Some Casting News for Dark Shadows


Casting is well under way for Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows,” which is based from the 1960s serial of the same name.

The gothic soap opera originally aired on ABC from June 1966 to April 1971. Created by Dan Curtis, the popular series was about a vampire named Barnabas Collins — played to melodramatic perfection by the amazing Jonathan Frid. Unlike “Twilight,” this vampire doesn’t sparkle.

No, from what I recall about the series when it re-aired in its entirety on the SyFy network back in the ’90s, Barnabas was a cold-blooded killer with a penchant for prostitutes. But the vampire had a soft side in the form of one Victoria Winters, a dead ringer for a former love from 200 years ago named Josette duPre.

Werewolves, ghosts, witches and, yes, even zombies were also featured in the series. Time travel, too. Packed with romance and implied violence, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s re-imagining of the epic saga is sure to satisfy traditional followers of vampire lore. Burton, who will direct, was brought aboard the “Shadows” project shortly after Johnny Depp’s production company, Infinitum-Nihil, obtained film rights back in 2007.

Depp, who has admitted to being obsessed with Barnabas since he was 6 years old, will play the 200 year-old vampire. Two weeks ago it was announced Eva Green would play Barnabas’s nemesis, Angelique, and now, Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter were added to the growing list of talent involved in this feature. Pfieffer will play matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and Carter will portray the scientist who attempts to cure Barnabas of his affliction. Australian actress Bella Heathcote — a newcomer from Australia with a lot of promise, in my opinion — was cast as Victoria Winters. And Jackie Earle Haley is grave robber Willie Loomis.

Many groaned when learning Depp and Burton would be working on yet another film together, but I couldn’t imagine a “Dark Shadows” remake in better hands. Burton is a macabre master, Depp, a charismatic chameleon. These two ingredients attached to “Dark Shadows” is a recipe for success.

“Dark Shadows,” a Warner Bros. picture, is slated for 2012.

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