Monday, April 30, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie Cast Video Interviews

Here's a final set of Dark Shadows electronic press pack interviews, this time speaking to the rest of the movie's principal cast. Featured are Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard), Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins), Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters/Josette duPres) and Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis).

Dark Shadows Movie Backstage Video Interviews

Warner Bros have released another set of Dark Shadows electronic press pack video interviews, this time chatting to the movie's behind the scenes team. Featured are director Tim Burton, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, along with producers Richard D. Zanuck and Graham King.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

10 New Dark Shadows Movie Photos

Warner Bros. have unveiled a clutch of unseen stills from the new Dark Shadows movie, which can be seen below. 

The images show Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) arriving at Collinwood; Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) facing off with a troll doll; Barnabas with Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Grace Moretz) and David Collins (Gully McGrath); Barnabas and David; Barnabas brushing his fangs; Barnabas and Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) at the Blue Whale pub; Barnabas in Carolyn's bedroom; The Collins family open for business – David, Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller), Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Carolyn; And finally, Elizabeth takes up arms. Click on the thumbnails for larger views.

Images © Warner Bros. Entertainment Ltd.

New Backstage Shadows Movie Videos

Warner Bros have released two videos of behind the scenes moments from the Dark Shadows movie, as part of the production's electronic press kit, both of which can be viewed in the windows below. These 'b-roll' montages are intended for use by various broadcasters to create their own segments devoted to the film. Also included is a short video interview with Dark Shadows composer Danny Elfman, discussing the tone for the film's score and his small-scale traditional approach.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Watch Clips From The New Dark Shadows Movie

Warner Bros have released nine short scenes from the Dark Shadows movie via website HollywoodTeenTV, all of which can be viewed in the windows below. Also included are three short interviews with Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) and Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Julia Hoffman). Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Dark Shadows Movie Backstage Photos

Warner Bros have released a set of behind the scenes images from the Dark Shadows movie, featuring director Tim Burton at work with the cast. The photographs show Burton with Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins; Directing an awkward moment between Barnabas and Eva Green as Angelique; With partner Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman; And finally, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Click on the images for larger views.

© Warner Bros. Entertainment Ltd.

Writing Barnabas & Company: R.J. Jamison

As we reported yesterday, Barnabas & Company: The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows has just been updated and reprinted, re-affirming the book's place as the definitive guide to the show's actors. We caught up with co-author R.J. Jamison to get the lowdown on the new edition...

The first edition of Barnabas & Company was written by the much-missed Craig Hamick. How did you come into contact with him?
Craig and I were friends in the final year of his life. As two kids from Kansas who made it to the big city, we had a natural camaraderie, and in working on his final book, I feel a special ongoing kinship with him. He very generously helped me with my Grayson Hall biography, offering bits of advice and helping with the photo sections. I recall when he cropped out an entire person – a friend of Grayson's – from a photo then laid another photo on top of her. I said with some trepidation: "Can we do that?" He winked and said: "Hey it’s about Grayson not her friend." Then I knew we 'got' one another. At his memorial service, I recalled that it was Craig who, almost more than anyone else, helped me realize my dream of being a writer.

Craig researched Dark Shadows extensively... How do you think he viewed the show?
Craig’s perspective on Dark Shadows was that it was a lovely, odd oasis to hang out in. He didn't take it too seriously, but he did feel the actors had broader, richer careers than often was acknowledged and he wanted to expand that view. Craig’s partner, Joe Salvatore, took some time in deciding how to move forward with Craig’s uncompleted projects after his death. In that time, Joe and I have become good friends. When he was ready to move forward with the book, he asked if I’d help. I easily agreed, perhaps naively – it was a big job!

How complete was the book when you began work?
The final manuscript had lots of notes and blocks of yellow in it, with indications like 'TK' – meaning, to come. There were also many unaccredited quotes. So there were big chunks that needed to be rewritten and researched. Because Craig had known most of the actors for many years, he had insider stories, but I didn't know who the unnamed speakers were. So I had to do a lot of fact vetting. Craig had poured enormous energy into expanding the profiles from his 2003 book – I refined and added updated information as I think he would have liked.

