Johnny Depp to Star in DARK SHADOWS for Tim Burton; Filming Set to Start in April

by     Posted 3 years, 171 days ago

It looks like Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows film is finally gearing up for production. The project has been in the works for quite a while now and last we heard, Pride and Predjudice and Zombies author Seth Grahme-Smith was writing the latest draft of the script, from a previous draft by screenwriter John August (Big Fish). Heat Vision now reports that Depp has signed on to star, with Burton definitely directing and filming to begin next April. The project is based off the 1966-71 ABC gothic soap opera that featured Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins along with (per Wikipedia) other supernatural creatures like werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel (both into the past and into the future), and a parallel universe.

Depp would, of course, be taking on the title role of Collins.  Hit the jump for more on the project, including what this means regarding Depp’s involvement in Katherine Bigelow’s (The Hurt Locker) ensemble drama starring Tom Hanks.

Shadows appears to be an obvious choice of project for the Depp-Burton team.  It’s dark, gothic, and quirky.  I’m actually interested to see how the two tackle supernatural creatures.  Depp and Burton doing werewolves and zombies sounds like it could be a lot of fun.  It seems like they’ve become a bit rote as of late in their decision to do films aimed at younger audiences. Hopefully this project is closer to the tone of Sleepy Hollow, which I think is one of the better projects they’ve done together.  Depp talked to us earlier this year about Shadows.

Bigelow has been courting Depp as of late for her new film. Triple Frontier, reunites her with The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal.  Both won the Academy Award last year for their respective work on that film (Director and Screenwriter).  The film is said to center on Latin American drug cartels, and Bigelow is said to have been courting some big names for the ensemble project, including Hanks and Depp.  With that film set to start shooting in February, it’s not known if Depp will be able to do both projects.  However, if Frontier turns out to be a large enough ensemble film (a la Crash), it’s possible that Depp could be able to shoot all of his scenes in time to make the April start date for Shadows. But for now, this is all speculation, as he’s made no formal commitment to star in Frontier.

Depp sure has been busy lately.  The Tourist, with Angelina Jolie is set to hit theaters on December 10th.  He also has The Rum Diary in the can, based upon the Hunter S. Thompson book, which will hopefully be released sometime next year.  In addition, he lent his voice to the Gore Verbinski-directed (the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films) animated film Rango, which will be released on March 4th, and he’s currently filming the fourth Pirates film with director Rob Marshall (Chicago).  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides hits theaters on May 20th, 2011.

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  • Joseph Greene

    A Tim Burton/Johnny Depp Movie. How original.

  • Angmal

    Cue all the “I hate Tim Burton” comments…

    • Jim Goff

      And for good reason; he’s boring.

      • Angmal

        Not as boring as the sheer inevitability that people who dislike Burton feel that have to share this with the rest of us at every available opportunity. How about saving your energy to comment on films and filmmakers that you actually do like, rather than cluttering up the internet with pointless bile?

      • RudinFilargo

        oh shut up

      • Hazard

        And why don’t you save your vitriol for words directed at you? You’re cluttering up the internet with ‘pointless bile’ by responding to comments on an internet article you disagree with. COMMENTS you disagree with. How about saving that energy to comment on responses you like and agree with and ignore the ones you don’t?

        And if you can’t do that, understand that the freedom of speech that you enjoy to make snobbish remarks to others is the same ones they enjoy to remark on their dislike for the Burton / Depp combination. Self-righteous jerkoffs like yourself, Angmal, rarely take the time to consider that while you’re verbally masturbating your hate on internet forums. Give and take, or shut up.

      • CIRCULARarguments

        and why dont YOU(hazard) save your time and everyone else’s by not responding to a response of a response! you’re cluttering up the internet your 2 paragraph rants! IT sounds like everyone here is “verbally masturbating” their hate on internet forums! what is the world coming to!

  • Angmal

    Cue all the “I hate Tim Burton” comments…

  • The.Watcher

    I love Burton’s films, except Apes, Mars, Alice and Charlie, and think that Depp is a phenomenal actor, but I’m just tired of the Burton/Depp duo, hr plays almost the same character in all those films.

