Story Details Emerge for Burton's 'Dark Shadows' with Johnny Depp

May 18, 2011
Source: ComingSoon

Tim Burton / Dark Shadows

We've known about the impending big screen adaptation of Dark Shadows, the 1960's gothic daytime serial with vampires, ghosts, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, parallel universes and time-paradoxes, for a while. However, what we haven't heard is details on the story itself. But today Warner Bros announced (via ComingSoon) that production has begun on the collaboration between director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and with that announcement has come the official storyline of the film chock full of details. Fans of the classic series will be interested to hear that the film takes place the year after the show was canceled.

Here's the extensive synopsis that may contain some spoilers, so read at your own risk:

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.

Filming will take place in England and in addition to reuniting Depp and Burton, the film will also have frequent collaborator Danny Elfman on board to compose the music for the film. I'm hoping this film has the same kind of energy, and originality that ran through Burton's films like Ed Wood and Beetlejuice, even if this is an adaptation of an old TV series. The cast is spectacular, and Depp and Burton can usually do no wrong together (even if Alice in Wonderland wasn't the most impressive effort, in my opinion). Sound good?

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 Is it wrong that the first thing that popped into my mind when reading "caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley" was how much they turned Jackie's Fred Krueger into Groundskeeper Willy from the Simpsons?

Englishman in Reno on May 18, 2011


That is one impressive cast and the story seems right up Tim Burton's alley! I could just picture how awesome this could turn out! Giddy with excitement!

Ron on May 18, 2011


 That's interesting how the synopsis is pitched from Jonny Depp's point of view and not from Victoria's. It's also interesting how Victoria is now the nanny and not the full time governess so that she can be a waitress at the blue whale as a second job to pay the bills. This helps a lot in making her character a combination between Victoria and Maggie (from the show). That way she works as a bridge between the two worlds of the rich, snobbish Collins family and the working class people of Collinsport. Still, the interesting bit is that the estate has "fallen into ruin"-- does that mean just figuratively or also in the literal sense? That would be somewhat cool if the mansion had a bit of a ruined look to parts of it, like it did in the '1995 time-travel storyline' of the old show. I'm doing my own online comic adaptation of Dark Shadows and My approach to changing the story is that of a different path. But this is all really interesting stuff.

George Caltsoudas on May 18, 2011


johnny depp and tim burton are butt buddies

stfugtfo on May 18, 2011


 Johnny Depp and Burton??? so weird

srdiaz on May 19, 2011


 i hope this movie is gonna be as sick as it soundsk

Croniccris on May 19, 2011


 Awesome cast line's hoping they deliver.

Mike P on May 19, 2011


FYI - This is Depps project, he brought it to Burton to direct. However as of late Burton has been misfiring, lets hope he doesnt screw this up.

Dominic on May 20, 2011

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