Johnny Depp to Remake 'Dark Shadows'
Did you think Joss Whedon was awarded the patent for the vampire with a soul tormented by its own nature by virtue of his television shows "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel"? No, of course not. You'll slam that Anne Rice tome on the table with a smirk worthy of a US president. But before there was a Louis or a Lestat, there was Barnabas Collins.
To quote an earlier in depth article on the show:
It wasn't until episode 210 that the show really took off and racked up increasingly better ratings. That's when the petty criminal Willy Loomis, indulging in a spot of grave robbing to augment his pinched finances, released the vampire Barnabas Collins, played by the Canadian Shakespearean stage actor Jonathan Frid, from the Collins family mausoleum, where he had been imprisoned since the late 18th century.
Jonathan Frid as
Originally the character was only meant to be one in a series of villainous protagonists over a hundred or so episodes. But when ratings skyrocketed and fan-mail started pouring in from smitten viewers plans were hastily redrawn. Looking older than his 43 years at the time, and hardly what you'd call conventionally handsome, aside from playing what was still a rather clearly evil character, Frid was an unlikely candidate for romantic heartthrob. But viewers had obviously caught on to the undertone of tragedy which he had brought to his portrayal of Barnabas Collins.
The character created by Frid and Curtis, the angst ridden vampire anti-hero with genuinely tragic dimensions, doomed to forever struggle with his own nature and seeking redemption, would become the model without which such later works as Anne Rice's vampire novels and Joss Whedon's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" might never have been.
It managed the feat of being self-consciously goofy and dead serious at the same time. And it introduced house-fraus, and geeky kids like Tim Burton, to the heady brew of undiluted grade A Gothic Absinthe.
Two subsequent attempts were made to revive the show, with less than stellar results. And with the death of original producer Dan Curtis last year, it looked like the the crypt door had finally slammed shut on "Dark Shadows".
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.