‘Dark Shadows’: New Image, Promo Poster, & Screenwriter Interview

3 years ago by  

We’ll have plenty of unabashedly strange Gothic horror cinema playing in theaters this summer, culminating with the release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Getting the jump on that faux history/horror mashup is another film penned by author-turned-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith: Dark Shadows, a movie adaptation of the cult 1960s supernatural TV soap opera that once again reunites actor Johnny Depp with director Tim Burton.

You can check out the latest promotional artwork and production stills released from Dark Shadows, in the gallery above. Be sure to continue reading for higher-definition versions of those images, along with some additional insight concerning the tone and atmosphere of the latest Burton/Depp “joint,” as provided by Smith.

Burton’s Dark Shadows movie begins in late 18th century Liverpool, England, where wealthy playboy Barnabas Collins (Depp) inadvertently ruins his hedonistic lifestyle by breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), a powerful sorceress who transforms Barnabas into a vampire and buries him alive. The film thereafter jumps ahead to the 1970s, when Barnabas finally emerges from his tomb, only to discover his once magnificent estate is now run down and decaying, due to the dysfunctional and erratic behavior of his living relatives and descendants.

Check out the centuries-old sparring lovers that are Barnabas and Angelique, in the Dark Shadows still below:

johnny depp eva green dark shadows 280x156 Dark Shadows: New Image, Promo Poster, & Screenwriter Interview


The Tim Burton Exhibit has recently travelled overseas to London, where it is being marketed via a promotional poster featuring an artist’s rendition of Depp as the pallid, sunken-eyed vampire Barnabas - wearing the same Georgian-era getup that the A-lister had on in the Dark Shadows set photos, which leaked online last year (to much publicity).

Have a look at that Dark Shadows-oriented piece of artwork, below:

johnny depp dark shadows poster 280x420 Dark Shadows: New Image, Promo Poster, & Screenwriter Interview


All you newcomers to the Dark Shadows property, who are reading this: you are probably starting to realize just how odd this particular mix of supernatural horror, soapy drama, and campy comedy elements is. Fans of the original TV series should therefore be pleased to learn that Burton will (not surprisingly) maintain the kooky design of that cult title in his big screen adaptation; not only in terms of the director’s customary off-kilter visual style, but also with regards to narrative tone and the film’s overall atmosphere, according to Smith.

Here is what Smith had to offer Badass Digest, on what to expect from Dark Shadows:

“The tone of the movie is soap operatic. It’s heightened. Everything is heightened and grand. Johnny [Depp] is just dug in and big. [Starts hamming it up] ‘Didn’t you see? How… could you? My god, woman!’… There’s an absurdist element to it. It’s very funny. I don’t think people are expecting it to be as funny as it is… It’s PG-13, so there’s not gore, there are no hardcore scares, but there’s some crazy Barnabas vampire s**t in this movie that will surprise people in terms of its ferocity.”

Seeing how Dark Shadows is slated to hit U.S. theaters on May 11th, 2012, we should soon be getting a trailer for the film – which will offer an even better taste of this new weird Burton-and-Depp-flavored dish.

Source: Luces Carmara Blog, La Cinematheque Francaise, Badass Digest

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: dark shadows


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  1. …Why does he look like a grown up Eddie Munster?

  2. My God. What a steaming piece of c#ap! It looks more horrid than I expected! I think I save the money and buy the orig series on DVD.

    Sorry, but that’s just……. awful.

    ~ Stark

  3. Yes, Dark Shadows was out there; there was nothing on TV like it. But it never tried to be campy like, say, the 60s Batman TV show. It was outlandish.
    I’m rather tired of Depp turning every character into some weird androgynous ball of idiosyncrasies. Barnabas Collins never looked liked Austin Powers in Goth drag.

    • isn’t that the stylists fault? Or are you blaming Depp because of his physical features?

      • After Depp’s long professional affair with Burton, you don’t think he exerts complete control? Really?
        Depp creates the “characters” and the stylists are just back-up dancers to his never-ending pirouette.

    • that is the best way to put it stevedore, im afraid its gonna be just another over the top Burton/Depp movie… instead of a good adaptation of what the show was or felt like

  4. AH-mazing!!! But, where’s the trailer????

  5. Now this is supposed to be funny and hammy?
    Johnny Depp doing another quirky character schtick?
    I guess this was predictable but I was hoping for more.

  6. Quoth the writer: “There’s an absurdist element to it. It’s very funny. I don’t think people are expecting it to be as funny as it is …”

    That is the KISS OF DEATH … and not in the cool vampire way … ‘Dark Shadows’ occupied its own dark corner of daytime television … There was an unease about the stories … This was not about good verses bad … It was about dread and decay … There’s a flower in the garden, but someday it will be dead … I cringe at the proposition that ANY humor should be injected … This is not good news for those who have been anxious to see the finished work.

    • Beautifully put. There was no humor in the poison that was Angelique. Barnabas himself was a deeply divided character, not a visually monosyllabic joke.

  7. OMG what have they done to Barnabas? He never had Jerry Dandridge nails, nor the look of someone “from France”. He looked normal to everyone, so they never suspected he was the village vampire.

    • I just looked up photos of the old Barnabas and he does not look normal. If you think that looks normal you need to get your eyes checked out, he’s wearing the same thing and has the same hair as Johnny depps character

      • He was not that odd pasty colour, and didn’t have long nails (like Chris Sarandon had in Fright Night)

        • Barnabs dressed more like the way Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes, minus the hat and pipe. Same Victorian garb with heavy wool and tweeds. He was not the byproduct of a Mac cosmetics binge. Yes, he looked vampiric, but in a noble baron-like way, not like Zoolander needs a transfusion. The sad thing is, Depp could have pulled this off if he would drop his Alice in the Wonder-Chocolate Factory phase.

          To think he was once my one and only choice to play Dr. Strange. God, to think now how he would insist on destroying that, too.

  8. Burton-o-scope cinema has really become a cliche for me.

  9. Well, I am beginning to feel like this is going to be Alice in Wonderland goes to Collinwood instead of the angst ridden drama that it should be. I think they probably had someone write the script who did NOT really understand the material. Also I think Depp has made too man Pirates movies and so has that over the top thing in his head. I actually like him much better when he plays it more understated…loved him in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow!

  10. The modern Count Dracula. Awesome! :)

  11. Humor did not exist in Collinwood … It was wrapped in a wet blanket of despondency and depression … dread … Death was always close … And the residents were aware of all of it … ‘Dark Shadows’ was such a remarkable franchise — very different from any other type of television production … To turn it into something campy or to make it into an adventure with a beginning, middle, and adrenaline filled, thriller ending is the antithesis of the original idea … This is a film that should end in mid sentence … The final line in the script should carry a sense of desperation … “No! No that can’t happen! It can’t! Maybe we could …” — Roll credits.

  12. I think this gives us a clue as to why no trailer or poster yet. I had high hopes, and am saddened that they chose to take a comic approach. Shame on Johnny Depp as he expressed a respect and reverence for the original material.