Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wolf Moon Rising Synopsis Released

Tor Books have released a teaser synopsis for their new Dark Shadows original novel Wolf Moon Rising, which is written by Angelique actress Lara Parker. The book will be released in paperback this October:
When a portrait is lost that has maintained Quentin Collins’ youthful appearance for over a century – and has also kept his werewolf curse at bay – Quentin begins to dread the full moon.

Meanwhile, David, the sixteen-year-old heir to the Collins fortune, has fallen in love with Jacqueline, a young girl living at the Old House who is the reincarnation of Angelique. David and Jacqueline are swept back in time to the prohibition era of the Twenties, where David uncovers the dark secrets of the Collins family history.

Most threatening of all, Dr. Nathanial Blair, an expert in the paranormal, has come to Collinwood because he suspects they are harboring a vampire. Fortunately, Barnabas Collins has returned to his coffin after a disastrous flirtation with life as a human. Nevertheless, what Blair discovers places the entire Collins family in jeopardy. 
Wolf Moon Rising can be pre-ordered at a discount price by clicking here. To read our recent interview with Lara Parker about the book, click here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Dark Shadows Production Design Featurette

  • Warner Bros have released a new video featurette for the Dark Shadows movie, this time exploring the film's production art, with contributions from director Tim Burton and production designer Rick Heinrichs. It can be viewed in the window above and eagle-eyed fans should look out for Brewster's department store and Braithwaite & Sons, as featured on the original Dark Shadows episodes.
  • Danny Elfman's Dark Shadows: Original Score album entered the Starpulse album chart at number 35 for the period ending May 14, making it that week's highest-placed soundtrack release.
  • Website VFX Snapshot go behind the scenes of visual effects house The Senate's work on Dark Shadows, which include the digital exterior of the Collinwood mansion, which fascinating before and after shots. To read the feature, click here.
  • Meanwhile, FX Guide speaks to Dark Shadows visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton, who discusses the film's retro-styled imagery and special effects work with more unseen images. To see more, click here.
  • And finally, Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame Smith is interviewed by Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool about vampires in movies. To view the chat online, click here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Picture of the Week: David Daydreams

This week, it's a candid 1969 shot of David Selby (Quentin Collins), rehearsing out of costume on the Collinwood foyer set. "My life has changed so much since I became a regular on Dark Shadows that I seldom have time for thought," David told 16 Magazine in 1970. "But when I do, I welcome a moment of silence to contemplate things."

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

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dark Shadows Takings Reach $130 Million

Box Office Mojo have published revised global takings for Dark Shadows, revealing that the film has generated over $132 million in less than two weeks in cinemas. As of May 20, the US domestic total is estimated at $50.9 million, with $81.3 million for overseas territories. 

In addition, The Hollywood Reporter have noted that Dark Shadows' opening weekend in Japan has generated another $5 million not included in these figures, which also omit the $5.3 million Russian takings reported earlier in the week. When these sums are factored in, as it enters its third week of release, Dark Shadows' combined earnings stand at over $142 million.

While the US box office for the film has been sluggish compared to the stellar business enjoyed by The Avengers, Dark Shadows has performed strongly in a number of foreign territories. In France, it beat The Avengers for a second week and has additionally opened as the number one film in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Japan, Portugal and Spain. In the US, Dark Shadows slipped to fourth place, but was still estimated to generate $12.7 million over the course of its second weekend.

Three New Shadows Movie TV Spots

Warner Bros. have released three new TV spots for the Dark Shadows movie, which have been broadcast on US television over the past week. The film is now on general release and can be seen in cinemas everywhere, with Imax screenings at selected outlets.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Classic Dark Shadows Updates

  • Dynamite Comics will be pitting Barnabas Collins against one of their other vampire properties, Vampirella, in a new crossover beginning in August. The story sees the pair forming an alliance to hunt for a murderer in the Big Apple.
  • The Dark Shadows Festival are now accepting memberships for July's Day at Collinwood event, taking place in Tarrytown, New York on July 28. The itinerary will now include a tribute to Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) and the premiere screening of his final video interview. For more information, click here.
  • Fans in New York City can catch Marie Wallace (Eve) and Larry Storch in a charity performance of Love Letters, taking place on June 24 to benefit the Manhattan Actors Temple. For more information, click here.
  • Lara Parker (Angelique) is interviewed by the Memphis Commercial Appeal about the enduring popularity of Dark Shadows: "Longing for immortality is the source of religion – we want to live forever. Barnabas got to do that, but on the other hand, he's dead. Would we choose immortality if we had to be monsters? It's a fascinating idea."
  • A few readers have emailed in asking if the recently-reissued Dark Shadows DVD volumes feature the restored footage included in the new Complete Series DVD Box Set; As we reported previously, the opportunity was taken to reinstate some sequences that were accidentally removed from the original discs. We can confirm that episodes 451 and 695 are now included as broadcast on Collection 6 and Collection 12.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Jonathan Frid: Nancy Kersey Remembers

As a writer for Clunes Associates, Jonathan Frid's production company, Nancy Kersey worked closely with Jonathan for over a decade on his one-man shows. She shares her memories of a loyal employer and dear friend...

