Several 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?