‘Dark Shadows’ Cast Image Reveals Johnny Depp’s Actual Vampiric Look

Published 4 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

Dark Shadows official image by Tim Burton Dark Shadows Cast Image Reveals Johnny Depps Actual Vampiric Look

Amateur set photos should always be taken with a grain of salt – with regards to how much they reflect the quality of the finished product. We all got a nice reminder of that last week when paparazzi images of Johnny Depp on the Dark Shadows set emerged online, suggesting that his version of the vampire Barnabas Collins would be… well, perhaps a bit too Burtonesque.

A number of Screen Rant commentators suggested that perhaps the strikingly white makeup Depp had on was actually supposed to be some sort of sunscreen that would allow his blood-thirsty character to travel around in the daytime – and not be burnt to a crisp by the sunlight. Judging by the first official image released from the film… they were correct.

Dark Shadows is Tim Burton’s adaptation of the cult Gothic soap opera – which ran from 1966-1971 – about the trials and tribulations of the undead Banabas Collins and his extended family of ghouls, ghosts, witches, and other assorted supernatural entities. Between its Gothic visual style, eccentric characters, darkly campy tone, and famously oddball soundtrack, the original Dark Shadows TV show could easily be mistaken for a Burton production – by someone who didn’t know any better.

Hence why it should be no surprise that Burton and Depp – both being self-admitted Dark Shadows fanatics – look to deliver a film adaptation that very much retains the qualities which earned the original show a loyal following.

Check out the first official image of the cast for Burton’s Dark Shadows – followed by a still frame of the original TV show’s cast, for comparison – below:


Dark Shadows official movie image 570x377 Dark Shadows Cast Image Reveals Johnny Depps Actual Vampiric Look

Tim Burtons Dark Shadows movie Dark Shadows Cast Image Reveals Johnny Depps Actual Vampiric Look

Depp as Collins appears to have virtually the same haircut and naturally pallid features as Jonathan Frid’s version of the character. That should be a relief for those who – after seeing the early set photos –  were worried Depp would just end up (essentially) going with the same clownishly ghoulish look he had as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

Likewise, the cast as a whole looks to bear a strong resemblance to that of the original Dark Shadows show – with a few uniquely Burton touches here and there (see: Helena Bonham Carter’s blue eye makeup/carrot orange wig).

Click here to check out our Johnny Depp Photo Gallery

EW also has character profiles for all the main players in Dark Shadows – as well as some thoughts from the film’s screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novels. Go HERE to read through them all.


Dark Shadows stars the likes of Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Bella Heathcote, Jackie Earle Haley, Christopher Lee, Johnny Lee Miller, and Chloë Grace Moretz. It is scheduled for theatrical release in the U.S. on May 11th, 2012.

Source: EW

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  1. Im sure someone will complain the color tones of the carpet are off.

    I hope some of the nay sayers came here and see this.

    • Michelle Pfeiffer’s left eyebrow has 1 hair longer than the right. And the guy’s feet (standing in the back) are to far apart. Oh, and the carpet is off. Yeah, horrible film. :-D

    • Allot of sarcastic people in here i see but as i said on Dark Shadows news.. Looks Good!

      • Everybody watch Sleepy Hollow again this week a look at the great job Burton did with that… Now picture that lighting job with the rolling fog and added lightning storms with original DS Theam song and a spooky cemetery or two and you have yourself a modern spooky Dark Shadows with a seasoned Actor Johnny Depp Playing Barnabas Collins. We should give thanks to Burton and Depp for even making an attempt to pull this off for the fans that love the original very much. I have confidence on Burton’s lighting skill and Depp’s acting Skill to pull this off for the fans of Dark Shadows Original show. Always have a special place for Johnathan Fridd and original actors …

        • I think that you may be on to something, Richard. I re-watched “Sleepy Hollow” as you suggested, and found it to be a visually appealing, quite atmospheric film. Of all the scenes in the movie, the last ones, of the carriage ride through the country, and the arrival in 1800 New York City, are possible indications of what the period scenes with young Barnabas (McDonnell) might look like. If so, I would be very pleased. I agree that we, as fans of the original and subsequent incarnations should be thankful that someone, after the late Mr. Curtis, has taken the time, interest, and money, to revive this marvelous classic.

  2. That pic alone makes me want to see it. I am chuckling inside every time I look at it.

    By the way, Michelle Pfeiffer is still gorgeous!

  3. *crosses fingers*

    mac :]

  4. That looks a lot better!

  5. Better…

    He looks like he’s about 20ish tho. I’m feeling a bit better about it… but just a bit. ~ Stark

  6. Looks better with all the coloring done. Still, it’s a Tim Burton movie, so, I have no faith in it.

    • Ill bet money that it will look like a snuff movie halfway through, like everyone of his movies after batman… That was in the 80′s BTW…

      Aknot, the carpet is all wrong :D

  7. The color tone of the carpet is off….

  8. Depp & Burton = Awsome

    • Burton+Depp=Snuff movie without the good parts

  9. AWESOME! Love the photo, director and cast. Good to see Michelle Pfeiffer back. Hope the movie will also be good.

  10. Color tone of the carpet is all wrong? Unbelievable, there’s no pleasing some people, what’s wrong with you

  11. Getting slightly better, but everyone looks teed off…and the one on the left looks like a left-over mannikin from the “I Love Lucy” show!

    • Well, this is a movie about an undead family, what do you expect? This is what the theme they’re intend to in the photo op. They have to look distanced & aloof unlike common human.
      Oh by the way, the windows tinting definitely off. I lost hope of this movie if that type of small detail is clearly left unnoticed. What the world coming into? ;P

      • I didnt think the whole family was ‘undead’…. ?