Jonathan Frid was one of the funniest people I have ever known. That fact befuddles those I have said this to... "Barnabas? Funny? Really?" Yes, really. And then some. John (I called him 'John', 'Uncle Gaunty' and 'Friddlesticks') was like a multi-layered banana; you could peel and peel and never quite pin him down. Forget trying to predict him. He was a complex individualist, disliking going with the flow for the sake of just keeping the status quo. He had no interest in keeping the status quo.

He refused to capitalise on his fame as Barnabas Collins when Dark Shadows was in its heyday and that refusal cost him work. He wanted to explore being a talk show host, a nod to his constant curiosity about world and national affairs. That didn’t pan out. He could have taken the many horror roles offered to him, but Jonathan disliked the genre in general and didn’t pursue that kind of work either. Most actors would say that was kind of dumb, but that's how Jonathan was – he did what he wanted. If other people understand why, fine, if they didn't... well, that was fine too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie Digest

  • The Los Angeles Times has interviewed Colleen Atwood about her costume designs for the new Dark Shadows movie, discussing the influences she drew upon for the production. "Some of it was from reference materials and some of it I remember from growing up," she explains. "There was also a nod to the old show. I tried to pay homage to that with things like Johnny's little cape coat that he wears."
  • Many news sources have picked up on The Killers' surprise contribution to the Dark Shadows soundtrack. The band produced a cover version of the Raspberries' Go All The Way heard during the film's closing credits. The track isn't included on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album, but may be released at a later date.
  • Website DigitalArts goes behind the scenes of the MPC's visual effects work on Dark Shadows. The company produced over 100 shots for the film, including a virtual Widows' Hill and the Liverpool docks seen in the film's opening sequence. To read the full article, click here.
  • And finally, AMC have denied that the Dark Shadows reference on Mad Men in last week's episode was planned as a promotion for the movie; The sixties-set drama featured a scene of Don Draper's wife Megan helping a friend prepare for an audition for the soap: "[It] has absolutely nothing to do with [the] film and is definitely not any kind of tie-in," a spokesperson tells The Wall Street Journal.

New Backstage Shadows Movie Pictures

Warner Bros. have released another batch of publicity stills for the Dark Shadows movie, going behind the scenes of the production. Shown are director Tim Burton with Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard); The cavernous foyer of Collinwood constructed at Pinewood Studios; And finally, filming Barnabas' arrival with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) and Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis). Click on the images for a larger view. And to see all our photo posts from the film, click here.

Images © Warner Bros. Entertainment Ltd.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lara Parker Talks Wolf Moon Rising

We recently chatted to actress Lara Parker about her cameo in the new Dark Shadows movie. In recent years, she's carved out a second career as a writer, and her third Dark Shadows novel, Wolf Moon Rising, is out later this year... 

You've recently completed the manuscript for Wolf Moon Rising. How was the writing process this time around?
Honestly? It was hard – grueling at times. This is a complicated story and there are four or five points of view from various characters, so it was much harder to write. I gave myself a difficult task, to take this whole group of characters and have their stories intertwine.

When you're writing, do you have any tricks to get you into the story?
I always pick a season. For The Salem Branch, it was fall and the trees... This time it's the dead of winter – everything's white and covered in snow. David has a snowmobile he dug out of the garage – he's quite handy with mechanical things. So he drives this snowmobile quite recklessly through the woods behind Collinwood and the sea road on the way to the Old House.  

In The Salem Branch, you explored a more adolescent version of David Collins than we saw on the series...
I tend to be much fonder of my own characters – they're much more alive for me. I think that the 16-year-old David is really my creation now. When we last saw him [on television], he was eleven or twelve, but had certain characteristics that are still there. He's quite self-centred and full of himself, and thinks himself to be very smart.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

$65 Million Worldwide Opening Weekend For Shadows

The first weekend's takings are in, and The Wrap reports that the Dark Shadows has done respectable business in its opening few days, raking in $28.8 million in the US and a further $36.7 million in oversea territories, making over $65 million so far. 

