Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spotlight On "Dark Shadows"

Take a look at a group shot of the main cast of director Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows", starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz and Gulliver McGrath :

"..."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 (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' (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' (Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, 'Dr. Julia Hoffman' (Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.

"Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, 'Roger Collins', (Miller), her rebellious teenage daughter 'Carolyn Stoddard' (Moretz) and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, 'David Collins' (McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker 'Willie Loomis' (Earle Haley), and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters' (Heathcote)..."

"Dark Shadows" is being produced by Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil and Graham King’s GK Films.

Screenplay is by Seth Grahame-Smith ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"), who drafted a rewrite of a previous screenplay by John August.

"Dark Shadows", created by Dan Curtis ("The Night Stalker"), originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, June 1966 to April 1971. Story 'bible' for the show was written by Art Wallace.

The series became popular a year into its run, with the introduction of Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, playing the 200-year old Barnabas who encounters other vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches and warlocks.

Writer Malcolm Marmorstein, who created the Collins character, also created the characters 'Sam Hall', 'Gordon Russell' and 'Violet Welles'.

The series often used classic horror stories including "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "The Picture of Dorian Gray", "The Turn of the Screw" and "Wuthering Heights", freely borrowing prose from authors Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James and H. P. Lovecraft.

According to the original story, Collins was the object of desire, circa 1795, for the witch Angelique. In the present day, Collins is released from his coffin by 'Willie Loomis'. Collins then kidnaps waitress 'Maggie Evans', believed to be the reincarnation of lost love 'Josette du Pres'.

Composer Robert Cobert's music score for the series entered the Billboard top 20 national album chart in 1969. The spoken-word instrumental track "Quentin's Theme", earned a Grammy nomination, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1,225 episodes of
"Dark Shadows" were produced during its TV run, with a feature film, starring Frid, released in 1970.

Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" opens May 11, 2012.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek the original "Dark Shadows"...