    • Yeah…the decision of dressing Carter as Grayson Hall is going to be distracting to put it kindly.

  12. The whole family was not the undead- Just a select few- I wonder who will play Quentin?

  13. No, Elizabeth Stoddard had dark hair. It’s starting to look Adams familyish…yuck. Johnny Depp is too young. They did not look goth!!!!!
    It was the late 60′s for crying out loud. Why do they all look goth???!!
    Where is the burnt orange and other bright colors of the time. they don’t have to dominate the screen just be present.It’s ruined.

    • Exactly! The clothing colors should be as vibrant as they were in the 1970-71 era of the show; which, despite its low budget gave us some richly designed and decorated sets, in addition to the latest trends from Orhbach’s. No young persons, in that era in which I was a teen, would be caught either dead or undead in black or brown shoes. If we couldn’t find them bright enough in the shoe departments, we’d buy some shoe dye–all kinds of bright colors–and dye them ourselves or use day-glo poster paints for when we really wanted to appear far-out. Depp has the caped coat, an ivory–not silver-handled cane, and the “Barnie-bangs”, albeit straighter down on the forehead, and he looks Gorey grim. His suit is what was termed Edwardian with the stand-up collar: different from–yet, acceptable for the era–the suits worn by the original Barnabas. Depp’s Barnabas may have chosen this type of suit since it is reminiscent of the collar styles worn in the 18th century. He also has uncharacteristically long fingernails–a distraction–and nothing like the well-manicured hands of Mr. Frid, the “first Barnabas Collins”, which were often used in conjunction with the black onyx ring on the forefinger to alert the viewer of his presence. The longer nails are most prominent in the gloved images of Depp in the leaked photos. H. Bonham-Carter’s hair is straight out of “House of Dark Shadows”; her horrid brown and navy dress is similar to one worn on the original series. Almost perfect for her. Julia did not wear sandals, however, but low-heeled pumps. While the clothing may be vaguely similar to the styles worn in the early 1970′s, the entire cast–with the exception of the suitably dark-attired Depp–appear as if escapees from the Gulag (or,”Ghoulag”). Burton should tone down the Mary Kay foundation on Depp and turn up and turn on the colors in the ladies’ wardrobe. Roger’s wardrobe should be a little brighter, too, because he was something of a dandy.

  14. It’s set in 1972? Will it have “Alone Again, Naturally” in the soundtrack? Seems like a natural.

    A little peeved about changes made to Barnabas’ origin that weren’t necessary…

    (Why would the witch who turned you into a vampire to ruin your life and make your fiance kill herself chain you in a coffin? The original version that Barnabas’ father chained him in there and then went mad over his son’s fate is much more tragic.

    But then, there was no reason to cut Bela Lugosi’s two marriages and other movie roles from the timeline of “Ed Wood”…and that was still a good film.

    I’ll definitely give this a chance.

    • I cannot understand why people don’t like some plot changes? I am 33 years old and got into DS through the 1991 version but I also love the original. I for one don’t want a total rehash. I am glad there will be new elements to it. Same thing over and over is BORING!

  15. I’m a HUGE ORIGINAL “Shadows” fan, but no matter how good I’m sure Johnny Depp will be, there will NEVER be another Barnabas like the great Mr. Frid! He made that show what it was and nothing is ever as good as the original! Now HE knew how to be a vampire!!

  16. Here’s a song called “Barnabas Collins”:

  17. Who cares how they do the movie. They are not worried. 75% of the people going to see it have never even heard of the original much less seen it

  18. Way to go Johnny and Tim! I smell another success!

  19. jThere is no chance of me seeing this ridiculous movie. Unless they fix the glaring carpet problem.

  20. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. I was a BIG fan of the show when I was a kid and even though I know “remakes” have a shaky history at times, I think Johnny Depp can carry it off. I always loved Joan Bennet in the series. I think she was one of the most beautiful women in the Hollywood of her day, and she stayed elegant and regal her whole life.Her sister Constance Bennett, who was also a movie star, was a beautiful woman as well. There was also a third Bennet sister, but I don’t remember her name and I don’t know if she was ever in films. ANYWAY, I wish the movie good luck and am looking forward to seeing it. Best of luck Dark Shadows.

    • By the way, Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Maggie/Josette in the original series, in her book, “My Dark Shadows Memories” mentions what great actresses Grayson Hall and Nancy Barrett were in the series. Between the two of them , they played more that 20 characters, with different personalities, accents and personnas. It was also the launching pad for actors like David Selby, Laura Parker, and so many other REALLY talented people. I think Dark Shadows will always have a special place in so many people’s hearts. Thanks for the memories.

  21. The official “family” photo does look much better, particularly the character of Barnabas. I thought that this was relevant to the worry caused by the initial paparazzi photos of Depp’s Barnabas during a stroll on the beach. To see how Jonathan Frid, “the first Barnabas Collins”, looked as he took a daytime stroll with Maggie Evans, see frames 8:13-10:00 of the following:

  22. I heard recently that Jonathan Frid was going to be in the new DS movie if so he must be in his mid to late 80′s and i wonder what role would he be playing would it be in a flashback scene or maybe show him as the old vampire when the serum that Julia made for him stops working either way I’m looking forward to seeing the movie I’m a huge fan of the 70′s shows as well as the movies and revamped series that came afterward have a good evening

  23. I watched the original Dark shadows and Loved it, but this is a disgrace to the original! I HATE THIS movie remake ‘n give it a SINGLE Star. If you’re going to do a remake … do it up right ‘n don’t change the story line! :(