EXCLUSIVE: Tim Burton Says ‘Dark Shadows’ Will Shoot Next Year

As Tim Burton told us last week, he’s spending “every waking moment” on his Johnny Depp-led adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.” The movie will serve up an ambitious melding of live-action, motion-capture and computer animated element. As soon as he’s finished with that mammoth undertaking—the film is due in theaters early next year—he’ll begin work on another Depp-focused project, one that has teased and tantalized movie nerds for years but which, finally, finally, is going to get underway in 2010: “Dark Shadows.”

“That’s something that [Depp and I] both love and are excited about,” the director told MTV News. “When I’m done with this I’ll definitely focus on that.”

Burton’s comments jibe with what Depp said during the “Public Enemies” junket a few weeks ago. He told MTV’s Josh Horowitz that he’ll be shooting “Shadows” and a fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film next year. There’s also the fact that in March, an executive in Depp’s production told us that the film “is very active” and “the studio will be making some announcements regarding it pretty soon. Very soon, probably.”

“Shadows” will be based on the ‘60s soap opera of the same name, an ABC daytime TV show that incorporated elements of gothic romance, science fiction and supernatural phenomena like ghosts, zombies and vampires. Depp will reportedly play vampire Barnabas Collins.

“It’s another challenge because it was such a weird soap opera,” Burton explained. “Part of the energy of it was the tone and weirdness of it. That’s our challenge, to try to capture that vibe.”

That vibe was part campy melodrama, part dead serious—and decidedly odd—storytelling. Which direction does Burton plan on going?

“It’s always a fine line,” he said. “That remains to be seen. That’s a question and a challenge we talk about a lot. I haven’t arrived at the answer. That’s definitely a main issue, the tone and the vibe of it because as we all know melodrama can cross over. It’s one of the more interesting things about it.”

Have you see “Dark Shadows”? How would you like to see Burton play his adaptation?