Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Johnny Depp in the Shadows.

2010. What's another year and a half going to do to me? It's going to make me impatient and insane with want for this movie, Dark Shadows. Yes, dear readers, it's finally got it's own movie page on IMDB. I actually felt giddy when I saw that. I can't believe it's going to happen. I really thought that it was never going to be shown in any visual media again. In 2004, the WB made a pilot for a new series. That was deader than Tom Jennings with a stake through his heart.

When Dan Curtis, the man who literally dreamed Dark Shadows, passed away, I thought that this was it, the end of the line. The little sea side town of Collinsport, Maine, was never going to be viewed again. The series was only going to be remembered by the few who still kept it in their hearts and those who celebrated it year after year at the Festivals. Lo and behold, not even a year after his passing, a strange article came out in Variety. Johnny Depp had purchased the rights of Dark Shadows from the Dan Curtis estate. Many of us diehard DS fans knew of other celebrities who had watched the show as children and had been inspired by it in their work. Depp actually says in one of his biographies that he wanted to be Barnabas Collins when he was a kid.

When Depp announced he was going to make a movie, fans went nuts. It was announced right before the 2007 Festival which was also a very special one. Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins, had come out of his hiding and was going to be a special guest. Fans had not seen him for well over ten years. Plus, it was his 40th anniversary debut of his appearance as reluctant vampire, Barnabas Collins. I've already written about this at length so most of you probably had read about that. At that Festival, the conversation starters were, "What do you think about Depp's movie?" or "What actors would be good for the cast?" My favorite memory of that festival is when a fan asked Jonathan Frid how he felt about Johnny Depp resurrecting the show.

Jonathan Frid: "Johnny who?"

You have to love Frid for that. It was just one of those priceless moments that should've been captured on film. Well, Frid might not know much about the talented Mr. Depp, but Depp sure knows Frid. This year there wasn't much to talk about but for the rumors of Tim Burton directing. John August is going to do the screenwriting definitely.

Other actors have not been announced. My hope is that they use new blood (no pun intended). They need new people to play these roles. I can't think of any big celebrity to fit the roles. I will put in my two cents and say the original cast should have cameos. About 98% of the population will have no clue why only one or two people in the audience cheer when they see an "extra." The ones I can see doing it would be Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, David Selby, and maybe John Karlen (he's iffy since he wasn't too happy with certain producers). Jonathan Frid would be a long shot. I think I'd yell "HELL YES!" and jump out of my seat if I spotted him.
Anway, to continue on...

The biggest concerns fans have I've noticed is the polt. There are several story lines that can be used: 1966 when Barnabas is released and terrorizes the town and kidnaps a woman who looks like his lost love; 1975 when we see the reasons why he was turned into a vampire ("Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"); 1970 when Collinwood is haunted by the ghost of cousin, Quentin Collins; 1897 when the Vampire meets the Werewolf. Hell, it can easily become a franchise if Depp plays his cards right. Those are just the main storylines. I hadn't even touched on some of the smaller ones. The story with the most success, in my ever humble opinion, would be 1795. For me, it's the most exciting, the most passionate, and the one that will be the perfect starting point for future movies. It has the action, romance, betrayal, and gore that will appeal to different audiences.

The scenes could be maginificent if they start it in Martinique and then film it in Maine.

The French island of Martinique.

The stark contrast of Martinique's warmth and soft beauty to Maine's cold, harsh climate would play a perfect foil in the film. The "feel" of it would send chills down the spine. I just got one thinking of Maine's winters.
The movie could end with Joshua commanding Ben Stokes, the loyal servant, to chain Barnbas in his coffin. The last scene could be Depp in the coffin, a vampire in full rage and bloodlust, trying to break free. Hell, if Depp even wanted to do a teaser, they'd already have an actor to play poor Willie Loomis and have him discover the coffin in the present day. I'd pass out in my seat if I saw that at the end of the credits.
More later! I'm sad all 1225 episodes are at my parent's house.

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