As was widely predicted, family-friendly The Avengers continued its record-breaking blockbuster run, taking the lion's share of the weekend's business with over $100 million in the US alone, plus the number one slot. Depp's Barnabas comfortably made second place ahead of nearest competitor, Think Like A Man, which took $6.3 million. The Hollywood Reporter adds that Dark Shadows "came in No. 1 ahead of Avengers in several European markets, including France (where Depp lives), where it grossed $4.6 million. It scored its biggest number in Russia, grossing $5.3 million."

Elsewhere, Collider has interviewed Dark Shadows screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who echoed comments from director Tim Burton earlier this week that the film's DVD and BluRay release will feature deleted scenes: "There was a lot cut out... As a writer, you want all of those great actors to have those [great] moments... What happens then, is you then have a three-hour movie!"

"There's some stuff with Barnabas and David getting to know each other, a little earlier on," says Seth. "I think that the plan is to release those scenes on the BluRay. I'd love to – personally – see an extended cut of this movie. Because there is so much other stuff, not just with Barnabas, but so many other characters." The interview also includes Seth reflecting on the film's box office prospects and the development of the script from John August's initial draft. To view the full chat online, click here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

$10 Million First-Day Takings For Dark Shadows

  • The Hollywood Reporter says that early indications are that Dark Shadows took $10 million on its Friday opening in the United States. This figure remains in line with industry predictions, which suggest the movie will gross $30-35 million across its first weekend. 
  • The Tokyo premiere of Dark Shadows took place earlier today, with Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins) and director Tim Burton in attendance. As can be seen right, Johnny took the opportunity to demonstrate some of Barnabas' trademark hand movements.
  • The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the sets for the Dark Shadows movie, with unseen photography and commentary from production designer Rick Heinrichs, who discusses the detailed work involved: "When Barnabas walks into Collinwood, he makes a reference to the artisans and craftspeople who worked on the house. So it needed to reflect that amount of effort."
  • UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph has published a Dark Shadows set report by Tim Burton biographer Mark Salisbury, interviewing cast and crew on location. To read it online click here.
  • Fox10TV celebrates Dark Shadows across the ages with a photo gallery of the original series, featuring never-before-seen shots. Pay a visit by clicking here.
  • And, signing off, here are some video treats: A new Dark Shadows TV spot and a CBS news report about a Pittsburgh fan who has taken his devotion to another level by creating his own version of Collinwood to live in.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dark Shadows London Premiere Video

  • Premiere Scene have posted footage of the London Dark Shadows movie premiere, which includes interviews with the film's stars and can be viewed in the window above.
  • BoxOfficeMojo reports that Dark Shadows took a respectable $550,000 from US midnight screenings last night, and echoes previous industry predictions of the film reaching second place in the US market this weekend behind juggernaut The Avengers, with projected takings of $33.3 million.
  • Eva Green had admitted she was unsure about dyeing her hair to play the witch Angelique: "I didn't want it to look like a silly blonde," she tells People Magazine, but concedes: "It was a great choice, because it represents America, sunshine... health."
  • Yahoo Movies interviews original Victoria Winters actress Alexandra Moltke-Isles about Dark Shadows, her thoughts on the new movie and her memories of Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins): "He was a little reserved, terribly nice, gentlemanly," says Alexandra, who also recalls his problems remembering dialogue. "People misinterpreted that as a different kind of yearning, worry and concern." 
  • The new limited edition Dark Shadows Crimson Amulet make-up set by NYX is now on sale, featuring looks inspired by the new movie. To purchase it online, click here.
  • And finally, Alice Cooper's Dark Shadows costume can be seen on display at Phoenix's Musical Instrument Museum. Curator Cullen Strawn tells the Phoenix New Times that the pieces were "made specifically for Alice to wear in Dark Shadows by [costume designer] Coleen Atwood. It's based on an outfit he wore in the seventies."

Dark Shadows Is Released Today

Today the new Dark Shadows movie from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is released in cinemas, following more than five years of production. We've chronicled the project from its earliest announcement, and you can re-visit all our coverage by clicking here

Dark Shadows has already done brisk business in France, where the movie released midweek, commanding double the audience of blockbuster The Avengers. "Dark Shadows could beat Avengers in certain territories but might not be able to match Avengers' overall weekend international gross," comments The Hollywood Reporter. "Burton's film got off to a strong start Wednesday in France, grossing roughly $770,000 to beat Avengers on its third Wednesday."