How different is the new book to the first edition?
The first edition was 257 pages. The new one is 572! I’m not kidding – isn’t that funny, the same numbers rearranged? There's new information on almost all of the actors. We conducted interviews with Humbert Allen Astredo (Nicholas Blair), Addison Powell (Dr. Lang) and the families of Thayer David’s (Professor Stokes) and Peter Turgeon (Dr. Woodard). 

New Movie Featurette Pays Tribute To Classic Shadows

Warner Bros have released a behind-the-scenes featurette for the new Dark Shadows movie, introducing Barnabas' character. Included is backstage footage and interviews with Johnny Depp, director Tim Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, plus scenes from the original series. 

Also seen are clips of the cameos from the original Dark Shadows cast and horror legend Christopher Lee, along with a dedication reflecting the recent passing of Jonathan Frid. The piece can be viewed in the window above and is also available to download via iTunes.

Seen below are screengrabs of some of the new sequences included. Shown are cameoing original Dark Shadows stars Lara Parker, Jonathan Frid, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott with Johnny Depp's Barnabas; Barnabas and Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) pay a visit to the Blue Whale; Christopher Lee; Barnabas and Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer); Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) experiments on Barnabas; Barnabas reads to Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote); And finally, Chloe Moretz closes the doors of Collinwood. Click on the pictures for larger views.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jonathan Frid: Jim Pierson Remembers

Jim Pierson has worked on Dark Shadows-related projects for over two decades, both for Dan Curtis Productions and as director of the Dark Shadows Festivals. He shares his memories of working with Jonathan Frid and his impressions of the actor away from the spotlight...

I have so many memories of Jonathan Frid beyond Barnabas Collins, the role that brought his stage-honed, Shakespearean talents to millions of captivated viewers and made him an indelible pop culture icon. Back in 1989, when I began working for Dan Curtis, the creator of Dark Shadows, I looked after Jonathan in Las Vegas where he was to appear at the Video Software Dealers Association convention, helping to launch the series' release on home video. To see Jonathan draw a still-adoring crowd alongside the likes of such superstars as Jane Fonda was quite marvellous.

But what impressed me most about Jonathan was his total disinterest in pursuing fame and his commitment to the art of performance. Above all else, Jonathan wanted to make his characters human and believable. This meant that playing a vampire would not involve presenting the standard, bloodthirsty villain, but something much more powerful and real. Jonathan was a classically-trained actor and wanted to find the truth when he acted. He loved nothing better than to entertain a small group of enthralled listeners with run-throughs of his reader's theatre presentations in the cozy comfort of his New York apartment. He was a master storyteller.

Jonathan took his work very seriously, which meant that when I would book him and his
Dark Shadows colleagues on TV talk shows such as Good Morning America, he would bristle whenever a host would bring up the "bloopers" for which the daytime series was infamous. Jonathan had a huge amount of material to memorize for each episode of Dark Shadows, and he found nothing funny about his mistakes, even decades later. He was a dedicated craftsman at heart. Make no mistake, Jonathan had a fine sense of humor too. His one-man show Fridiculousness displayed his penchant for blending comedy and drama.

After moving back to his native Canada in the mid-1990s, Jonathan retreated from the Dark Shadows afterglow for a dozen years, finally returning to celebrate Barnabas' 40th anniversary in 2007. It was a joyful homecoming and Jonathan rediscovered the impact of his portrayal and the ongoing affection all those years later. He gained a renewed appreciation of Dark Shadows at large, recognizing the unique qualities of the show and uncovering many moments he found to be "magical".

It was poignant taking him to England to appear in a cameo for the Johnny Depp Dark Shadows film last year. It was an exhausting experience for Jonathan to travel, but when meeting Depp, who was
in costume as Barnabas, Jonathan expressively gave Depp a thorough examination and then amusingly complimented his successor's replication of the trademark Barnabas hairstyle.

