Question: I am ambivalent about hearing that Johnny Depp is going to play Barnabas Collins in a new theatrical version of Dark Shadows. I am sure that the movie will bring new blood into the franchise, but I don't think Dark Shadows is a good fit for the big screen. Dark Shadows has always been a long, continuous saga with many characters and storylines, and I don't believe you can simply make a two-hour Dark Shadows movie, no matter how great an actor Johnny Depp is. Do you believe that Dark Shadows is better suited for the big screen or the small screen?
Answer: Given that the last few attempts to remake Dark Shadows as a prime-time series failed (a short-lived remake on NBC and an aborted comeback on the WB), maybe a starry big-screen homage is the way to go. Besides, the original series spawned two movie spin-offs in the early '70s: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. I can't pretend to be objective about them, having seem them in my early teens (if that) as an unabashed Collinwood junkie. (Haven't seen them since, so for all I know, they're actually awful.) But as long as you capture the ambience of the Dark Shadows mythology and tell a good story with the right cast (Johnny Depp is a great start), I don't see why this would be any more off base as a potential movie franchise than something like The X-Files. But is the premise of Dark Shadows better suited for an open-ended serialized drama? Absolutely. For now, though, that doesn't appear to be in the tarot cards.