It is now over 41 years since the original show left television screens, but its influence remains far-reaching, in the work of Tim Burton and many others working in the film industry today. The new movie is dedicated to the memory of Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis, but perhaps this also is a good time to remember some of the show's other creative leading lights – writers Art Wallace, Sam Hall, Gordon Russell, Violet Welles, Malcolm Marmorstein, Ron Sproat and Joe Caldwell, directors Lela Swift, John Sedwick and Henry Kaplan, original producer Robert Costello, and most of all, our recently-departed original Barnabas, Jonathan Frid.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New TV Spot Emerges As Release Approaches

Warner Bros. have unveiled a new TV spot for the Dark Shadows movie, which is released in most major territories tomorrow. Special midnight screenings are taking place this evening across the US, and if you're seeing the film tonight, have a great time and look our for our review coming soon.

Dark Shadows Hits London!

  •  As we reported yesterday, the UK premiere of the Dark Shadows took place last night, with the film's stars braving a drizzly Leicester Square to meet fans and and walk along a Dark Shadows-themed purple carpet. Among the celebrities in attendance were Paloma Faith and director Terry Gilliam. 
  • TV Guide looks at the enduring appeal of Dark Shadows and the new film, speaking to director Tim Burton and others. "Dark Shadows is a part of my DNA," says Burton proudly. "I discovered it when I was a pre-teen feeling very awkward... I was crazy about its mash-up of vampires, witches and werewolves all swirling in this weird melodrama – there was nothing like it on TV! It formed who I am and the kind of films I would go on to make."
  •  Elsewhere, Music maestro Danny Elfman speaks to website The A.V. Club about his Dark Shadows movie soundtrack and the influences of the show's original composer Robert Cobert: "Tim [Burton] really did like the tone of the music to the TV show, and he got me listening to it... we're going to use an ensemble that's very much like the ensemble might have been in 1970. A very, very small orchestra, mostly just three solo instruments – a bass clarinet, bass flute, and vibes. There were these riffs that they did that I really liked, so I did pull some music from the TV show into the score, and Bob Cobert... is credited in the cue sheets for those moments where it kind of becomes a co-composition." 
  • Original series actress Lara Parker (Angelique) is full of praise for the new Barnabas Collins: "Johnny Depp has his own presence and mystery that is so superb," she tells The Boston Herald. "He understands the poignancy of the character, the desperation... and the guilt. They didn’t wipe the slate clean, all the motivations are the same."
  • And finally, the Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album is now available to download, mixing highlights of Danny Elfman's orchestral score with archive tracks from Alice Cooper, The Moody Blues and others. To purchase it online, click here.

Hollywood Dark Shadows Premiere Featurette have posted a video of Monday's US Dark Shadows premiere, interviewing the film's stars on the red... erm... black carpet, including Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), director Tim Burton and Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard). Also, for your viewing pleasure, are two new video spots from Warner Bros. promoting the film – a featurette exploring the continued collaboration of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and a new TV spot.

Dark Shadows A.D. 1972

Just for fun, here's a retro-styled poster for the Dark Shadows feature film, inspired by Barnabas' claws and early 1970s movie graphics. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dark Shadows Press Highlights

  • The Dark Shadows London movie premiere takes place in Leicester Square this evening, with stars from the film in attendance. Live video of the event can be viewed online from 6.00pm GMT/1.00pm EST by clicking here.
  • Variety is already speculating on the possibility of a Dark Shadows sequel. The film opens this weekend in 42 territories on over 10,000 screens worldwide, with 3,700 of those within the United States. The industry paper says that: "Warners would like to have at least four mega-blockbusters per year, and Dark Shadows, if it hits a vein, could go a long way toward filling that desire." Once again repeating its prediction of a $30-40million yield for the film, it concludes this will be "probably just enough... that Warner Bros. will have a decision to make when the Dark Shadows theatrical run is over."
  • Meanwhile director Tim Burton plays down talk of further Dark Shadows movies in a press chat picked up by Collider, insisting that the film's ending is not engineered to set up a sequel: "Because of the nature of it being like a soap opera, that was the structure. It wasn't a conscious decision... It's a bit presumptuous to think that. If something works out, that’s one thing, but you can’t ever predict that." He also mentions that the film's DVD may include some deleted scenes: "With the nature of it being a soap opera, we cut out stuff, but all the actors were great... I think I'm going to look at having scenes that aren't in the film."
  • Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters) praises her director, in a press conference highlight picked up by Vanity Fair: "This is how great Tim is: There was one day where I had to be sitting in a wave machine, and I expressed some reservations. I said, 'Oh, I’ll be fine. I just need to get pumped up.' I walked on set, and Tim is blasting Eye of the Tiger!” 
  • Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins) tells Vulture how much he enjoyed his retro Dark Shadows wardrobe: "I really loved the costumes. They make you walk in a different way, these outrageous suits. Colleen Atwood's costume design blended what I’d call genuine seventies clothing with a Burton-esque style, if I may use such a word." 
  • Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis) speaks about his Dark Shadows role to website MySA and comments: "Tim Burton plays great homage to the soap, but he also makes that content accessible to the sensibilities of the 2012 audience. There's melodrama, dark moments... but also a light tone with humour."
  • And finally, cameoing rocker Alice Cooper proclaims his enduring youth in a chat with the Los Angeles Times: "They [the filmmakers] decided that they were going to do a computerized thing where they make me [look like I'm from] 1972... I said, 'Well, don't make me look younger. In '72, I was a mess. I looked 20 years older in '72 than I do now.'"

Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott Media Appearances

Original Dark Shadows actresses Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) will be making a host of remote video appearances today across the US. The pair, pictured right with David Selby (Quentin Collins) at the Dark Shadows movie premiere on Monday, will discuss their days on the 1960s series and filming their cameo roles in the new Dark Shadows movie.

Lara and Kathryn will be appearing live on the following shows today: Fox News First (San Antonio KABB-TV: 6.35am); CBS' Your Day (Toledo WTOL-TV: 6.50am); NBC's Good Company (Cleveland WKYC-TV: 7.15am); Fox 9 News (Minneapolis KMSP-TV: 7.35am); NBC's Kare 11 Today (Minneapolis KARE-TV: 9.20am)

They will also be pre-recording appearances for NBC Newsfeed (all NBC news channels); Fox News Edge; Reelzchannel Hollywood Dailies; ATPN Newsfeed; MYN 2 News on 49 (Buffalo WNYO-TV); Unifour Tonight (Charlotte WHKY-TV); NBC 9 News at Noon (Denver KUSA-TV); ABC 13 Eyewitness News (Houston KTRK-TV); Valley Happenings (Huntsville WYAM-TV); NBC Hometown Today (Joplin KSNF-TV); ABC The Morning Blend (Las Vegas KTNV-TV); Fox Studio 10 (Mobile WALA-TV); CBS Talk Philly (Philadelphia KYW-TV); Better Philly (Philadelphia WPHL-TV); CBS Daybreak (Portland, WGME-TV); NBC 207 News Magazine (Portland WCSH-TV); CBS Studio 10 (Tampa WTSP-TV); ABC Good Morning Oklahoma (Tulsa KTUL-TV).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stars Step Out For Dark Shadows Premiere

As we reported, the official premiere for Dark Shadows took place yesterday at Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater. In attendance were stars Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard), Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard), Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins), Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis), Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters) and director Tim Burton. The guests walked down a black carpet and met fans before the screening.

Other attendees included Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, Alice Cooper, Peter Fonda, along with original Dark Shadows actors Lara Parker (Angelique), David Selby (Quentin Collins) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans). Reuters have posted video of the event, which can be seen below, along with our round-up of today's other Dark Shadows headlines.

  • Variety reports that Dark Shadows has been forced to share its Imax screen allocation in the wake of The Avengers' blockbusting $207 million opening weekend; Dark Shadows was originally set to take 200 Imax screens from The Avengers this week, but after talks between the films' distributors, Disney and Warner Bros. have agreed that both releases will share 275 screens. The industry paper says that pundits predict "a decent debut for Shadows – high $30 million to low $40 millions."
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker were guests on yesterday's edition of Good Day L.A., discussing their time on the original Dark Shadows along with the new movie. To watch video of the segment, click here.
  • Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has spoken about the wardrobe for Barnabas in the movie, along with the character's distinctive wolf's head cane, which featured on the original series. "It's slightly altered but pretty much the same design," he tells CraveOnline. "It's not a silver-tipped cane because my hand would've burst into flames, which would have lit my sleeves on fire. So we couldn’t go there." Speaking to the Chicago Sun-Times, Johnny explains more about the influence of original Barnabas Jonathan Frid on his performance: "I loved that when he played Barnabas, there was a rigidity to him. He had that pole up the back. He had that elegance. It was always there." He also reveals that he made contact with Jonathan before meeting on the set of Dark Shadows: "He had written me a letter a few years before and signed a photograph to me, passing the baton. I thought it was very sweet."  
  • Australian website If has spoken to young Gully McGrath, who talks about his character David Collins: "He's a very misunderstood little boy. He really likes Barnabas because Barnabas doesn't judge him. They become friends."
  • has tracked down 1970s Dark Shadows comic strip artist Ken Bald, who's still going strong at the age of 91. "I was always interested in the occult," he says. "I really enjoyed drawing the strip. It was a little more exciting than squeaky-clean Dr. Kildare."
  • And finally, Danny Elfman's Dark Shadows movie soundtrack album is released today, and is available on CD and download by clicking here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Black Carpet Premiere For Dark Shadows Movie

The official Hollywood premiere for the Dark Shadows movie is taking place right now at the historic Grauman's Chinese Theater and, to match the film's gothic mood, the traditional red carpet has been replaced with a suitably funereal black. 