Jonathan Frid, in his life and his work, represented a bygone period of great dedication, civility and romanticism. As with Barnabas, he seemed to be a figure from another era but, like that fictional creation, Jonathan has transcended time with a legacy that is destined to live on for centuries to come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Edition of Barnabas & Company Released

A new edition of Dark Shadows cast encyclopedia Barnabas & Company has just been published, updating the definitive guide to the show's actors. The original book, written by the late Craig Hamrick in 2003, has been revised by R.J. Jamison with new research and interviews, expanding it to a massive 576 pages, and includes an afterword by Dark Shadows News Page editor Stuart Manning. From the publisher:
Dark Shadows remains one of the most popular cult TV shows of all time. Barnabas & Company tells the tale of the marvelous actors and actresses who came together in a tiny studio in New York City to make magic. Through the performers’ own words, read about the paths that led them to the fictional haunted hamlet of Collinsport, Maine and beyond.

Learn about the show and the actors that inspired the 2012 Tim Burton-Johnny Depp major motion picture
Dark Shadows. Included are updated chapters on Jonathan Frid, Kate Jackson, David Selby and interviews with Humbert Allen Astredo, Betsy Durkin, Robert Rodan, Jerry Lacy, Lara Parker, Denise Nickerson, Conard Fowkes, Addison Powell, Christopher Pennock and more!

The book can be ordered now by clicking here; A Kindle edition is also available. Check back here tomorrow for an interview with the book's co-author R.J. Jamison.

Dark Shadows Movie On Entertainment Tonight

  • It's a busy week for Dark Shadows movie updates, as the film's promotional campaign steps up a gear. This evening's edition of showbiz magazine show Entertainment Tonight will feature a lead segment devoted to the film. Promising behind-the-scenes footage and star interviews, the syndicated programme airs at 7.00pm in most areas.
  • Dark Shadows director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were at yesterday's CinemaCon industry convention in Las Vegas to promote the film. Introducing a preview sequence, Tim once again spoke of his childhood love of the original series, blaming it for bad school grades: "I wasn’t doing my homework. I was watching this weird TV show!"
  • Eva Green has spoken about her role as the witch Angelique in an interview with CoverMedia: "My look in the film is a cross between Bette Davis and Janis Joplin," she reveals. She also touched upon the eternal conflict between Angelique and Barnabas. "She won’t give up trying to convince Barnabas... that he must be in love with her, even though he doesn’t think so. She’s relentless and will do anything to have him. Barnabas is confused and he has to deal with this obsessive woman who just won’t leave him alone."
  • And finally, composer Danny Elfman will be launching the Dark Shadows Original Score CD on May 8 at Warner Bros Records in Burbank, California. Danny will take part in a question and answer session and a limited number of signed albums will be available. The event takes place from 6.00pm and more details can be found here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Picture of the Week: Without Whom...

David Henesy (David Collins) and Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) pose for publicity in 1967. This one is for all those children who grew up with Barnabas haunting their dreams...

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email

New Shadows TV Trail Spotlights Elizabeth and Roger

Warner Bros. have released a new Dark Shadows TV spot, featuring unseen footage of the supporting cast, which can be viewed in the window above. 

Below are screengrabs of some of the added sequences. Shown are Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard; Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis; And a frosty breakfast conference with Elizabeth and her brother Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller). Click on the pictures for larger versions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tributes To Jonathan Frid Continue

  • Dark Shadows movie director Tim Burton has issued a statement saluting actor Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins), who has died at the age of 87. "It's a sad day. I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan on the set this past spring. He left an indelible impression. Barnabas lives on!"
  • One of the most interesting articles about Jonathan's passing comes from Canadian newspaper of Jonathan's hometown, The Hamilton Spectator. Speaking to family members and local friends, the piece gives a fascinating insight into Jonathan's day-to-day life away from the spotlight. To read it online, click here.
  • Elsewhere, media reaction to the news has been widespread, with hundreds of articles published online and in print. Among the major pieces are stories from Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Reuters and BBC News, along with UK journals The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph. Jonathan Frid also trended on Twitter.
  • And finally, Rue Morgue magazine features Jonathan on the cover of its May issue, pictured above. The edition, completed before his death, includes one of the actor's last print interviews and is available now from specialist stores.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Shadows International Trailer Images

