Update: Yes, I am adding new info on a post from July. So what? Everything I said four months or so ago still stands... except you can change the January filming date, to April...
Around this time last year, Tim Burton announced that his next movie would be an adaptation of the 60's Gothic ABC serial Dark Shadows with (you guessed it) Johnny Depp set to lead as the vampire Barnabas Collins. Without a doubt, it's a dream project for Warner Bros and was probably the easiest pitch of Burton's whole career. All he needed to say was 'Depp as a vampire with feelings'. Yup, it's gonna be huge. Though we sincerely hope it's not being made just so emo favourite Depp can play a tortured, self-loathing member of the undead for those pesky Twilighters. But when Warner Bros. ordered re-writes of John August's (Big Fish, Sweeney Todd) script -- then Disney's Alice in Wonderland hit (grossing over $1 billion worldwide) - suddenly The Mouse were desperate for Burton drop his WB commitments and helm a similar 'Wonderland' re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. Disney's movie would be based on the villainous Maleficent and my understanding is they offered Burton a huge deal to direct, and were willing to spend a lot of Wonderland's fortune on a cast (including Angelina Jolie to lead) but in the end, Burton wasn't interested in repeating himself. Yeah I know... amazing, huh? Thankfully for our sanity, Deadline say Dark Shadows will firmly go in front of WB camera's in January. In a bit of a surprise, Seth Grahame-Smith (who wrote the twisted Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - the latter which Burton is producing for Timbur Bekmambetov to adapt as his next film) - has been hired to write a fresh draft of the supernatural screenplay. All the staples of the Tim Burton formula are here, as the show regularly featured werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters and witches, and its use of atmosphere and outlandish characters was its hallmark. The show sounds like it very closely resembled the kind of mood of Sleepy Hollow, and no doubt Burton will find parts for Hammer horror vets Sir. Christopher Lee and Michael Gough. Oh, and his partner Helena Bonham Carter is sure to be in there too. Wiki describe Dark Shadows as thus;
Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable story lines and an unusually adventurous music score. Now regarded as somewhat of a camp classic, it continues to enjoy intense cult status among its followers.
Isnt it interesting that the above could account for any Tim Burton movie ever made? Change Dark Shadows to Batman, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice, Sleepy Hollow, Mars Attacks! and Sweeney Todd and it all works. For Depp - it will be his movie post-Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides film and will shoot before his ambitious Pancho Villa biopic. His schedule now looks full until late 2011.