In attendance are Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard), Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) and other cast members, along with Lara Parker (Angelique), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) and David Selby (Quentin Collins) representing the original series. 

We'll be posting a full report tomorrow, but in the meantime, for live updates and pictures of the stars stepping out, head over to our @DarkShadowsNews Twitter feed by clicking here.

Lara Parker On The Dark Shadows Movie

As the beautiful witch Angelique on the original Dark Shadows, Lara Parker became one of the show's most memorable and enduring characters. We caught up with her to talk about her cameo in the new movie and her thoughts on the project...

So Lara, what was your reaction when you heard that Dark Shadows was heading to the big screen?
I never thought it would get made – I was so pessimistic. This is a reinterpretation, and I feel – with all humility – that it's to Dark Shadows' credit that someone can find a new way of doing it. That's what we did on the original show – we reinvented things like Dracula and Turn of the Screw and Dorian Gray...

Do you think this film is still Dark Shadows as we know it?
When I was on the set, seeing what was going on, I could tell that the tone was significantly different. I had misgivings, I’ll admit. I thought hopefully it would be OK, but it could be a real bomb. But then I saw the first trailer and was kinda taken with it! It's an homage – it's a recognition of the value of the original material, to have made Tim Burton's imagination take off with it the way it has.

Director Tim Burton has spoken a lot about wanting to capture the 'vibe' of the original show. What do you take that to mean?
I've been asked so many times what I think was the most distinguishing characteristic of the TV show, and I think it was that the acting was realistic. Now that's not true of everyone... There were some more arch performances – people like Grayson [Hall] (Julia Hoffman) and Chris Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) – but for the most part, we played it with conviction. We were encouraged to be believable, so when a bat came in the room – and it was a Halloween toy dangled by some anxious prop man – there was no question of rolling our eyes or letting the audience in on the joke. It was played with total conviction. So here were all these absurd situations – telling ghosts to go back to their graves – but played with total conviction. That gave Dark Shadows its tone. I think audiences are smarter than they used to be. Tim Burton is letting the audience in a little more on that joke.  

Dark Shadows Movie Media Round-up

  • As we reported last week, the Dark Shadows cast will be appearing across the media to promote the new film, and some more appearances have been confirmed. Original series actresses Lara Parker (Angelique) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) will be guests on today's edition of Good Day LA from 9.00am on FOX KTLA-TV in Los Angeles; Jackie Earle Haley will appear on the Tuesday May 8 edition. Tuesday's edition of the syndicated Ellen chat show will now include Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) and Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) alongside the previously-announced Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins). And finally, Wednesday May 8 sees Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton on CBS' This Morning, and Chloe Grace Moretz on NBC's Last Call With Carson Daily.
  • Entertainment Tonight have just shown a Making of Dark Shadows special, featuring interviews and backstage footage. The programme can be viewed online by clicking here
  • Leading man Johnny Depp has spoken again about the origins of the project in a chat with The Colmbus Dispatch: "It all began... with conversations I had with Tim [Burton]. He was a big Dark Shadows fan. It's one of those shows where, if you meet someone who loved it, there is just this instant and deep conversation about it." Depp also touches on the pair's shared admiration for original Barnabas Jonathan Frid. "We loved what Jonathan Frid did... and his attitude. We loved his iconic look. We didn’t want to stray very far from that, with a few different elements thrown in there, but nothing major."
  • Newsweek's Daily Beast blog places Dark Shadows under the microscope, interviewing Tim Burton and others involved with the film. "Hardcore fans think I'm taking the p*** out of the show, which is not the case. It's done with love and affection," says Burton, who also speaks about his ongoing work with Johnny Depp: "Johnny is more like a Lon Chaney or a Boris Karloff trapped inside a leading man’s body... There’s no vanity or pressure there. Just freedom. And spontaneity."
  • Elsewhere, Tim Burton shares his surprising empathy for Collinwood's elderly housekeeper: "I sort of thought of myself as Mrs. Johnson. She’s my type of character," he tells Inquirer Entertainment. "I [also] gravitated toward the idea of Barnabas being this kind of guy not in sync with his surroundings. It was something that I had always felt close to.”
  • Dark Shadows make-up artist Joel Harlow talks to website PhilStar about the challenges of creating the look for Johnny Depp's Barnabas, including the character's distinctive elongated digits: "It had to look slim and seamless, but when you add anything to a finger, you’re adding bulk," he explains. "It also had to be rigid enough so they didn’t bend when he touches things, because that would blow the illusion instantly."
  • And don't forget, you can keep up with all the latest Dark Shadows developments through our dedicated Twitter feed – @DarkShadowsNews. To follow us, click here.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie News Updates

