'Dark Shadows' Fall On Jackie Earle Haley & Bella Heathcoate

Jackie Earle HaleyIt appears that Tim Burton's long developing film adaptation of "Dark Shadows" is finally moving forward. After several fits and starts, the "Alice in Wonderland" director and frequent collaborator Johnny Depp are looking set to start filming in the spring, and production is moving along at such a pace that additional actors are landing roles.

Jackie Earle Haley and Bella Heathcoate are the latest to come aboard the project, it seems. Deadline reports that the "Watchmen" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" actor is in talks to play Willie Loomis, while Heathcoate is on tap for the pivotal role of Victoria Winters.

For those who aren't familiar with "Dark Shadows," the film is based on a 1960s television soap opera featuring all sorts of supernatural creatures including vampires, werewolves, ghosts and witches. In other words, plenty of material that's right up Burton and Depp's alley. The series largely focused on Barnabas Collins, an ancient vampire who encounters all sorts of these oddities. That role belongs to Depp, naturally.

Haley signing on as Loomis is a particularly intriguing development. The character, described by Deadline as "a notorious con artist," was the man responsible for opening Barnabas' coffin and freeing the vampire from his slumber. As a result, Barnabas puts Loomis to work as his errand boy and object of abuse. The dynamic between Depp and Haley is going to be crucial to this film's success, and there's no reason to doubt that both of these guys are up for the challenge. Plus, it's fun thinking about Haley operating under Burton's unique guidance, isn't it?

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