Dark Shadows

The latest news concerning the big screen adaptation of Dark Shadows is that Pride, Prejudice, & Zombies scribe Seth Grahame-Smith has been tapped to write the screenplay for the Johnny Depp / Tim Burton revival of the gothic soap opera.

I’ve not read Grahame-Smith’s work, which also includes Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but he has moved a fair number of books and is the literary flavor of the month. I know Burton is quite taken by him and that, in and of itself, bodes well for the project.

I was enthralled by Dark Shadows as a child and raced home to watch the soap every day after school. With over-the-top tales of vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves, time-travel, and parallel universes, Dark Shadows was like nothing else on television.

Two movies followed, the classic House of Dark Shadows and the less successful Night of Dark Shadows, and an early 90s television revival, starring Ben Cross and Barbara Steele, was a critical disaster and canceled after only twelve episodes. Unfortunate, because I loved every minute of it.

Of late, my Dark Shadows fix has been satiated by author Stephen Mark Rainey‘s wonderful audio dramas The Path of Fate, The Curse of the Pharaoh, and Blood Dance (all from Big Finish). Rainey also co-wrote the Dark Shadows novel Dreams of the Dark with Elizabeth Massie.

And now we have Johnny Depp all set to don the cape of Barnabas Collins and stride onto the Tim Burton helmed set, the tap of his wolfhead cane echoing through the fog-filled streets of Collinsport.

To say that I have great expectations is an understatement. If anyone can pull this off, it’s Depp and Burton. And with production beginning in January we may not have long to wait. My only question is, will Helena Bohnam Carter be playing the she-devil Angelique or the aging Dr. Hoffman?

And now, before I leave you, can I invest in a wee bit of fanciful dream casting? Is there any chance that the part of Victoria Winters/Josette Dupre might fall on Ellen Page? Could someone please make that happen? Why do I have this nagging feeling that we’ll end up with Natalie Portman, Emily Blunt,  or Keira Knightly instead?

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