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Dark Shadows Movie

Updated on May 11, 2012

The first trailer for 2012's Dark Shadows film by Tim Burton is released.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp remade the original Dark Shadows gothic soap opera (on the ABC network between 1966 to 1971), which starred Jonathon Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins. Burton filmed the big-screen version of Dark Shadows, with the release date currently slated as May 11, 2012, at London's Pinewood Studios. Burton's Dark Shadows stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham-Carter star opposite him as Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard and Dr. Julia Hoffman. Bond Girl Eva Green plays Angelique Bouchard. Danny Elfman (of course) lends his musical talents to the score. Be sure to follow this lens for all the updates on this film which as the first trailer has been released and the premier date gets closer!

Dark Shadows Movie Trailer

Premiered March 15, 2011

Even the trailer for the Dark Shadows Movie had a highly anticipated premier. This trailer was shown on the Ellen Degeneres show on Thursday, March 15. Starts off like a gothic horror. Then goes very camp.

3/15/12 - the first Dark Shadows Trailer was premiered on the Ellen Degeneres show. Some longterm Dark Shadows fans of the original TV show are horrified. Many people love the comic treatment of the subject though.

5/5/11 - it was announced that Michael Sheen WILL NOT be joining Burton's Dark Shadows. It was previously thought that Sheen would play the role of Roger Collins.

3/31/11 - Australian child star Gulliver McGrath to play David Collins, the son of Roger Collins. It is thought that Michael Sheen will take on the role of Roger Collins. Also, Eva Greene discusses more about how her Angelique is developing, saying she will be a cross between Bette Davis and Janis Joplin!

3/30/11 - Newcomer Thomas McDonnell will play a younger Barnabas Collin. McDonnell is coming straight out of Disney's 'Prom' film and is a dead-ringer for Depp.

3/26/11 - Actor Michael Sheen (no relation to Charlie) is in talks with Burton to join the Dark Shadows cast. Sheen has been seen in the vampire flick Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I & Part II, as well as Tron:Legacy and The Queen. Sheen previously worked with Burton as the voice of the White Rabbit in Alice In Wonderland. It is currently thought that Sheen will play Roger Collins.

3/17/11 - Eva Greene divulges to MTV that her Angelique will be "very very different: American, blonde, cool, very '70s".

3/13/11 - Schultz + Wiremu tweeted that they're getting things ready for the Dark Shadows LA team to come over to London tomorrow and they've been getting ready for it all week. They also say filming is still set to begin in May. Check out their website here.

3/4/11 - BallyHooVintage just tweeted that "We had fun providing a lot of vintage clothing for #Dark Shadows and can't wait to see what Tim Burton creates. Johnny Depp as Barnabas !" The full site for BallyHoo Vintage, is located here.

2/21/11 - Shock Til You Drop (via The Hollywood Reporter) quoted Dark Shadows Film Editor, Chris Lebenzon, as saying its, "terrific. They got it right." He added that, "It's a relationship movie. It's a lot of interaction of characters, from past and present." Lebenzon will begin his work with the film in May of 2011.

West Mersey's famous painting subject, the Karen Lynn, is getting a new lease on life in the Dark Shadows film. Pinewood Studios purchased the popular moored boat for use in Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's upcoming film version of the 1960s / 1970s gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows. The boat was taken to London on May 22 before being transported to Pinewood Studios. Read more about this famous English painting subject here.

Dark Shadows: The Resurrection Of Barnabas Collins

The intro to the first Dark Shadows episode, where Victoria Winters travels for the first time to the Collinswood Mansion. Willie Loomis awakens the 172-year-old vampire, Barnabas Collins. Victoria Winters arrives at the strange, old Collinswood mansion. Trailers from the original 'House of Dark Shadows' and 'Night of Dark Shadows' films. Watch these clips and get a feel for the original series and storyline.

Official Dark Shadows Movie Plot Synopsis

Warner Brothers issued an official press release on the plot synopsis of the upcoming Johnny Depp / Tim Burton remake of gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. This was delivered on May 18, 2011.

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 Brouchard (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.

