Johnny Depp/New Dark Shadows movie

I absolutely loved Dark Shadows back in the 1960s; my mother would watch it for me and report on what happened, since I didn’t get out of school in time to run home for it.

This announcment has made my day! Dreams do come true!

To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: ShadowGram Update # 173
Date: Thursday, July 26, 2007 11:32 PM

ShadowGram Online Dark Shadows News Updates List
Marcy Robin’s Cyberspace “Dark Shadows” News Update List
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Number 173. July 26, 2007.

Hello, Dark Shadows Fan,

ShadowGram (SG), The Official Newsletter & News Source for Dark Shadows (DS),
announces the following just-breaking news.


Daily Variety will publish the following article in tomorrow’s (July 27)

Depp lights up 'Dark Shadows’
Graham King to produce Warner feature
By Michael Fleming

Johnny Depp is getting in touch with his inner vampire.

Warner Bros. is teaming with Depp’s Infinitum-Nihil and Graham King’s GK
Films to develop a feature based on the '60s daytime supernatural sudser “Dark

Depp has said in interviews that he has always been obsessed with “Dark
Shadows” and had, as a child, wanted to be Barnabas Collins, the vampire patriarch
of the series. The role was originated by Jonathan Frid.

A rights deal just closed with the estate of Dan Curtis, the
producer/director who created the soap that aired weekdays on ABC, from 1966 to 1971. Depp and
King will produce with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Prods. until Curtis
died last year of a brain tumor. Infinitum-Nihil’s Christi Dembrowski served
as the point person on the deal.

Over 1,225 episodes, “Dark Shadows” was a highly atmospheric, spooky soap
that featured gothic horror staples like vampires, monsters, witches, werewolves,
ghosts and zombies. The show has a continuing rabid fan base that populates
Dark Shadows Festival conventions.

Numerous TV revivals of the series and pic adaptations have been attempted
over the years but none with as high-wattage a star as Depp.

Depp, who is coming off “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and who
just wrapped the Tim Burton-directed “Sweeney Todd,” is next expected to star in
"Shantaram," a Mira Nair-directed adaptation of the Gregory David Roberts
novel that Depp, King and Plan B are producing for Warner Bros. Depp, King and WB
are also mobilizing to make a film about the life of Alexander Litvinenko,
with Depp poised to play the former KGB agent, who was fatally poisoned.


Johnny Depp’s company and Dan Curtis Productions have been in discussion for
several years about the possibility of teaming for a Dark Shadows film. The
development of a script, which will now begin, can take months and sometimes
years. But hopefully, the process will run smoothly with the possibility that
filming could begin as early as 2008, though even in a best-case scenario a
finished film may not appear before 2009. It is also much too early to speculate on
any further casting ideas, though there is a hope that some original DS
actors may be utilized in some capacity.

ShadowGram will follow-up with further developments in coming print and
online editions.

***** All fans are invited and welcome to share with SG any media coverage
they find about the proposed movie. Please be sure to include the name of the
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Cat, I too am a big fan of Dark Shadows. I don’t think I ever missed an episode:shrug: !! I wonder who will play the characters Willie Loomis or Victoria Winters? I rarely go to the movies, but I might have to go see this one when it comes out!:slight_smile:

I loved it too.

When I was a kid I’d race home to see it. We had 2 TV’s at the time. A brand new color TV and the standard of the age…a black and white.

I’d try to zip to the color set first and stake my claim to watch Dark Shadows - though the show was in b&w.

My brother wanted to watch Batman ( in color) on the color TV but I wanted him to watch it on the Black and white TV.

Well, my mother laughed her butt off at my selffish kid logic and I was madder then heck when I was made to watch a black and white TV show on the B&W tv.

Count me in on this one too. I also used to rush home from school to catch it on TV.

I’ll probably have to go see it alone though as there are no other vampire lovers in my family. :frowning:

I loved the brief 1990’s version of Dark Shadows. And, since I am also a HUGE Johnny Depp fan, this will be a dream-come-true!:slight_smile:

Howdy neighbor in the next city over…:tiphat:
Unfortunately, I didn’t watch the 1990’s version. :o

I didn’t ever want to miss Dark Shadow’s either! Two of my cats were named after characters: Jenni and Christopher Jennings. (It was always hard explaining why my cat had a name like Christopher Jennings.)

