Warner Bros. Pictures has released the first still photographs from Tim Burton's forthcoming Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp as the protagonist vampire, Barnabas Collins.
Depp, 48, is seen in the stills with an extremely pale, almost whited-out, complexion, slick hair, and long, pointy fingernails, not very much like the Barnabas in the original television series. Similar photos were leaked back in September of Depp donning the same makeup and a whimsically colored outfit.
So far, there has not been a trailer, but multiple photos have surfaced since the project was announced, including a cast photo featuring an all-star lineup of Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz, Eva Green, Gulliver McGrath, Bella Heathcote, Ray Shirley, Jackie Earle Haley, and Jonny Lee Miller.
Created by Dan Curtis, the original gothic soap opera aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. It is centered around the Collins family and their various run-ins with the supernatural, werewolves, witches, and vampires. The show starred Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, a man turned vampire thanks to vindictive witch Angelique Bouchard, played by Lara Parker (Eva Green has the role in the new film version). The show has gained popularity over the decades and is considered a beloved cult classic.
It's got such a strange vibe, Burton told MTV. And it's not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You're trying to do a weird soap opera ... Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn't, but they were all game for it -- getting into the weird spirit of what 'Dark Shadows' was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama ... It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn't really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone.
Burton has taken a different approach for Barnabas, evolving him into a rich, powerful, playboy-type of character who breaks the heart of Bouchard, prompting her to turn him into a vampire and bury him alive.
We're changing it a little bit. I wouldn't do it if it felt like it was just doing the same thing< Burton told MTV. It feels different even though it's a similar story, but we're kind of expanding it a bit.
The film will center around Barnabas' return two centuries later in 1972 in the script written by Seth Grahame-Smith, with a tiny bit of time travel back to when Barnabas was not yet a vampire.
Set to be released on May 11, the film is currently in post-production, which Burton describes as: Panicking. That stage. We're editing and doing effects. It's not an effects-heavy picture, but it's still got stuff in there.
The official film synopsis from Warner Bros. Pictures reads: 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.