EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Jackie Earle Haley is in talks to play Willie Loomis in Dark Shadows, the Tim Burton-directed horror film for Warner Bros, based on the 60s TV soap that will star Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. At the same time, sources say that Bella Heathcoate is the choice to play Victoria Winters, the young governess of the Collins estate. Heathcote was among the names mentioned for Snow White and the Huntsman, a role which Deadline told you exclusively now has Twilight Saga‘s Kristen Stewart as front runner.The Vicki role was originated by Alexandra Moltke on the original soap.
As for Haley, the Loomis role was a pivotal one on the soap. Loomis is a notorious con artist who comes to Collinwood bent on swindling the reclusive matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. He winds up living in the mansion and hatches a plan when he observes a portrait of the late Barnabas Collins, who wore some serious bling. Loomis breaks into the mausoleum and pries open Barnabas’ coffin expecting to steal jewelry, he’s given the shock of his life when he’s attacked by the vampire and rendered the servant and whipping boy of the bloodsucker. The Loomis role was played by James Hall and later John Karlen in the original soap. Haley most recently stepped into iconic horror terrain when he played Freddy Krueger in the remake A Nightmare on Elm Street.