Monday, February 22, 2010

Depp And Burton Stake Out "Dark Shadows"

According to reports, actor Johnny Depp and his production company Infinitum-Nihil, will start this year, in association with Warner Bros, a big screen adaptation of 1960's, gothic horror/soap opera TV series "Dark Shadows", to be directed by Tim Burton.

"Dark Shadows", created by Dan Curtis, originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, June 27, 1966 to April 2, 1971. The story 'bible' for the show was written by Art Wallace.

The series became popular a year into its run, with the introduction of Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, playing 200-year old vampire 'Barnabas Collins', encountering other vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel and a parallel universe. Writer Malcolm Marmorstein, who specifically created the character of Collins, also created characters 'Sam Hall', 'Gordon Russell' and 'Violet Welles'.

The series often used classic stories with gothic themes, giving them an unusual twist, including "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "The Picture of Dorian Gray", "The Turn of the Screw" and "Wuthering Heights", freely borrowing prose from authors Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James and H. P. Lovecraft, while exploring the history of the 'Collins' family.

Collins was originally the object of desire, circa 1795, for the witch 'Angelique Bouchard' who invoked a vampiric curse upon him. In the present day, Collins is released from his coffin by 'Willie Loomis', whereby the vampire kidnaps waitress 'Maggie Evans', believed to be the reincarnation of his lost love 'Josette du Pres'.

The original music score for the series, by Robert Cobert, entered the Billboard top 20 national album chart in 1969. The spoken-word instrumental track "Quentin's Theme", earning Cobert a Grammy nomination, was recorded by the Charles Randolph Grean Sounde. The single peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969.

1,225 episodes of "Dark Shadows" were produced during its TV run, with a feature film released in 1970.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Dark Shadows"...