Deadline reports that the Tim Burton / Johhny Depp take on the Gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows will be starting production come January 2011. Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) is writing the script and Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and Graham King’s GK Films are producing. Depp will be taking on the role of Barnabus Collins, a 175-year-old vampire who is on the hunt for both blood and his lost love, Josette. Collins was added to the series for a planned brief run in an attempt to boost its sagging ratings. However, the character, originally played by Jonathan Frid, proved to be so popular, that he was added as a regular and essentially became the star of the series.
Dark Shadows ran from 1966 to 1971, featured vampires, werewolves, witches and warlocks and even time travel and parallel universes, and became a cult classic in syndication. It also featured some notable actors who would go on to future
successes, including Conrad Bain, Dana Elcar, Kate Jackson, and Marsha
Mason among others. A little surprising that, this far into their offbeat careers and frequent collaborations, Burton and Depp are just now getting around to Dark Shadows, which always seemed tailor-made for the both of them. Although the project has been delayed a number of times. In addition to AL:VH and Dark Shadows, Grahame-Smith has also written the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which will reportedly star Natalie Portman.