Do you remember Dark Shadows? The original Dark Shadows was, of all things, a soap opera. It ran between 1966 and 1971, and the vampire whom we now regard as its central character wasn’t actually part of the show until 1967. Jonathan Frid, a Canadian actor, played the role. He was originally a dark, horrifying character, but evolved into the show’s main protagonist, saving his family from dire events at every turn. Because they were doing the show five days a week, they shot over 1,200 episodes – more than Doctor Who and Star Trek put together.
It was done on a shoestring. It was camp, it was fun, it was convoluted just like any other soap opera, and it had a devoted following that tuned in every single day to see what was going to happen next. So it’s only natural that it be revisited.
Our first clue that this was going to be a thrill ride was that Tim Burton is directing it. This isn’t the first time Burton and Depp have worked together (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow and Ed Wood), so the ease and comfort they have working together lets them get past the strangeness of first projects and Depp can get down to business. His role as Barnabas Collins is played with the usual Depp deadpan humor, and the absurdity of the character is made even more so by transplanting him into 1972 – an era that was absurd all on its own.
Frankly with all those pointy collars I’m surprised nobody put an eye out.
This looks like it’s going to be no-holds-barred fun, though purists will likely be dismayed.
Here’s the official description:
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. Official Site: http://www.darkshadowsmovie.com
- Director: Tim Burton
- Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Thomas McDonell, Gulliver McGrath
- Writers: Seth Grahame-Smith
- In theaters: May 11th, 2012
- Copyright © 2012 Warner Bros. Pictures