Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows: A Long Time Coming

There are new comics, novels and audio dramas in development, but the big Dark Shadows news is Johnny Depp/Tim Burton's movie that films in April. Depp, it turns out, has been connected with the franchise since 2002, and loved it even longer.



It seems that the idea of Johnny Depp playing Barnabas Collins has occurred to other people even before the actor had announced he'd acquired the rights in 2007, as discovered by a petition started by www.petitiononline.com. That’s where the following was found:

To: Tim Burton & Johnny Depp

We, the undersigned, respectfully submit the following
to Director Tim Burton and Actor Johnny Depp:
Gentlemen: your films Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood & Sleepy Hollow are superb examples of Gothic, fantastic cinema. We want to see more collaborative efforts on your parts.
We ask that you both consider doing a big screen adaptation of the 1960s horror themed soap opera Dark Shadows, with Mr. Burton in the director's chair, co-writing and co-producing the film with Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis. We ask that Johnny Depp consider playing Dark Shadows' central character of Barnabas Collins.
We feel that such a collaboration could revive the wonderful, well loved franchise that Dark Shadows is. We feel that the unique, brilliant vision of Mr. Burton and the breathtaking acting talents of Mr. Depp could not only revive Dark Shadows, but create a new and enduring film classic in its own right, a modern Gothic masterpiece.
There is a huge audience for Dark Shadows, gentlemen, and we have waited a long time for our show to return to us.
We feel this may be of interest to you both as you have both been reported to be fans of Dark Shadows yourselves, and Mr. Depp has been quoted as saying that he'd like to play Barnabas Collins.
We hope that you will take our request under consideration.
Thank you.
Sincerely,

The Undersigned


Additionally, back in 2002, TVGuide.com reported that Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis had explored the possibility of Depp's interest in a feature film based on the classic soap opera.

"We are working on making that happen," the late Curtis said at the time. "We have people who are interested in providing financing, and we're having lots of conversations."
Curtis added, "Will it happen? I can't say, but it's a possibility. Do you want to hear something funny? We'd heard for ages that Johnny Depp always wanted to play Barnabas Collins, so we checked into it, and lo and behold, depending on the script, it is something that he'd like to do." He continued, "I'd also very much like to work with [screenwriter] Steven de Souza, and we've had a lot of fun talking about it. Dark Shadows has an undying audience. The show never goes away. It's running on SCI FI Channel, and 40 episodes were recently put out on a four-disc DVD set. I understand they sold out within days and [MPI Media Group] had to go back for a second printing. Never in my life did I imagine that the show would still be around."

And back in 1999 Johnny Depp himself appeared on an episode of The Charlie Rose Show, where he offered: "I can remember being totally fascinated with Bela Lugosi and the Dracula films when I was five years old, and I can remember sitting in class in first grade and drawing pictures of Dracula and Frankenstein. I remember it like it was yesterday. And when I was a kid, in about 1968, I was completely, utterly obsessed with a television show called Dark Shadows. I wanted to be Barnabas Collins and I wanted the cane with the wolf's head on it. For my parents, that must have been a very scary thing. 'Where did we go wrong?'"

If all goes according to plan, look for Dark Shadows in 2012. For much more on Dark Shadows - past, present and future - check out the Blog of Dark Shadows site. Just click on the image below.

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