Yesterday we posted video of the new international Dark Shadows movie trailer, and now we're pleased to follow that up with some high-resolution screengrabs of the new sequences featured. The images show Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins sharing a kiss with Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote); the dilapidated Collinwood mansion; Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) arriving to confront Barnabas; And finally, Barnabas gets deep by the fireside with a group of hippies. Click on the pictures for larger views.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Dark Shadows Trailer Pits Barnabas Against Hippies

A new Dark Shadows movie trailer has been released in Taiwan, featuring new footage of Johnny Depp's Barnabas in an unfortunate encounter with a group of hippies, along with other unseen shots. It can be viewed in the window above.

Elsewhere, the latest edition of the Tim Burden's Movie Magic podcast previews Danny Elfman's orchestral score album for Dark Shadows, including the track Widows' Hill in its entirety. Listen to it in the window below. The album is released on May 8 and can be pre-ordered by clicking here. Also, the accompanying Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD, featuring a mixture of Elfman's score and the 1970s music heard in the film, can now be pre-ordered by clicking here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Johnny Depp Leads Tributes To Jonathan Frid

People Magazine have published a statement from Johnny Depp commenting on the death of Jonathan Frid. As we reported earlier today, Jonathan passed away peacefully last week. Depp has spoken before of his childhood fascination for Jonathan's portrayal of Barnabas, and the pair met last summer on the set of the new Dark Shadows movie, in which Jonathan has makes a cameo appearance:

"Jonathan Frid was the reason I used to run home from school to watch Dark Shadows," says Depp. "His elegance and grace was an inspiration then and will continue to remain one forever more. When I had the honour to finally meet him, as he so generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me, he was as elegant and magical as i had always imagined. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. The world has lost a true original."

Elsewhere, original Dark Shadows co-stars Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) and David Selby (Quentin Collins) have each published tributes of their own online. "He was a warmhearted and compassionate man with a lovely sense of humour," commented Lara on her website earlier today. "A staggeringly charismatic actor... personally responsible for the lasting success of the Dark Shadows TV show in so many ways."

Kathryn echoed these thoughts in on her own blog: "I am so grateful to have worked with Jonathan, and to have known him as the charismatic, entertaining, complex and plain spoken man that he was," she comments in a blog post. "What fun we had working together! He was irascible, irreverent, funny, caring, loveable and thoroughly professional... the whole reason why kids ran home from school to watch Dark Shadows.”

"What is it about love that made Dark Shadows so needed by millions? They loved you, Jonathan, as did I," suggests David in a dispatch on his official site. "You carried the heavy past with such grace and allure. That need to watch had something to do with love, a love for you."

Jonathan Frid: 1924-2012

It is with tremendous sadness that we report that Dark Shadows legend Jonathan Frid has died. As television's first reluctant vampire, Barnabas Collins, Jonathan brought a faltering Dark Shadows runaway success, giving the show its most enduring character.

Jonathan passed away peacefully in the early hours of April 14 in his native Hamilton, Ontario, at the age of 87. Nephew Donald Frid, in a statement from the family said that: "His health had been declining in recent weeks and he died peacefully in his sleep in a local hospital. At Jonathan's request, there was no funeral and there will be no memorial service." It was a characteristically modest exit for a man who had so often shunned the spotlight.

A gathering of family and friends took place yesterday on April 18 – 45 years to the day from Jonathan's debut appearance on Dark Shadows. Donations in his memory may be made to Hillfield-Strathallen College, the school where he first began acting. To visit them online, click here.

Like so many pop culture stars, Jonathan had an conflicted relationship with the role that made him famous. While he was justifiably proud of the character of Barnabas, he was left disenchanted by the violent depiction of the vampire in the House of Dark Shadows movie. His perfectionist streak left him ambivalent about many of his performances and he was undoubtedly typecast by the time Dark Shadows was finally cancelled.

As a performer, Jonathan's heart truly belonged with the theatre, and in the years that followed, he carved out a niche presenting a series of successful one-man shows. With these, he could indulge his love of storytelling in its purest form, performing his favourite pieces of writing on his own terms. Television may have brought him peak audiences of 20 million, but it was undoubtedly these small, intimate productions that gave him the greatest professional satisfaction.

