JOHNNY COME LATELY? Tim Burton May Push Back 'Dark Shadows' Start Date

With Johnny Depp getting so much advance buzz for Public Enemies (Michael Mann’s summer movie for Universal), his upcoming projects are news. Now I’m told that Tim Burton may have to postpone the start date on his and Depp’s hotly anticipated Dark Shadows, their Warner Bros film version of the gothic TV series with a huge cult following. It was June, then August, and now maybe not even this fall.

First, any rumor that Burton may bail altogether is “definitely” not true, says my insider: “He loves the project”. But his helming of Alice In Wonderland for Disney — and people who’ve visited the set tell me it looks amazing — is demanding more time than originally planned. Now Burton is facing a hot delivery date for a March 5, 2010 release. And so he’s exploring pushing back the start date for Dark Shadows.

I’m told the postponement hasn’t yet been presented to Warner Bros. Another of my sources says the studio has already reserved stages. “It is our intention to still start the movie in the fall. We’re trying to work it out,” a Depp insider explains to me. “And Tim Burton is Johnny’s first and only choice to direct.”

Warner Bros purchased the film rights to the TV series from the estate of Dan Curtis (the creator, producer and director of Dark Shadows). Depp is both starring and producing through his Infinitum Nihil company which his sister runs. It’s true that Depp has had a long obsession with playing Barnabas Collins. Tim Burton signed on as director last June with John August scripting. Originally, a start date had been scheduled for August but then was pushed back to the fall.

After taking some time off, Depp does have a movie inbetween Public Enemies and Dark Shadows — The Rum Diary, which starts March 30th and which he’s also producing.

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