Dark Shadows is a feature film loosely based on the original daytime serial that ran from 1966 to 1971. The primary action takes place in 1972, with opening scenes set in the 18th century providing the film's essential backstory.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas (Thomas McDonell), 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 a grown-up 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 (literally) 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).
- Johnny Depp/Thomas McDonell as Barnabas Collins
- Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard
- Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters (aka Maggie Evans) / Josette duPres
- Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis
- Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
- Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins
- Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard
- Gulliver McGrath as David Collins
- Ivan Kaye as Joshua Collins
- Christopher Lee as Silas Clarney
- Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson
- Hannah Murray as Hippie Chick
- Alice Cooper as Himself
- Jonathan Frid as Party Guest
- Lara Parker as Party Guest
- David Selby as Party Guest
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Party Guest
- Directed by Tim Burton
- Written by Seth Grahame-Smith
- Produced by Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Richard D. Zanuck, David Kennedy, Graham King, and Christi Dembrowski
- December 2008 saw the announcement that the film is due to begin shooting in London in summer 2009. Oscar winning producer and longtime Johnny Depp collaborator Richard D. Zanuck confirmed in an interview on Collider.com that he will be producing the project, which would star Depp and be directed by Tim Burton. The trio have previously worked on the gothic-flavored Sweeney Todd, plus the upcoming Alice in Wonderland. As previously reported, Johnny Depp's production company Infinitum-Nihil are producing the film for Warner Bros, with a script by John August, who wrote the recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptation. David Kennedy and Graham King are also attached to the project as producers.
- The July 5, 2009 edition of Parade noted that Jonathan Frid might make a cameo in the upcoming film.
- As press coverage of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland continues, a few more details about the director's upcoming Dark Shadows feature film have emerged. Speaking to FilmShaft, the project's producer, Richard Zanuck, reveals: "I’m going to be doing Dark Shadows with Johnny [Depp] and Tim later towards the end of the year... But we’re shooting over here [London] even though the movie is set in Portland, Maine (sic). We’ve got the stages at Pinewood lined up." Located in Buckinghamshire, England, Pinewood Studios is probably best known as the home of the James Bond movies; Tim Burton previously filmed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd at the studios.
- As pre-production on the Dark Shadows feature film continues, Warner Bros have announced that the film will be released in conjunction with Imax. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Imax will showcase up to 20 Warner movies in the next three years, including Dark Shadows. Imax is a high definition format, projected on much larger screens than conventional cinema, and can accommodate 3D movies. In recent years, Warners have released 10 3D titles, though it's unconfirmed that Dark Shadows will be a candidate for 3D treatment.
- Illfracombe People reports that director Tim Burton paid a visit to the village of Ilfracombe, Devon by helicopter on Tuesday January 18 to look at locations for an upcoming project, believed to be Dark Shadows. Burton has filmed in the south west of England before, shooting sequences for Alice in Wonderland in Cornwall. Though unconfirmed officially, the piece reports that Burton has recently looked at a number of locations in North Devon, including the fishing town of Clovelly. 
- British tabloid newspaper The Sun claims that Johnny Depp has embarked on a weight loss regime as he prepares for his role as Barnabas. The newspaper reports that the actor is keen to "look as gaunt as possible" and hopes to get his weight down to 10 stone (140 lbs) with a diet of green tea and low fructose fruit before filming begins in April. 
- Variety reports that casting is underway for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows movie, with Australian actress Bella Heathcote in discussions to play the role of heroine Victoria Winters. Heathcote's previous credits include the films Acolytes and Beneath Hill 60, plus a stint on soap opera Neighbours. Most recently, she has been cast to appear alongside Justin Timberlake in Now. The same article also confirms that Dark Shadows is slated for a 2012 release and that Christi Dembrowski is working on the film as a producer, alongside the previously announced Richard Zanuck and David Kennedy. 
- On Deadline Hollywood, columnist Mike Fleming says that Jackie Earle Haley is the contender for the role of Barnabas' drifter servant Willie Loomis. Haley is probably best known for playing Freddy Krueger in the recent remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, along with roles in Shutter Island and the comic book adaptation Watchmen. 
- Industry website IMDB is reporting a number of crew appointments for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows feature film, as pre-production continues. Derek Frey is now listed as associate producer, having previously worked alongside Tim Burton on several film projects. Katterli Frauenfelder, another frequent Burton collaborator, is the project's first assistant director. On the visual side, Andrew Bennett has joined the project as assistant art director. His previous credits include The Wolfman, Clash of the Titans and the Harry Potter series. Elsewhere, Cheryl Beasley is the film's costume supervisor, with Courtney Hoffman as costume buyer.
- The MTV Movie Blog reports that casting for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows movie is continuing apace, with two major names currently in discussions for the roles of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard and Dr. Julia Hoffman. Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Pfeiffer is linked with the part of Collinwood matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, a character originally played by Hollywood legend Joan Bennett. Pfeiffer previously worked with Burton on Batman Returns, giving one of her most memorable performances as Catwoman. Her other roles include The Fabulous Baker Boys, Dangerous Liaisons, Frankie and Johnny, and more recently Stardust. Meanwhile, Tim Burton's partner and frequent collaborator Helena Bonham Carter is set to play Barnabas' ally Dr. Julia Hoffman, first portrayed by Grayson Hall. Carter is currently riding high from her acclaimed role in The King's Speech, which netted her a BAFTA award at the weekend. She has appeared alongside Johnny Depp in Burton's Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland, and features in the Harry Potter films as Bellatrix Lestrange. Her other credits include Fight Club, The Wings of the Dove and Terminator Salvation. 
- While promoting her new movie Cracks, actress Eva Green has spoken briefly about her role as the witch Angelique in the new Dark Shadows feature film, a part originally played by Lara Parker. In a video interview for website Cinema Blend, the actress revealed "I'm shooting Dark Shadows in a month in London. It's a great piece, an amazing crazy role. I'm looking forward to it." Speaking of her inspirations for playing the character, she cites "Bette Davis and Janis Joplin, mixed together." In a longer interview for MTV's Movie Blog, Eva confirmed recent speculation that the the film will have a retro setting and that Angelique will still be blonde-haired. "I haven't seen the TV series, but from what I've seen... it's very different. My character is very different. She's American, blonde, cool, in the seventies. She is this sexy witch, very powerful in town, she's very cool. She has many faces." When asked about director Tim Burton's vision for the project, she suggested that "It's something that he's never done... It's much more focused on the actors. It could almost be a play. The script is very powerful and funny. [Angelique's] relationship with Barnabas, that Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? relationship, very love-hate – it's very funny." 
- Online entertainment blog The Playlist reports that Welsh actor Michael Sheen is in talks to join the cast of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows movie. Playlist has "confirmed with sources close to the production" that the actor is "in early discussions for supporting role in the film, though it's not yet clear just who he'll been playing." Michael Sheen is an acclaimed character actor, with a distinguished list of credits including many biographical roles. His work includes Frost/Nixon, The Queen and Alice in Wonderland for Tim Burton, along with recurring roles in the Twilight films and television's 30 Rock. Speculation has begun that his potential role might be that of Roger Collins, originally played by Louis Edmonds. The character was the troubled brother of Collinwood's matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, set to be played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the new film; So far, it has not been confirmed if Roger features in the film's storyline. 
- Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows wardrobe will be archived in his Santa Monica showroom where he stores the costumes from every film he’s ever made, a stipulation that he has in each contract. 
- This is Jonathan Frid's final film before his passing on April 13th, 2012.
- The action for the story takes place in 1972, one year after the original series ended.
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