    What happened to Depp’s originality? He used to star in very unorthodox projects.

    • Jim Goff

      “I love Burton’s films, except” and then names more than half of them lol. Hilarious.

      • Zhimbo

        Burton’s made 14 major features. 4/14 = 29%

      • Zhimbo

        Burton’s made 14 major features. 4/14 = 29%

      • Jim Goff

        I was an exaggeration. Geesh.
        He still hasn’t had an original idea since 1988.

      • TR Rides Again

        Oh yeah, everyone was scrambling over the rights to an Ed Wood biopic, it’s just Burton came up lucky. Enough. Burton still has a lot to offer – he created Corpse Bride, ja? – even if he’s slumping. We’re all disappointed in Tim Burton. But Sweeny Todd was good. So don’t hate.

      • Jobe

        An exaggeration to make a point that required the exaggeration. Good job on making up your own points.

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  • Fabrice

    i think that depp needs to stay away from burton for once but this project can be really good.. maybe can be in the way of ed wood (who’s one of the best work that they did together)

    as the same time i think that depp needs to move on from roles likes this.. we all know how good can be in roles likes this, move on johnny

  • Anonymous

    Yay! I’m glad this is finally going forward. I truly hated Alice, but this project is right up their alley. I love Dark Shadows. I love Sleepy Hollow. I’m excited.

  • DM

    Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, together again. I’ll give you all two guesses who the female lead is, and who’s doing the music.
    However, if anyone can pull off Dark Shadows, it’s Burton. I’d rather see Neil Gaiman do the script, though.

  • DM

    Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, together again. I’ll give you all two guesses who the female lead is, and who’s doing the music.
    However, if anyone can pull off Dark Shadows, it’s Burton. I’d rather see Neil Gaiman do the script, though.


    Owkayeee, we get it already! Tim Burton Johnny Depp. Damn.

  • Sinception

    Tim Burton+Johnny Depp = overrated!

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  • Malone265

    For the love of god!!!! Tim Burton and Johnny Depp need to get a restraining order against each other…..we are all very tired of these two making bad movies together…

    • Azshadowwalker

      “We all” = you and the mouse in your pocket, I guess. A bit megomaniacal to assume everyone shares the opinion. I love some of their movies, and I don’t care about others. I am THRILLED they are working on this one together, because it is exactly the kind of movie they do well together. Frankly, I can’t wait to see Depp as Barnabas.

      • Hazard

        If you’re going to nitpick other people’s use of verbiage, you should be at least smart enough to understand that it’s ‘megalomaniacal’ not ‘megomaniacal’.

        Also, there’s plenty enough people out there who are sick of Burton sucking Johnny Depp into all of his films. He’s ruining a great actor, and frankly most of Burton’s movies suck major ass.

        Burton is a cowardly, poor director and that’s why he sticks with Depp and Bonham-Carter (well and that he’s married to her, no nepotism going on there, ha) – because he’s scared to work with other actors. For all his supposed edgyness, he’s become a one-trick director that makes every one of his movies visually similar, and starring the same actors over and over.

        Real fuckin’ brilliance there, let me tell you.

  • Koroko

    Johnny Depp in a Burton film?? NO FUCKING WAY!

  • Jbirdpurplehaze

    This is such bullshit. I mean this sounds a lot better than Burtons shitty remakes he has been doing for the last decade, but why doesnt Depp try to pick different directors to work with. I can’t stand Tim Burton for the most part. I don’t know why everyone loves him so much. He has failed to impress me with pretty much most of his films (aside from Batman, Mars Attack, and Sleep Hollow). If this gets in the way of Depp having a role in Bigelow’s next project (who is a far better director with a better film in the works) then I have completely lost all respect for Depp.

    • Jeff Ames

      Check out Ed Wood or Sweeny Todd – both of those films saw Burton at his absolute best.

      How can you not like Edward Scissorhands? Or Beetlejuice? Or Pee Wee (friggin’ hilarious) -

      I agree his films of late have been meh (Sweeny notwithstanding), but the man has vision. And you have to admit, every time he and Depp work together, it’s always intriguing to see what they’ll come up with. Granted, their collaborations for the most part are a gamble, and they don’t always work, but the results are typically worth checking out.