:o My friend and I kept a daily log of each episode. I still have a notebook with those logs and other memorobilia from the show. I have some pages from some old Tiger Beat and *16 *magazines that featured Jonathan Frid, David Selby, David Hennessy, and James Storm. I few years ago I through out all my Dark Shadows books. Now I’m mad at myself for doing so.

I also watched the 1990 version but it wasn’t quite the same. But I would definitely watch an remake.

Same here, SMHW. I have the COMPLETE collection of DS novels. And four huge scrapbooks filled with 16, Tiger Beat, etc. articles and pictures. And my Bible is autographed in two places by Jonathan Frid! (I saw him at a convention years ago in California.)

I wonder if there will be a huge protest by certain Christian groups? You know, the same kinds of protests that there were back in the 60s–“demons, witchcraft, evil!” “Our children will become witches!” etc. I hope so–this will make more people come to see it!

And I hope they put Lara Parker (Angelique) in the movie!

BTW, did everyone realize that Dan Curtis became a Christian during the time he was filming War and Remembrance and Winds of War? You can really see evidence of it in the 1990s Dark Shadows miniseries–it was made crystal-clear that Barnabas’ problems were caused by his FORNICATION! It is my personal theory that the main reason the miniseries didn’t get picked up for a regular series is NOT the Gulf War (which is the reason usually given by DS fans), but rather, the miniseries was so incredibly Christian! It was like watching a Billy Graham movie! I almost expect Mr. Curtis to step out at the end of each episode and conduct an altar call! I’m not kidding! It was quite amazing to see all the Christian messages hidden in that miniseries.

I was another one that used to race home from school to catch the latest spooky doings on Dark Shadows. My favorite character was Angelique; her combination of beauty and evil was intriguing to my young self, and I liked seeing her get her various comeuppances, like the time she was casting a spell to burn somebody up, and Nicholas reversed the spell so that Angelique herself was engulfed in flames! I am not really a Johnny Depp fan generally, but I liked him in Edward Scissorhands, and I think he might do very well as Barnabas Collins. Too bad there aren’t any classy ‘Old Hollywood’ actresses left like Joan Bennett who could play the matriarch of the family. My favorite storyline was when Victoria Winters was flung back in time to 1795 and she was convicted as a witch!

I loved the show too, though I saw it in reruns in the 70’s and 80’s and I used to tape it everyday when it appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel in the 90’s.

However, as I recall, the first year or so of the series was in Black and White but it did go to color format for the rest of the series, which was the majority of it’s run, at least from late 1967 through 1971.

hello! :slight_smile:

The 1990’s version was cheesy, but it was the only Dark Shadows I was ever exposed to.

By the way, has everyone also seen Johnny in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?” He is awesome in it! I love that movie!

JudieK, you think the 1990s version was cheesy? You should have seen the orginal!

It was taped LIVE, so every blooper stayed IN! Nothing was ever cut because it cost a fortune. The Dark Shadows bloopers are famous! There’s one where there’s a FIRE in the background. You can see men running back and forth and hear them calling out to each other, and the actors keep delivering their lines, but you can see their eyes shifting to try to see the fire! It’s hilarious!

And there’s one where Jonathan Frid (Barnabas) walks onto the set in his Victorian suitcoat and cape on top, and only his undershorts on the bottom–he thought the set was closed! The expression of horror on his face is PRICELESS!

The actors used to play jokes on each other; they would hide things in Barnabas’s coffin, so when Jonathan Frid opened it, he never knew what he would see. Every once in a while you can see by his face that SOMETHING is in that coffin!

They even nailed Joan Bennett, who was an impeccable actress. One of the actors left an indecent limerick on her desk, and when “Elizabeth Collins Stoddard” sat down at her desk, she saw the limerick. To her credit, there was only a slight blanch in her facial expression. But it’s so funny.

And all those line slips and goofups and memory lapses that get cut out of modern television–they were IN the original Dark Shadows! Those poor actors! John Karlen, the actor that played Willie Loomis, said that everyday on Dark Shadows was like being in a high school play–you had to be fearless!

According to one of the actors, the ONLY time they would cut something out was when an actor swore, which wasn’t allowed back then. But if the actor tried this too often, he/she would get in trouble and possibly fired, because it cost too much to do editing.

Yes, this bothered the actors tremendously, to see all their goofs on screen. Most of them thought the show would eventually go off the air and die,but lo and behold, it’s now on DVD, and people are STILL watching the actors mess up! Poor things!

