Johnny Depp. The film is directed by Tim Burton
According to a press release from Warner Brothers, “Dark Shadows” begins filming this week in London.
The movie is the big screen version of the cult classic television series, directed by Tim Burton.
The film’s all-star ensemble cast includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Gulliver McGrath.
Angelica to Jack - "How is it we can never meet without you pointing something at me?"
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