Johnny Depp and Tim Burton may finally be bringing 'Shadows' to light. According to reports in Variety and Deadline, newcomer Bella Heathcote and Jackie Earle Haley are in talks to join the big-screen adaptation of the supernatural ABC soap series 'Dark Shadows.' The long-gestating project will see Depp starring as Barnabas Collins, a nearly-200-year-old vampire; Heathcote (who stars next year in David Chase's first post-'Sopranos' feature film, 'Twylight Zones') would play the young governess of the Collins estate; and Haley would play a con artist who becomes Collins' manservant. Given these castings, the film may just rise up, so to speak. Production on the Warner Bros. film will begin this spring with an as-yet-to-be-determined 2012 release date.
Paramount is back on track with 'Jack Ryan.' The stalled film about Tom Clancy's eponymous CIA agent (starring Chris Pine in the role previously filled by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck) is getting a boost by 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' screenwriter Steve Zaillian, who will be rewriting the script for director Jack Bender with shooting to begin soon. [The Hollywood Reporter.]
Javier Bardem, who parlayed a role as a hitman in 2007's 'No Country for Old Men' into a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, has confirmed he's in talks with director Sam Mendes to play the villain in the next James Bond film (working title: 'James Bond 23') that is set for a Nov. 9, 2012, release. [The Hollywood Reporter.]
Kevin Macdonald, director of the Oscar-winning 'One Day in September' and 'Touching the Void,' has signed on to direct 'Marley,' a biopic about the famous reggae singer and political activist. The film will be released this fall, in time to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Marley's death. [Deadline.]
'Vice' is good. At least that's what Platinum Studios -- one of the company's involved in the upcoming 'Cowboys & Aliens' -- is hoping for. The firm will team with Andrew Lazar and Top Cow Productions to turn the Top Cow comic into a live-action feature. The story revolves around a group of hardcore teen felons who join the FBI's Critical Response Unit as a way to clear their records. 'Mod Squad,' anyone? [Deadline.]
Hollywood loves a controversy -- or people involved in controversies -- and when a good one comes along, the studios jump on the bandwagon. Case in point: Management 360, 'Hurt Locker' screenwriter Mark Boal and financier Megan Ellison have optioned a New York Times Magazine story about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Two other Assange/WikiLeaks films are in the works: Former Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger and Academy Award–winning director Alex Gibney are producing a documentary about Assange, and Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions have optioned a still-to-be-published Assange biography. [The Wrap.]