Jonathan Frid tells the story of a scene that he did that was beautifully done, but he botched up the last line. He was so upset about it that he literally begged the producer to please, PLEASE edit the film. Finally they gave in and spent several thousand dollars editing the mistake out. Mr. Frid said that when he saw the edited version, he was so glad that he had persisted, and it made him realize just how GOOD Dark Shadows would have been if all the mistakes could have been edited out.

But then, it wouldn’t be classic Dark Shadows! Maybe back then, since the world was in such a mess with the Viet Nam war, the race riots, the Kent State killings, etc.–maybe we all needed to see a show that wasn’t quite perfect. I think Johnny Depp would do well to leave some of this “cheesiness” and even a bunch of bloopers in his new DS movie, since we live in an even more imperfect world today.

I, too, am one of those who would run home after school to be sure and watch Dark Shadows.

This is great news. Loved DS, love Johnny Depp; and am I so looking forward to this! :thumbsup:

A couple or so years ago, SciFi channel re-ran Dark Shadows for a while; and it was fun watching it after 30 years. Looking back at it now, it looked so cheesy but at the time, it was awesome.

I also remember the bloopers that they didn’t edit out. Very funny.

I think it switched to color sometime in 1968 or 1969. I know it was in color by late 1969.

One of the kinds of ‘bloopers’ that I thought was hysterically funny was when the tombstones in the graveyard would blow back and forth, presumably from the fans on the set.

Well we are all dating oursleves but I too used to rush home from school to catch the 3:30 showing

Just to be sure, I looked it up in my copy of The Dark Shadows Almanac: Millennium edition, published by Pomegranate Press. On page 133, it states that the first color episode aired originally on August 11, 1967.:thumbsup:

I wonder how old everyone was when they started watching. I think I was 10 or 11. I didn’t start watching until later in the series.

I was the same age but I was watching early in the series:(

that sounds hilarious! (the bloopers!)

I was going into the 6th grade.

The show was a life-saver for me. I had experienced a miserable year in 5th grade. For some reason, everyone in my class turned on me (I started developing early, and I also started getting straight As and demonstrating that I had quite a brain, so maybe that’s why). All year long I tried to ignore their jeers and insults about my shoes, my hair, my parents (my dad was a plumber, so he always wore jeans instead of business suits), my brother (who had clubbed feet), my schoolwork (always excellent), etc.

Finally in the spring, in May, they were all making fun of me on the playground, and I fought back. I beat up a girl during lunch hour so badly that she had to be taken to the hospital.

While the ambulance was being called, I went back into the school building and sat down at my desk and just sat there quietly waiting. Eventually two teachers (mine and hers) came in and sat down and said, “Why did you do such a thing?”

They were understandably stunned that their little “brain” could be capable of such an act.

I looked them straight in their eyes and said in a very calm, quiet (but near tears) voice, “All year long those kids have been making fun of my shoes, my brother, my schoolwork, my dad. And you teachers did NOTHING to help me.”

That’s all I said, but they left the room, and I never heard anything about it again. They knew I was right and that THEY were to blame, not me.

Anyway, that’s how I ended my school year, and all summer, I dreaded going back to school. But during that summer, my brother and I discovered Dark Shadows, and when we went back to school, my mother (who also liked the show) agreed to watch it for us and let us know what happened. (It came on at 3 pm, and we didn’t get out of school until 3:30 pm.)

And THAT’s what made the difference! A lot of other kids liked the show, too, but THEIR MOTHERS weren’t willing to watch it for them. MY MOTHER was willing, and I started writing down her summaries, and every day at school, a crowd of kids gathered around me to hear what was happening on their favorite show.

Suddenly my shoes and my crippled brother and my jeans-wearing father didn’t matter any more. I had something they wanted. And I was willing to give it to them!

What’s more, I tried to make my written summary of the episodes as exciting as possible, and this writing drill paid off. By the middle of the year, I had won a couple of essay contests, and my teacher told me that I was the best 6th grade writer she had ever seen!

These experiences helped me get my confidence again. I was never a carefree child again; I have always suffered from a kind of social “defiance” ever since that awful year. I am very mistrusting of people.

But at least I was able to have friends again and enter middle school with a talent for writing that helped me to get involved with several organizations and do well in my classes.

So I owe Dark Shadows a lot!

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