In time, Jonathan came to appreciate the lasting popularity of his Dark Shadows work, attending many conventions, right up until last year's 45th Anniversary celebrations in Brooklyn. Now in his 80s, he had taken to using his original wolf's-head cane from the show as a walking aid, no longer a memento, and though he tired easily, was happy to make the long journeys and oblige those original fans, still in awe of him four decades later.

Last July, Jonathan and some of his Dark Shadows co-stars flew to England, to film a cameo scene alongside Johnny Depp for the new Dark Shadows feature film. As Jonathan stood in the cavernous new Collinwood set built at Pinewood Studios, the new Barnabas – himself a schoolboy viewer of the original show – maybe summed it up best when he told his childhood hero "None of this would be here if it wasn't for you." Dark Shadows will be released in cinemas in a few short weeks, and it's truly fitting that Jonathan's final screen appearance both affirms and celebrates his most enduring role.

Jonathan was a humble man, at times self-effacing to the point of appearing brusque. I suspect he was baffled by the affection he commanded from his fans, and the reaction his death has received today would have probably astonished him. But quite simply, Jonathan Frid was adored. As a powerful figure in the childhoods of so many viewers – sometimes scared of him, but always entranced – those viewers held him dear long after Dark Shadows left the airwaves, making Jonathan and the character of Barnabas immortal.

In the coming days we'll be celebrating Jonathan's life and career with tributes and personal remembrances from friends and colleagues. In the meantime, on behalf of Dark Shadows fans worldwide, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just For Fun: Part III...

Following on from yesterday's Dark Shadows movie poster take on Lara Parker's Angelique, here's a sideways look at Collinwood's long-serving governess Maggie Evans, as played by Kathryn Leigh Scott. Click on the image for a larger view.

Win Pulp Fiction!

Hermes Press have a pair of great new Dark Shadows books out just in time for the new movie. Dark Shadows: The Best of the Original Series collects 12 vintage Gold Key comic strips, while Dark Shadows: The Original Story Digest reprints a rare illustrated storybook from 1970.

Courtesy of our friends at Hermes we have two sets of the books to give away in a special prize draw! To enter, just answer this simple question...

What book did Victoria Winters take back in time to 1795?

Send your answer to with your name and postal address before April 26 for a chance to win. Good luck and be warned, multiple entries will be fed to the werewolf.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just For Fun: Part II...

Last week, we posted a spoof picture of Jonathan Frid's Barnabas styled like some of the graphics from the new Dark Shadows movie. In response to your requests, here's another featuring Lara Parker as the show's alluring witch Angelique. To see a larger view, click on the image.

Danny Elfman Talks Shadows Score

Composer Danny Elfman has spoken about his inspiration for the score of the new Dark Shadows movie. "Tim [Burton] had some specific ideas about the music," he explains in a press release for the forthcoming soundtrack album. "I knew that the bigger dramatic scenes would be played in a rather grand theatrical manner, but the real treat was tapping into the retro palette Tim had imagined. He wanted something that paid homage to both the original TV series and other '70s horror genres as well. For that we kept it minimal, eerie, and atmospheric with only electronics and a few solo instruments carrying the melodies."

The Dark Shadows soundtrack is released on May 8 and can be ordered on CD now by clicking here. WaterTower Music have announced that they will also be releasing a second album devoted to the film. Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features some of the archive music heard in the film, along with selected pieces of the orchestral score. The CD should be available to order shortly; in the meantime, here's a tracklist:

1. Nights in White Satin – The Moody Blues
2. Dark Shadows – Prologue – Danny Elfman
3. I’m Sick Of You – Iggy Pop
4. Season Of The Witch – Donovan
5. Top Of The World – The Carpenters
6. You’re The First, My Last, My Everything – Barry White
7. Get It On – T. Rex
8. No More Mr. Nice Guy (Album Version) – Alice Cooper
9. Ballad Of Dwight Fry – Alice Cooper
10. The End? – Danny Elfman
11. The Joker – Johnny Depp