For those unfamiliar with the property, Dark Shadows was a gothic soap opera that ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971. It centered around the mysterious Collins family and included all sorts of mysterious overtones and, oh yeah, a vampire. Over the course of its run it built a huge cult following that lasts to this day, and counts amongst its number Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.
This is a project that has circulated around Depp for years, but due to the fairly niche audience it would go for, no one was really willing to fund it. However, when your name is “Depp,” and you’ve stared in nearly half of the highest grossing films of all time, apparently people will take a gamble on you finally. Add in the fact that he wanted to play the lead of Barnabas Collins – yes, the vampire – and you can understand why someone finally coughed up the budget for this.
A cast photo has been released for the new film that you can see below which seems to have been in reaction to some leaked set photos that showed Depp wearing heavy amounts of make-up that made him look nothing like the original character. Now we’re left to wonder what was up with those images because in this photo he looks dead-on with the original series. (click the image for a slightly larger view)
And here is a cast photo from the television series.
For those who care to learn more about the production, you can read the initial filming press release after the break. In the meantime, judging by this picture, Tim Burton has gathered up the usual suspects for his films with a few new additions. (Oh yeah! Chloe Moretz from Kick-Ass! Woo!) How this will play with audiences, who knows, but Burton & Depp have yet to let me down when they team up.
FILMING BEGINS ON TIM BURTON’S “DARK SHADOWS”
Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter head an all-star cast.
BURBANK, CA – May 18, 2011 – Filming begins this week on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ “Dark Shadows,” which brings the cult classic television series to the big screen under the direction of Tim Burton. The film’s all-star ensemble cast includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and newcomer Gulliver McGrath.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
Burton is directing and producing “Dark Shadows” from a screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, story by John August and Grahame-Smith, based on the television series created by Dan Curtis. Also producing are Oscar® winner Richard D. Zanuck (“Alice in Wonderland,” “Driving Miss Daisy”), continuing his long association with Burton; Oscar® winner Graham King, (“Rango,” “The Departed”), continuing his collaboration with Depp; Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski, and David Kennedy. The executive producers are Chris Lebenzon, Nigel Gostelow, Tim Headington, and Bruce Berman.
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel, Oscar(R)-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (“Sleepy Hollow”), Oscar(R)-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Alice in Wonderland”) and editor Chris Lebenzon (“Alice in Wonderland”). The score will be composed by Danny Elfman.
“Dark Shadows” is being filmed entirely in England, both at Pinewood Studios and on location.
“Dark Shadows” will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.