Michelle Pfeiffer May Join Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 10:29 am,

The last time Michelle Pfeiffer collaborated with Tim Burton, she ended up being resurrected by a pack of street cats in his gloomy sequel, Batman Returns. Now the pair may team up again for another eerie romp – an adaptation of the supernatural television series, Dark Shadows.

Burton and his BFF Johnny Depp are gearing up for production to begin this April, and have recently begun assembling a motley crew of talents to join them, including Eva Green, as well as Jackie Earle Haley and Bella Heathcote.

Dark Shadows takes place at the Collins family estate in Maine, an ancient and mysterious mansion overseen by the lively caretaker Victoria Winters (Heathcoate), and residence of the not-so-lively vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp). Green will play the dazzlingly beautiful Angelique Bouchard, a witch who has a love-hate relationship with the blood-sucking Barnabas, and Heat Vision says that Pfeiffer would star as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the reclusive family matriarch whose husband vanished ten years before.

Despite her last significant role being (appropriately enough) that of a sorceress in Matthew Vaughn’s 2007 adaptation of Stardust, Pfeiffer currently has two other projects on the horizon – Alex Kurtzman’s Welcome to People and the romcom celebrity pileup, New Year’s Eve. The multiple Oscar-nominee certainly has the gravitas to be fitting as the aging ladyship of the Collins clan, and another round of Gothic ghoulishness with Burton could be fun for her as well.

Deadline is also saying that Helena Bonham Carter is in line to star in Dark Shadows as well, but that talks have not officially begun yet. Then again, wouldn’t it be more shocking if she wasn’t in the film?

Tim Burtons Dark Shadows movie Michelle Pfeiffer May Join Tim Burtons Dark Shadows

Both Burton and Depp have admitted to being heavily influenced by the original Dark Shadows TV show, which aired from 1966-1971 and featured many of the same stylistic hallmarks associated with Burton’s oeuvre as a filmmaker. It comes as little surprise then that the actor-director duo would want to take a stab at turning the campy television series into a big-budget Hollywood feature, complete with modern-day F/X and production values.

Depp is reportedly on a green tea diet, so as to lose some weight for his Dark Shadows role, and he spoke earlier this week with MTV about how his portrayal of Barnabas Collins will differ from his take on other established characters like Ichabod Crane or Willy Wonka. As he put it:

“For me, even the conversations I’ve had with Tim, what Jonathan Frid did with that character [in the original 'Dark Shadows' TV show] and that classic look he created, I find it very difficult to stray very far from that. I think it’s going to be somewhere in that arena, with maybe just a couple of different touches here and there.”

Burton and Depp’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory hit theaters in July of 2005, and was followed by the pair’s Corpse Bride a few months later. The director could repeat that trick next year by completing Dark Shadows in time for a summer release, and then have his 3D feature-length, stop-motion adaptation of Frankenweenie arrive in the fall. Depp is only onboard for the former project right now, but we’ll see if that changes in the future.

Does Dark Shadows sound all the more appealing, given the cast and director involved?

Source: THR, DeadlineMTV

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  1. Oh, man, I just don’t know. I’m a big Dark Shadows fan and the hubby (who is also a major fan) is old enough to have watched it as a teenager (and he remembers when they had to shift the broadcast to a later time so highschoolers would quit skipping their final classes to go home and see it). Tim Burton is the awesome, but Johnny Depp? This is the guy who told Vanity Fair (January 2011 issue) that he stated to a Disney employee that all his characters are gay. (full article at link)


    Barnabas Collins is a great character and I’d hate to see Mr. Depp destroy him like he did Willy Wonka. I just don’t trust his enthusiasm about this – can’t Mr. Burton go wild and find an actor who will really try to understand the character of Barnabas Collins? Please?

    mac :]

    • Whoops, make that November 2010 Vanity Fair edition. :”>

      mac :]

    • i agree, depp is an awesome actor, but he completely ruined wonka, maybe because the original is my favorite movie, but he made him way too un-real and it was impossible to relate to him

  2. So glad that THIS childhood memory is actually being treated with the proper respect, and paying ode to the orginal. Mr. Burton’s vision is spot on as well as the grace of Mr. Depp to potray an all time favorite of his. Mr. Depp’s respect for Jonathon Frid is paramount and will do an amazing job I have no doubt. This is finally a breath of fresh air as many of our childhood favorites have been treated with zero respect and in no way pay homage to the source material. ( i.e Observe and Report II : The Green Hornet.

    Mr. Depp in the same interview when on to say….
    “There’s something about this vampire coming back after 200 years into this modern world, with a touch of the poetic, with maybe a tendency to maybe wax a little poetic now and again,” he mused. “I have a good feeling about it. But Jonathan Frid’s Barnabas was so special.”

    macbrooks rest easy. IMHO his take on “Willy” was just as deranged as the orginal…..Willy is a creepy character, that is why the orginal was met with so much outrage back in the day. Remember???

  3. Mr.Tim Burton & depp,
    Why in the hell would you hire Michelle Pfeiffer to play the role as
    Elizabeth Starddard Collins Just ”Why? She does not look like the late
    joan Bennett. So I ask you again Why her??? Are you both doing Drugs or what? I believe some of the fans will have a problem with your chosen and
    I’m one of them. You got Jonathan Frid to help out on your movie project
    So why did’nt you get Mrs.Alexandra Moltke Isles to help out too???…..
    You both are out of yours mind’s you know that! You know what Mr.Tim Burton and Depp I hope your project bomes. Dan

    • why not anything michelle is talented enough to do it but this green person never heard off, and rest of tim burton crew .careers were damage because of television dark shadow .johnny depp well maybe [nah well i can say good luck to tim burton


  4. Lived Dark Shadows, but the sexy one was Quentin Collins played by David Selby. Who’s playing him?

  5. with right makeup michelle should be angelique the witch,not mrs stoddard

  6. I’m glad Tim is doing a remake. His Alice in Wonderland and his Willie Wonka was great, imo. I do however think Michelle Pieffer as the Collins Matron is a mistake, she would be better suited as Angeliqué the Witch.
    I can see Helen Bonham-Carter as Elizabeth Stoddard for sure! I watched it as a child. I think Hugh Jackman would make a good Quentin Collins :)

    • you are so right on michelle would be great as angelique the witch.hugh jackman as quentin collins .yes as for caroline who who be right for her. reese witherspoon

  7. You Guy are right Michelle Pfiffer should be angelique that role would be
    better for her not…..Mrs.Elizabeth Staddard Collins. And again what was
    burton thinking??????? Dan

  8. Do NOT use Dipp to portray Barnabas!!! I beg, plead, whatever to you, Tim Burton, to get an actor to play this important role. Maybe using him for the half-wit or the nauseating brother, even the sherrif or the M.D. Plus, Barnabas & Elizabeth should be played by more refined players (not that Ms. Pfeiffer ain’t refined, she’s too pretty for a Matriarch). Thank you. Crow