Dark Shadows: The Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast – 3:19

The Fangs are Almost as Big as the Lapels: An undead Johnny Depp braves the ravages of the 70's in DARK SHADOWS.
The Fangs are Almost as Big as the Lapels: An undead Johnny Depp braves the ravages of the 70's in DARK SHADOWS.

Two hundred years is a long time to revive a vampire, but then again, forty years is long time to revive the first horror soap opera (not counting an earlier, feature adaptation and a TV revival in the ’90s). In Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is cursed into vampirehood by spurned lover Angelique (Eva Green) in the 18th century and is buried alive (undead?) to await his unearthing in the 1970’s. What he finds is the family fishing empire in ruins, the occupants of stately Collinswood manor — including Michelle Pfeiffer as matriarch, Helena Bonham Carter as a drunk doctor, Jackie Earle Haley as a drunker handyman, and Bella Heathcote as a nanny who bears a striking resemblance to Barnabas’ lost love Josette — devolved into feckless dissolution, and Carpenters music everywhere.
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons have seen the film, and sit down to discuss whether Burton’s more comedic take on DARK SHADOWS’ melodramatics are worth the trip back to the Me Decade. Also in this show: What’s coming to theaters.

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Young Barnabas Cast for 'Dark Shadows'

Thomas McDonnelAccording to The Hollywood Reporter,  Thomas McDonell (THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM) has been cast as a younger version of Barnabas Collins in the Tim Buton/Johnny Depp DARK SHADOWS.
Depp is playing the mature Barnabas, cursed as a vampire by the witch Angelique (Eva Green, CASINO ROYALE), in the feature film based of the 1960’s Dan Curtis gothic soap opera.
Michelle Pfeiffer has been cast as matriach Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Bella Heathcote as governess Victoria Winters, and WATHCMEN’S Jackie Earle Haley as the coniving caretaker Willie Loomis.
With a screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Warner Brothers intend for filming to get underway in April.
McDonnell certainly looks a good deal like a younger Johnny Depp, though it’s unknown how extensive the part might be. If I recall correctly, young Barnabas and servant girl Angelique Bouchard had a fling in Martinique, and she became obessed with the wealthyAmerican.

Michelle Pfeiffer for 'Dark Shadows'?

MichellePfeiffer_PortAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, Michelle Pfeiffer (BATMAN RETURNS) is in negotiations to join the cast of DARK SHADOWS, the Tim Burton / Johnny Depp feature film version of the 60’s Gothic supernatural soap opera. 
Michelle Pfeiffer’s role would be that of  Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the matriarch of the Collins family,  which runs the major industries of  Collinsport, a secluded town on coast of Maine.
In the series, Elizabeth Stoddard (played by film star Joan Bennet) had become relcusive, rarely leaving  Collinswood, the family’s mansion, since the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Paul Stoddard.  
In the 1990’s NBC prime time revival, Jean Simmons played the role.
If Michelle Pfieffer signs, this would be the first time she and Tim Burton have worked together since she played Catwoman in the above mentioned BATMAN RETURNS (1992).
Already in the cast are Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, the melancholy vampire who returns from his 18th Century crypt to pose as his own decesendent.  He’s released by Willie Loomis, to be played by WATCHMEN’s Jackie Earle Haley.     
Australian actreess Bella Heathcoate is set to play Victoria Winters, a young woman with an unexplained tie to the Collins family, who becomes a focus of Barnabas Collin’s attention. However, there’s another woman in the equation, the witch who cursed Barnabas witch vampirism, Angelique DuPre. Eva Green (CASINO ROYALE) will be playing that role.

Joan Bennett, Jonathan Frid in period dress
Joan Bennett, Jonathan Frid in period dress

Sounds like a nice cast is being assembled for the project, which is being fueled in part by Johhny Depp’s long-time desire to play the tragic/heroic Barnabas, ever since seeing Johnathan Frid’s theatrical performance on the 60’s ABC series.  
DARK SHADOWS was created by Dan Curtis (with Art Wallace, Malcom Mammorstein, Sam Hall, and other writers contributing greatly). Dan Curtis made two 1970’s film with the daytime drama’s cast members, and produced the NBC/MGM Televison revival.

The new film is being made by Warner Brothers, which previously tried to relaunch the property as a new TV series for the WB Network.
The pilot for the rejected show has never been aired.