Johnny Depp, who is just coming off Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and who just wrapped the Tim Burton-directed Sweeney Todd, has now inked a deal to play the role of Barnabas Collins, the vampire star of the 1960’s daytime supernatural TV show, Dark Shadows.
Depp has said that he has long been obsessed with Dark Shadows, and in a November 1999 interview with SPLICEDwire, he discussed his fascination with the show:
“Do you remember a show in the late ’60s called “Dark Shadows?” Barnabas Collins (the main character and a vampire) was a huge obsession of mine. I loved Barnabas Collins more than I loved the Harlem Globetrotters. I wanted to be Barnabas Collins so much that I found a ring, it was probably one of my mother’s rings, and I wore it on this finger, and I tried to comb my hair like Barnabas Collins, and I was trying to figure out how I could get fangs. It really had a heavy impact on me, a heavy influence on me.”
Depp will be working with Warner Bros. and Graham King’s GK Films to develop the feature based off the TV show. They just finished up a rights deal with the estate of Dan Curtis, the director/producer of the original series. Producing along with Depp will be David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Productions until Curtis’ death last year.
Funnily enough, there was once an online petition to get Depp to make a Dark Shadows film with Tim Burton. So it appears as if fans have gotten at least half of their wish!
The series aired more than 1,225 episodes on TV from 1966 to 1971. Dark Shadows was a spooky soap featuring gothic horror must-haves such as monsters, vampires, ghosts, zombies, witches, and werewolves. To this day there is still a very dedicated fan base that gathers for Dark Shadows Festival conventions.
Since the show ended, there have been several attempts at reviving the series. However, none of them had such a big-name star as Johnny Depp on board.
Before getting started on Dark Shadows, Depp is next expected to star in Shantaram. He is also reportedly in talks with King and WB about making a film about Alexander Litvinenko, where Depp would star as the poisoned former KGB agent.
I must say, he always picks the most interesting roles. He might not be the best actor in the world, but his characters are so interesting that he manages to pull it off.