      Alice in Wonderland is still quite terrible, though.

      • Bob

        finally someone here actually knows what they’re talking about

      • Sarahbg76

        Agreed, Alice was weak.

    • Erin


  • Christophercantos

    hopefully, they come back to their EdWood roots because it is their BEST FILM together

  • Jim Goff


  • Andoc77

    Depp in a Burton movie? Wow… never seen that before. I bet the female lead will be a “surprise” as well as the person in charge of the music….

    Oh well, most of Burton’s films are good, so whatever, I just wish he would step away from the formula for a bit.

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  • Cody Fairless-Lee

    I’m sure excited about this, along with TB’s other film, FRANKENWEENIE! I wonder who’s distributing this?

  • Lincolnlobster

    Does Burton even hire casting directors? Or is it just a given that Depp will star in every damn thing he does?

    • Azshadowwalker

      This is Depp’s project. He is producing it. He is the one who bought the rights. So, frankly, it wasn’t Tim Burton’s choice whom to cast. It was Depp’s choice as to who would direct.

    • Eric_trunk99

      I agree, Burton doesnt take any risks anymore in my opinion. All he does now is take an old story or movie or show etc. and throw Johnny Depp in it, cause he knows it will do well. SHake it up a bit Mr Burton! you too Mr Depp! They are some of the finest directors and actors around but dont take any risks! Go outside the bubble is all im saying!

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  • Drozy

    Ironically “Ed Wood” one of the best films they made together was seldom seen by the masses. Sigh.

    • Hazard

      Probably because it has NO mass appeal. Like a lot of Burton’s movies. If you’re a fan of his style and works, you’d prob like to see it. Most of the paying audience however, especially in the mid-90′s, were not interested in paying to see a black and white movie about the world’s worst movie maker who also happened to be a cross-dresser AND a pornographer. And still aren’t, really.

      • Muddled

        Their loss, as it’s brilliant, charming, funny movie and one of the most heartfelt odes to the magic of filmmaking ever. Oscar winning performance too. Who cares about most of the paying audience? The likes of us aren’t getting a cut of that money. We do get to enjoy movies like Ed Wood for the rest of our lives, tho. That said, he hasn’t made anything truly terrific since then.

  • Negativeions101

    Alright everyone. The 100% objective truth is that Burton + Depp = who cares. It’s a mathematically proven fact which I have just shown to you above. Burton sucks Depp’s gay penis. No one’s heard of dark shadows. I am the greatest writer/director in the world, once I actually get off of my ass and have an idea. Everyone is an idiot don’t respond to this comment because you’d just be filling the internet with more bile you heartless homosapien. End of conversation.

    • TR Rides Again

      Who’s your dealer?

  • wacko3205

    Here’s the thing…this project has been on Depp’s radar as long or if not longer than it has Burton’s, as both of them grew up loving the man & the myth that was Barnabas. I’m actually kind of excited about this one & am a bit shocked by people saying that Burton’s not original…as he is one of the more unique director/visionists of our generation. That being said…I know he’s not for everyone…but he does have his charms…the same goes for Depp & his roles…kinda shocked that people say he’s playing the same character…when he’s clearly not. What’s up with the hate?!?!? :)

  • Serendipity

    If all of you guys hate the Burton/Depp thing, then why spend all of your time commenting and slamming their movies! Got nothing better to do?! Hmm, one wonders. . .
    And for those of us who actually think this is a good thing, we are gonna have yet another great movie on our hands.

  • Akesling

    I loved this show. It just seems in the hands of Depp and Burton it will simply become a parody, and that’s a shame. It was ahead of its time, and deserves homage, not parody.

  • Sheriff J.W Pepper


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  • daphne

    as fpr me..I loved Barnabas and luv Johnny Depp and cannot wait to see them together….which is I hope where they should be. If you don’t want to see it,
    don’t. But let us who are excited….enjoy it.

