First Official Look at the Cast of Dark Shadows
09.23.11 by Ryan
Recent "spy" photos from the set of the upcoming adaptation of Dark Shadows offered the first look at Johnny Depp as the 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, and from the looks of it, Depp was wearing so much clownish goth make-up that it put his Mad Hatter role from Alice in Wonderland to shame.
Luckily, director Tim Burton has delivered a first look photo of the cast, where Depp, and the rest of the cast, look more like they just stepped out of the ABC gothic soap opera on which the movie is based. "I remember seeing a group photograph of the cast of the original series," Burton told 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."
The new photo will probably ease any worries from fans of the original show, of which Depp is one. "I do remember, very vividly, practically sprinting home from school in the afternoon to see Jonathan Frid play Barnabas Collins," Depp admitted. "Even then, at that age, I knew — this has got to be weird."
There could be a reason behind Depp's heavily made-up day on the set, since his character Barnabas, will awake in the 1970s after being buried alive for two centuries, as explained in the movie's synopsis. The man-out-of-time scenario will certainly give Depp an opportunity to play another delightfully strange character. "In some sense he can be a terrifying killer; on the other hand, women have a weakness for him and he has a weakness for women," said Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer). "He can be a very well-mannered, well-meaning vampire most of the time, until his stomach is empty or someone challenges his beloved Collins family."
Speaking of Barnabas' family, the photo offers a good look at them as well. From left they include live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter); rebellious teenager Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz)" Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green), the witch that cursed Barnabas into begin a vampire; lonely and ignored 10-year-old David Collins (Gulliver McGrath), David's governness Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcoate); the maid Mrs. Johnson (Ray Shirley) who is "mostly blind" and "mostly deaf" according to Grahame-Smith; caretaker Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Hayley); Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller), father to David and described as "creepy" and "self-centered" by Grahame-Smith; and, finally, Roger's sister and Collins family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), the mother of Carolyn and a mother-figure to David. Grahame-Smith described Elizabeth as "the rock of the family" and could be the most normal, though the writer admits: "I wouldn’t say there is a normal person in this photo."
Dark Shadows is currently in production, but is scheduled to open on May 11. For a more full description of each character, read Grahame-Smith's descriptions from the EW article here.