Filming begins this week on 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.
The original DARK SHADOWS was a gothic soap opera that aired on US network television from 1966-1971. The show was unusual in that it was a soap opera with super-natural elements including ghosts and vampires. The show was a hit running against more conventional soaps like AS THE WORLD TURNS and ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Eventually it was axed due to a drop in ratings.
It has remained a camp classic with many more fans being drawn to it through re-runs on the former Sci-Fi Channel. In the years since its initial run it has been remade as a short-lived series for NBC in 1991 and a pilot for a possible series on the WB in 2004. Now it returns as a Tim Burton feature film. For those of us not familiar with the series the story is as follows:
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail fromLiverpool, 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 harbouring 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.