Set Footage From The Dark Shadows Set - Beckenham and more

Set footage is hard to come by. Those associated with the Dark Shadows film have to sign confidentiality agreements and cannot be caught on set with any type of recording device. Sometimes though, when a scene is being shot in the open, the public might get a chance to film their own footage. Here's what I've found so far from the Dark Shadows set.

Tim Burton On Early Shooting of Dark Shadows and The Film's Tone

Tim Burton spoke at the late May 2011 opening of his LACMA exhibit answering a few questions about the tone that his Dark Shadows film is taking during the first days of shooting.

"I'm just starting, and it's a weird tone and it's a lot of actors and, you know, we're not starting with the simple stuff; we're sort of getting right in there. You like to kind of sneak up on it a little bit, but this one we just kind of slammed right into it. [asked if it will have a soap opera quality] Yes, I don't know. I'm early into it because it's a funny tone, and that's part of what the vibe of the show is, and there's something about it that we want to get. But when you look at it, it's pretty bad. I'm hoping that it will be - it's early days, let's put it - I'm very intrigued by the tone. It's a real ethereal tone we're trying to go for and I don't know yet."

Dark Shadows Movie Cast

Aside from the probably inclusion of Helena Bonham-Carter, the Dark Shadows movie will pair Johnny Depp with many actors he's never worked with before. Michelle Pfeiffer last worked with director Tim Burton in her role as Catwoman.

March 26, 2011 - It was announced actor Michael Sheen was in talks with Tim Burton to join the Dark Shadows movie cast. Sheen previously worked with Burton as the voice of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Also, Michael Sheen played in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I and Part II. No word was given until May 5, 2001 as to whether or not Sheen committed to the Dark Shadow movie, though it was speculated he'll be playing the role of Roger Collins. In May, it was announced that Sheen WILL NOT be in Burton's Dark Shadows.

My guess was that he would play Quentin Collins (originally played by David Selby).

Roger Collins
The brother of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Roger Collins wrongly implicated a man of manslaughter charges had a thorny relationship with his first wife and ended up taking Angelique for a bride. This role was originally played by Louis Edmonds.

Notice even the ages of those cast in the Dark Shadow movie aren't far off from the ages of the original television soap opera cast members.

Johnny Depp
Barnabas Collins
The 200-year-old vampire released from his coffin by Willie Loomis. This role was originally played by actor Jonathan Frid. Click here to view more info and pics on Johnny Depp - his Barnabus Collins role and his history with Dark Shadows


Johnny Depp (47) / Jonathan Frid (43)

Thomas McDonnell
Young Barnabas Collins
McDonnell will play the role of Barnabas Collins as a young man.

Helena Bonham Carter
Dr. Julia Hoffman
The psychiatrist who originally is Barnabus' enemy but then assists him in trying to overcome his vampirism. This role was originally played by Grayson Hall.


Helena Bonham Carter (44) / Grayson Hall(45)

Eva Green
The deadly witch who originally placed the vampirical curse on Barnabas Collins. This part was originally played by actress Lara Parker. Click here to view more info and pics on Eva Green - her Angelique Bouchard role and her other films & roles


Eva Green (30) / Lara Parker (30)

Michelle Pfeiffer
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Matriarch of the Collins family and owner of the Collinswood Mansion. This role was originally played by Joan Bennett.

Michelle Pfeiffer (52) / Joan Bennett (57)

Chloe Moretz
Carolyn Stoddard
Elizabeth Collins Stoddard's daughter..

This role was originally played by Nancy Barrett. Click here to view more info and pics on Chloe Moretz - her Carolyn Stoddard role and the other films she's appeared in to date.

Chloe Moretz (14) /Nancy Barrett (24)

Bella Heathcote
Victoria Winters
A young governess hired at Collinwood who reminds Barnabas of his long-lost love, Josette. Victoria Winters was originally played by actress Alexandra Isles.


Bella Heathcote (23) / Alexandra Isles (19)

Jackie Earle Haley
Willie Loomis
Colinwood's drunken caretaker who accidentally releases Barnabas Collins from his coffin.


Jackie Earle Haley (49) / John Karlen (34)

Gulliver McGrath
David Collins
The son of Roger and Laura Collins. Roger always thought David was the son of Laura's ex-boyfriend, Burke Devlin.