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  • JMcLC

    Really, all of you Burton/Depp haters are so boring. Compared with 90 percent of films in the last 20 years, Burton/Depp are breaths of fresh air. Who cares that they do many films together, and the female lead often may be the same, ditto the music (Elfman is a musical genius IMO). Their films are entertaining, visually stunning, and NOT 90210 re-makes. If you don’t enjoy their work, stay off their articles. Those who can, do; those who can’t, bitch.

    • M.Cornelis

      Quite frankly I cant agree with JMcLC more. Burton, Depp and Elfman are a winning combination. Are they for everyone?…no…nobody will make everyone happy. But they are all extremely talented and compliment each other superbly.
      As for those who take issue with them…..all I can say is this…

      1. Its all too easy for certain folks to tear the work of others down, especialy when those doing the tearing do not have to put a equal or superior product in its place. That alone invalidates most of the whining they do.

      2. If the team making these projects offends you… dont watch the production. In the case of “Dark Shadows” it’s been noted that both Burton and Depp met with Dan Curtis (who came up with the original Dark Shadows, and not only got his blessing on the production, but were both encouraged to use their creative talents to make it their own. These meetings took place when Depp’s production company purchased the rights to “Dark Shadows” from Curtis.

      So….with Curtis’s blessing, and the combined talents of Burton, Depp and Elfman, and everyones ability to decide if they want to see the production or not, all I can say is…

      Quit your whining…

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  • Mary

    I can’t say that I am excited about the forthcoming Dark Shadows movie that Tim Burton will be directing. As another person wrote, that Jonny Depp should really consider a different director for this movie. Burton is no doubt going to really deflate the expectations of the 60s Classic Gothic soap by having a completely wrong cast.
    For startes, why Michelle Pfeiffer is selected to be the Collins Matriarch is beyond me. She is not autsere enough, and if Burton wants a slam dunk hit to please all of the DS fans out there.. he should have kept some originallity for this release by casting
    KATHRINE LEIGH SCOTT as Elizabeth collins Stoddard!
    Also, Burton could have cast the lead of Barnabus Collins to anybody but Depp. I love Jonny Depp, but not for this role. he is too pretty! He lacks the damaged elegance that Jonathan Frid had. For all of the DS fans out there, get ready for a flop. This has the wrong director, wrong cast. He can make a save on this, by doing a recast and have some element of the actors from the original series. Johnny Depp is gonna need alot of makeup to make his convince the audience that he is a Vampire.

  • BadgerBoffinToes

    I hate Tim Burton and I hate Johnny DERP.. hes an ugly duck wielding pidgeon trout with no acting abilities what so ever.. did i mention my pure dislike towards him?
    All of these fans should find some real movie talent to cyber stalk.. such as Tom Six. His vision when creating the human centipede was magical and his commitment to the film brought a tear to my eye – i feel like a proud mother when i watch that film.. and my kids love it too!
    if you disagree with me then feel free to reply and we will debate about whos the really gem among the smuck.

    • Amber Simon Gryffindor

      Yaaaay i can’t wait for this film to come out sounds amazing :) But i just have to say why are you all so negative against Johnny Depp and Tim Burton making another film together? They make good films together and most people enjoy them, for example; Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Edward Scissor hands, Corpse Bride etc. in my eyes and for many other fans these films are amazingly entertaining. They make some bloody good films, and so fuck if they have done more than one film together, they make a good team and leave many viewers happy and satisfied (like me >.<) you probably think that I’m just another Johnny Depp obsessed freak ranting about how good he is. Yeah, i fucking love Johnny Depp and his films (also Tim) but I’ve just got to say if you're so against them and can't be arsed with another film with them together they why the fuck are you reading about it and taking the time to comment? If you're not interested in this film, or any other for that matter, then just do the simple thing and DON'T READ. You'll find that it saves you alot of time to do the things you really enjoy, rather than just piss me of by saying that they are both shit and their movies are pointless. I'm sure other people will agree with me. Yeah so basically if you don't like the film why bother commenting? Twat.

    • AmberG_USA

      I live in ol’ Alabama and i must say everyone here agrees with that comment – your like my long lost sibling!

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