  • IMDB has published the full cast list for Dark Shadows, confirming some interesting appearances in the film. Horror legend Christopher Lee plays a character called Clarney; Justin Tracy plays an eight-year-old Barnabas Collins; Josephine Butler plays David Collins' mother; Felicity Brangan and Richard Hollis appear as Victoria Winters' parents; And finally, veteran actor Shane Rimmer, best known for his voice work on various Gerry Anderson productions, plays a member of the Angel Bay Seafood board.
  • As we previously reported, the official red carpet premieres for Dark Shadows will take place this coming week – in Hollywood on Monday May 7 and London on Wednesday May 9. The venue for the latter is now confirmed as the Empire Cinema in London's Leicester Square.
  • Meanwhile, press coverage for the film continues to come in droves. The New York Times explores the influence of the original series, interviewing director Tim Burton, and concludes that Dark Shadows: "created a culture in which a sensibility like Mr. Burton's could thrive... If Dark Shadows had never existed, even Tim Burton might not have been able to invent it."
  • Angelique actress Eva Green has spoken about her character's supernatural passions and her own love for co-star: "I think Johnny Depp is extremely sexy, especially with his long fingers, which can do many things,” she teases in an interview with Entertainment Inquirer. "I would do a lot for love but I wouldn't put my boyfriend in a coffin."
  •  Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) is profiled by The Mercury, with Tim Burton praising her ability to capture the character's teenage angst. "She tapped into that internal anger and the feeling like you’re alone and isolated," he explains "That strange transitory time when you’re changing from a kid into something else." 
  • Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters) has spoken about filming her kissing scene with Johnny Depp: "It was surreal. It's weird enough kissing anyone on set with 50 people standing around," she tells Australian newspaper The Telegraph.
  • Industry bible Variety interviews veteran producer Richard D. Zanuck about Dark Shadows and his continued collaboration with Tim Burton. "Tim is... an artist," he says. "His creative genius is to combine the physical image with some emotional values, and people don't give him enough credit."
  •  And finally, readers in the UK can see a Dark Shadows: T4 Movie Special next week on Channel 4, reporting from the red carpet with interviews and more. The programme will be shown on May 12 at 10.05am.

New Movie Featurette Explores Dark Shadows Sets

Warner Bros have released another behind-the-scenes featurette for the Dark Shadows movie, this time exploring the film's ambitious set designs. Production designer Rick Heinrichs, director Tim Burton and others discuss how the Collinwood mansion and the town of Collinsport were constructed for the big screen. The video can be viewed below and is also available to download in high definition from Apple.

May Merchandise Calendar

With the Dark Shadows movie released later this week there's more tie-in merchandise on its way, and here's our handy guide. To order any item, click on the hyperlinked titles.
May 8
Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film Hardback behind-the-scenes book
Dark Shadows: The Movie Original Score CD of Danny Elfman's orchestral music from the new film (Also available from

May 22
Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD compilation album of period music featured in the new movie (Also available from

May 31

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dark Shadows Movie Video Treats

Warner Bros have released more video content for the new Dark Shadows movie, all of which can be viewed below. Up first is Barnabas Unleashed, a new behind-the-scenes featurette with Johnny Depp and others discussing Barnabas' look for the film. There's also a new TV spot and a previously unseen preview scene of Barnabas and Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller) in conversation. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jonathan Frid: Dark Shadows Colleagues Pay Tribute

When Jonathan Frid passed away last month, the Dark Shadows world said goodbye to its greatest star and the show's community of actors lost a dear friend. We asked Jonathan's colleagues to share their memories of a remarkable man at work and beyond...

Kathleen Cody Hallie Stokes
I was only 15-16 years-old and frankly, a bit in awe of Jonathan for the entire time I was a cast member on Dark Shadows. But I will forever be so thankful and honoured that I was given the privilege to know and work with him. I, along with everyone else who loves Dark Shadows and Jonathan’s unforgettable portrayal of Barnabas Collins, will miss him so very much.

