Entertainment Weekly has unveiled the first official look at Dark Shadows, director Tim Burton’s long-brewing adaptation of the popular 1970s gothic soap opera. The image, a family portrait of sorts with Johnny Depp’s 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins at its center, was staged early into the film’s production by Burton, who as a boy was an obsessive fan of the ABC drama.
“I remember seeing a group photograph of the cast of the original series,” the director tells EW. “For me it captured the weird Dark Shadows vibe in a single image. I had a brief window of opportunity to have our cast present at the same time, the day before principle photography began. We decided to stage a similar picture instead of rehearsing, to see if we captured the Dark Shadows feeling.”
EW breaks down each of the characters in the image, with comments from screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith: Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, Chloe Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard, Gulliver McGrath as David Collins, Bella Heathcoate as Victoria Winters, Depp as Barnabas Collins, Ray Shirely as Mrs. Johnson, Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis, Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
Dark Shadows opens May 11.
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.