Gulliver McGrath() / David Henesy ()

Johnny Depp On His Barnabas Collins - It won't be far removed from Jonathan Frid's version.

"I thought it was a sexy part he wanted me for, and I'm saying, 'Yeah, I can play the sexy witch,'" she said. "And he said, 'No, you've done that. You're going to play the psychiatrist who's an alcoholic!'" - Helena Bonham Carter on being cast as an alcoholic Dr. Julia Hoffman

"I thought it would be easier to keep it in the family. Tim's directing, and it's all the people he collaborates with, Johnny [Depp] and everyone. It keeps us together as a family... It's only a small part and will be fun. "- Helena Bonham Carter confirming her role in Dark Shadows.

MovieLine interviewed Thomas McDonnell, cast to play a young Barnabas Collins next to Johnny Depp. Here's what he had to say about his role.

So how did your role in Dark Shadows come about, did it happen in a similar way to your Prom casting?

Not exactly the same way, but something like that.

How far have you gotten in pre-production?

Well, it's a small role so it will only be a week or so. It's going to be at the end of the shoot, so I'm not going to be on set for another little while. They're going to shoot the whole film; the beginning comes at the end.

What was your first impression of Tim?

I think that Tim Burton is such a great director and I'm really excited to get to work in something he's doing. It's pretty awesome.

Were you familiar with Dark Shadows beforehand?

No, I didn't know much about Dark Shadows. And I had certainly not watched any of it. But the more I'm learning all the time the weirder and more interesting I think the film could be.

Dark Shadows Will NOT Be Filmed In 3D

For some reason, I'd thought this was going to be released in 3D. However, on May 31, 2011, Tim Burton announced that

"I have no plans for [shooting Dark Shadows in 3D]. I loved doing Alice in 3D. Frankenweenie, gonna do that in 3D. There's people like, 'Everything's gonna be in 3D,' or 'I hate 3D!' I think people should have a choice. I don't think it should be forced on anybody."

Scary Scenes and Bloopers From The Original Dark Shadows - Do you think crew silhouettes will appear in Burton's film?

Watching these scenes introduces you to the look, costuming, storyline and actors of the original Dark Shadows series. If you want to really imagine what Burton's film will look like, you might want to check the research I've done on the Dark Shadows Film Crew, including the writers, makeup artists, special effects team, costumers, etc.. There's quite a lineup here behind the scenes! The bloopers from the 4th video (many stage hands showing up on the screen) is interesting. Do you think they'll include some of these in Burton's movie?

What was the original Dark Shadows soap opera about?

The Dark Shadows story begins as character Victoria Winters arrives at Collinwood. Ghosts, phoenix and the Egyptian Sun God Ra all make appearances before the memorable vampire, Baranabas Collins, in introduced. Werewolves and seances ensue, as Barnabas joins forces with a psychiatrist who tries to help free him from his curse. Time travel and parallel universes become part of the adventure. Some of the plot is drawn from classics like Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, TheTurn Of The Screw, Wuthering Heights, Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery', and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

"As kids, you know, you run home at 3 o'clock in the afternoon to go watch this gothic soap opera on television with vampires and everything." - Johnny DeppThe series was comprised of 1,225 episodes, of which all but one has survived. It was a hit with teens as they returned home from school, airing at 3pm Eastern time, 4pm Central. In 1971, the series was replaced by the gameshow 'Password'. 1991 saw a brief revival of the show, lasting from January through March. A pilot was aired in 2004, but was never picked up. Warner Brothers bought the rights to the film version of Dark Shadows in 2007. Johnny Depp is both starring in and producing the upcoming film, directed by Tim Burton.

The original Dark Shadows soundtrack made it into Billboard magazine's Top 20 in 1969.

Original Dark Shadows Merchandise

All but one of the original Dark Shadows television episodes have survived. A few of the earliest shows are only available in a 16mm kinescope format however. Dark Shadows was in syndication (only 130 episodes) from 1975 through 1990 by Worldvision Enterprises. Between 1992 to 2003, the Sci-Fi channel aired all 1,225 original episodes as reruns. You can also buy DVDs of the series from Amazon.