I am looking forward to going to see Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's new Dark Shadows film. What the new Dark Shadows film does bring home to my heart in a new way now, is joy that Jonathan got to live his final days knowing that, as one who loved his craft, he will forever be remembered as the actor who created a role that captivates and enthralls audiences the world over. To this day, continued attempts are made to recapture, improve upon, or even perhaps give a completely different spin to the telling of the story of Barnabas Collins.

Jerry Lacy Reverend Trask 
As I look back now, I remember days at the studio when I marveled at the way Jonathan was able to bring so much sympathy to his character – to the point that Barnabas could be forgiven for anything. The success of Dark Shadows was totally due to his ability to portray the vulnerability of his Barnabas – to show us the inner feelings, the unspoken sadness, the terrible longings. Without that depth, the character would never have found its way into the hearts of so many. His talents were broad, and his kindness, his warmth, his friendship will be missed by all.

Lara Parker Angelique
Jonathan and I played countless scenes together as passionate lovers and as blood-lust enemies, and he was always surprising, deeply mysterious, and dedicated to his craft – even though he sometimes couldn’t remember his lines. There were often times when I had to help him out a little in the middle of a scene. Still his performance always amazed us. With his classical actor’s expertise, he could be mesmerizing on the screen. 

After the show went off the air and Jonathan stopped coming to the festivals, years went by before I saw him again. The occasion was a television special in 1994, 50 Years of Soaps, that featured famous couples – or adversaries – from all the daytime series. Jonathan arrived looking dashing as usual and sporting, to my surprise, a sexy little goatee. Although we had only one line apiece once, he insisted, characteristically, on rehearsing and rehearsing, just like the old days. Even after years of performing on camera, somehow these mini-appearances can be the most terrifying, and I was shaking in my shoes while we waited backstage to go on. 

Barnabas Makes The Cover Of Entertainment Weekly

The Dark Shadows movie is the cover story of the latest issue of magazine Entertainment Weekly. Featuring interviews with director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), along with other members of the cast and crew, it details the project's development and confirms the film's final budget at $125 million, considerably higher than the $60 million figure Variety reported at the end of last year.

"Barnabas extols the virtues of family and rejects people who are insincere and selfish," explains Johnny Depp. "We wanted to pit this selfless family-first hero against the 'Me' decade." Depp also speaks about filming scene with original Barnabas actor Jonathan Frid: "He was incredibly sweet about my taking on this character... Putting his eyeballs on me for the first time, all decked out as a slightly different version of him... it had to be pretty weird for him." The issue is available on newsstands now and can also be downloaded in iPad format.

In other movie news, it's been confirmed that the official tie-in book for the movie, Dark Shadows: The Art of the Film, will now be available in the United States. The large-format hardback book was originally announced for publication in the United Kingdom last November, promising production artwork, interviews and unseen photography. US readers can now pre-order the book by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Movie Video Introduces The Collins Family

Warner Bros have released a second behind the scenes featurette promoting the Dark Shadows movie, this time introducing the dysfunctional Collins family, with interviews and unseen footage. The video can be viewed in the window below – enjoy!

Mad Men Casts Dark Shadows

Various pundits have picked up on the upcoming May 13 episode of AMC's Mad Men, which is titled Dark Shadows. The sixties-set drama has now reached 1966, the year that Dark Shadows debuted, sparking speculation that the show would be referenced in some form.

Although viewers won't get to see Don Draper putting golf balls in Dan Curtis' office, we are pleased to confirm that Dark Shadows does indeed feature, in an interesting scene demonstrating Mad Men's trademark attention to detail. Look out for it!

Dark Shadows Movie Media Round-Up

  • Variety reports that a sequel to the Dark Shadows movie is already under consideration. Producer Graham King confirmed the news last week at the BritWeek Film & TV Summit event.
  • The official Dark Shadows movie website has been expanded with a new section delving into the film's characters, with background details and new imagery. Pay a visit by clicking here.
  • Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins) appeared on last night's edition of The Jimmy Kimmel Show; Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard) will be a guest on the show on Wednesday May 2, with Chloe Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) on Monday May 7 and Johnny Depp appearing on Tuesday May 8. Other scheduled chat show appearances include Chloe Grace Moretz on the Thursday May 3 edition of The Late Show With David Letterman and Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) on the Monday May 7 edition of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
  • Dark Shadows costume designer Colleen Atwood has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about working with original Barnabas Jonathan Frid last summer: "It was a big trip for him... I'm sure it wasn't easy because of his health. What was also sweet was to see was how all the cast members were very kind and caring and genuinely concerned for him on the set."
  • And finally, Entertainment Tonight have posted a video round-table interview with the Dark Shadows cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer describing the original show as "spooky and kind of sexy." To watch online, click here.