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Johnny Depp has been talking about making a film version of the late 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows for nearly four years. A tale of witches, vampires and other assorted creatures of the night, the project fits in perfectly with Depp's and director Tim Burton's sensibilities, but has taken a long time to actually get made, the two pairing on Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland in the interim. Today the duo's dream is realized.

Warner Bros. has sent out a press release announcing that production on Dark Shadows has begun. Also included in the release is a full plot synopsis and cast list, which includes the previously unannounced Jonny Lee Miller, who will be playing Johnny Depp's bad-seed brother Roger, and Gulliver McGrath, who will be playing Roger's son. The full plot synopsis is below. If you don't wish to know anything about this project, then you probably shouldn't have clicked on this article:
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.

Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
While I've been largely disappointed by the films that Burton has made in the last decade, I will admit that I am actually excited about this project. While I have little knowledge of the source material, it feels like a much darker version of The Addams Family and that's right up Burton's alley (as opposed to him taking something light and making it dark artificially as he did with Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Here's looking forward to some set and character photos.

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