Clues As To How Dark Shadows Might Go - Similar works & moods from Burton, Depp and crew members

I've been going through various Johnny Depp and Tim Burton movies, as well as vampire movies that various crew members have been a part of. You might see a touch of these films or characters in the upcoming Dark Shadows movie. I personally have a feeling the film will resemble Sleepy Hollow the most, but with touches of Ed Wood (to catch a bit of the 'campiness' associated with the original Dark Shadows series as well as the innovative, on-the-fly special effects sometimes used).

  • Visual Effects Supervisor Angus Bickerton worked on Interview With The Vampire
  • Makeup Head Joel Harlow worked on the 1992 film of Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • Film Editor Chris Lebenzon, Costume Designer Colleen Atwood, Production Designer Rick Heinrichs, and of course the duo of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton were all involved in Sleepy Hollow

Will Dark Shadows Impress or Disappoint Moviegoers? - Box Office Magic or Flop?

Johnny Depp in a starring role is almost a guarantee for box office success. Almost (remember The Tourist?). Vampire movies are a hot commodity as well. This should spell triumph for 2012's Dark Shadows film. What do you think? Will it be as successful as the original TV show and perhaps even surpass it, or will it flop?

How will the Dark Shadows film perform when its released?

Have you ever heard of Dark Shadows before? Maybe you've heard of the name, but never seen an episode of this gothic television soap opera from the 1960s. Will you be going to see the film when its released? Do you think Johnny Depp is a good choice for Barnabas Collins?

Did you watch the original Dark Shadows TV series and will you be going to see the film? - Or is this all news to you?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I've been a Dark Shadows fan forever. So glad the rest of the world is catching on :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yeah I used to watched the TV show as a kid, they used to play it locally in the late 80's here...I loved the show and Barnaba's was my favorite. I can't wait to see the movie

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      I have never seen a show but would like to.

    • dwnovacek profile image


      6 years ago

      I was one of those kids rushing home everyday to watch Dark Shadows. I'll definitely be going to see the film when it comes back, but am a little worried that there might be too much "camp." Great lens - Angel Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You should be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the internet. I will highly recommend this blog!

    • nyclittleitaly profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, I did and I think think the the movie will be good.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I played Barnabas Collins in full costume and makeup for a PBS Dark Shadows Telethon and was almost a dead ringer for the character 10 years ago. So I am very excited to see Dark shadows coming back again. We all know it wont be quite the same as the original Soap Opera but as long as they treat it with the respect it desrves I'm all for bringing it back.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      I used to follow the weekly television show and loved it. Wasn't aware of the new movie coming up but I will want to see it. I admire Johnny Depp and look forward to seeing him in the roll as Barnabas.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      This should be great...I love Johnny Depp!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I've never heard of this movie, past or present. Sounds great but then you know I love ANYTHING with Mr. Johnny Depp in it.

    • george185 lm profile image

      george185 lm 

      7 years ago

      Cool. This is the first I've heard of this film

    • Laura Schofield profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schofield 

      7 years ago from Chicago, IL USA

      @chezchazz: Thank you so much! I've been moving homes for the past week, but saw this and wanted to quickly thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      No matter how much Dark Shadows was a cult classic we never got to see it. Channel 7 in Buffalo advertised they would show it. I think they showed about two episodes and that was the end of that. Of course it was all over the magazines at the time

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Returned to give this lens a Squidangel Special April Fool's Blessing.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Johnny and Helena could easily have been predicted, but Michelle Pfiffer is grand and will be a treat.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved the show. Thought it was dead forever now that Dan Curtis has passed. So glad they are making another version, although I having a hard time imagining Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth. I think Helena Bonham Carter would have made a great Angelique. I'd love to see Lara Parker have some sort of guest spot, maybe as Angelique's mom, or another witch.

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      I wasn't allowed to as parents did not approve, but I've seen all of the episodes on video.

    • awakeningwellness profile image


      7 years ago

      I was one of those kids who raced home from school just in time to see Dark Shadows every afternoon. While I no longer like vampire stuff, it should be a kick to see Dark Shadows again...especially with Johnny Depp!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I generally prefer the lighter ones in comparisons to the "Dark" movies, however, I will definitely look forward to this movie.


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