Dark Shadows (2012) Poster



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This is Tim Burton's eighth film with Johnny Depp, his seventh film with Helena Bonham Carter, his fifth film with Christopher Lee, and his second film with Michelle Pfeiffer (Pfeffer had starred in Batman Returns (1992) twenty years previously).
Eva Green makes an uncredited appearance as Angelique's mother in the prologue.
Kathryn Leigh Scott reported at the Dark Shadows Festival in Brooklyn (August 19-21, 2011) that she, Lara Parker, David Selby and Jonathan Frid were treated "like royalty" when they arrived on set for their cameos during the first week of July 2011, and that Johnny Depp walked up to Jonathan Frid and said, "None of this would be possible had it not been for you" referring to Frid's original portrayal of the Barnabas Collins role and its impact on the success of the original series.
Anne Hathaway, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for the role of Angelique.
When Michelle Pfeiffer heard about an adaptation of Dark Shadows (1966), she called up Tim Burton to ask him for a part in the film, something she rarely does.
To prepare for his role as Barnabas Collins, Johnny Depp undertook a weight-loss regime and a diet of green tea and low-sugar fruit, getting his weight down to 140 pounds.
This was Jonathan Frid's last film.
The producers scoured the UK and Maine to find an appropriate fishing village to film Collinsport in, but couldn't find one that fit. Thus they constructed the whole town from scratch in Pinewood Studios.
When David first meets Barnabas, he looks at the ancestral portrait and notes the similarity, just as in Dark Shadows (1966). In the series Barnabas denied there being any connection, but in the film he proudly notes the likeness.
Shipped to theaters under the code name "Night Moves".
Chloë Grace Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) and Gulliver McGrath (David Collins) were also both in the the film Hugo (2011) but shared no screen time together.
According to Johnny Depp, the filming of the sex scene resulted in a lot of trashed hotel rooms.
The scene where Barnabas approaches Collinwood in 1972 is a direct copy of Barnabas's first scene in House of Dark Shadows (1970), where he approaches Collinwood from the shadows.
Tim Burton wanted the film to reflect the era of its setting, and showed cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel several 1970s vampire movies to help him understand the way the film should be shot.
In Dark Shadows (1966), , Dr Julia Hoffman was played by Grayson Hall, wife of the show's head writer Sam Hall. In an interesting parallel, Dr Hoffman in this film is played by Helena Bonham Carter, former partner of the director Tim Burton.
At the Collinwood ball, Carolyn repeats the first lyrics of "The Ballad of Dwight Fry" to her mother, causing her to get tense. The lyrics ("Mommy, where's daddy? He's been gone for so long. Do you think he'll ever come home?") hint at a possible Dark Shadows (1966) storyline: Carolyn believes Elizabeth murdered her father.
This was producer Richard D. Zanuck's last film.
Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer were fans of the original Dark Shadows (1966), having watched it when they were young.
Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott, who played Barnabas Collins, Angelique Bouchard, Quentin Collins and Maggie Evans/Josette DuPres in the original Dark Shadows (1966), appear at the ball at Collinwood Manor in two scenes: 1) when they are welcomed at the door by Barnabas, and when Alice Cooper begins his second number, Elizabeth is seen talking talking with Scott, Selby and Parker.
According to costume designer Colleen Atwood, she designed the 18th and 20th century costumes and then overlaid and blended in elements from both to create a smooth, similar feel that suited the film.
For the sex fight sequence, the actors worked with stunt coordinator Eunice Huthart and wore harnesses that spun them through the air. Eva Green was not too fond of the sequence since she doesn't like heights.
Colleen Atwood created Josette duPres's dress from nylon and aluminum.
Tracy Curtis and Linda Curtis, daughters of "Dark Shadows" creator Dan Curtis, served as consultants on the film.
This is the third cinematic adaptation of Dark Shadows (1966) after House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971), and the third revival after Dark Shadows (1991) and _Dark Shadows (2005) (TV Movie)_
Eva Green described her role of Angelique as "Bette Davis and Janis Joplin mixed together."
Josette has blonde hair while Angelique has dark brown hair. When in 1972, this was reversed: Josette/Maggie has dark brown hair and Angelique is blonde.
The film is set in 1972, a year after Dark Shadows (1966) ended its run.
Angelique's car is a 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda Which is the same car that almost rams Barnabas when he gets out of the woods and finds an asphalted road.
With no time for rehearsal prior to filming, Tim Burton found a way to put his entire main cast in the mindset of their respective roles: He gathered them together on the set for a photo session in which they replicated the famous image of the original Dark Shadows (1966) cast all standing in the foyer of Collinwood. This image evolved into the film's teaser poster.
Makeup artist Joel Harlow applied several layers of custom greasepaint to create Barnabas Collins's chalk-white complexion.
A 33-foot-high miniature of Collinwood Mansion was constructed, measuring 1/3 in scale to the actual set of the Mansion.
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Alice Cooper was transformed into a younger version of himself through careful use of make-up and lighting. No CGI was involved.
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During the sex fight sequence at one point Angelique had at least 4 arms wrapped around Barnabas.
Angelique built up a rival fishery, Angel Bay Seafood, to bring down the Collins. This was done by Burke Devlin in Dark Shadows (1966)'s first season.
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Christopher Lee stars with Jonny Lee Miller in this film; decades earlier, Lee had appeared with Miller's grandfather Bernard Lee in the 007 film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), which was based on a novel written by Lee's cousin Ian Fleming.
Production designer Rick Heinrichs designed Collinwood to reflect its maritime heritage (the mansion was close to the ocean, and its owners have a background in fishing); ocean motifs like fish and mermaids are present throughout the house and its furnishings, including seahorses in the fireplace along with statues of the sea god Neptune.
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The film takes place in 1760, 1776 and 1972.
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Johnny Depp was a huge fan of the TV show when he was a child. When Warner Brothers acquired the rights to it from the estate of show creator Dan Curtis, they brought the property to Depp who then persuaded Tim Burton that this would be an ideal project for them to work on.
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Matthew Hall, son of Sam Hall and Grayson Hall (Dr Julia Hoffman from Dark Shadows (1966)), claimed he enjoyed the film but didn't like what they did with his mother's role: "My mother, short and fat and drinking anything besides black tea first thing in the morning? Sorry, you must have the wrong Dr. Hoffman!"
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The time line cited in the film appears to be accurate: 1760 (at around 1 min) + 1 year (construction of the Collinsport dock and the Joshua Collins Cannery) + 15 years (construction of Collinwood at 02:08) = 1776; 1776+196 (entombment at 43:20) = 1972, the year in which the bulk of the film is set. Also Barnabas' age of 6 years on leaving Liverpool (end credits) + 1 year + 15 years = 22 years when he was propositioned by Angelique. Early press releases state that the family left Liverpool in 1752.
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Lindsay Lohan had strong interest for the role of Angelique.
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The comedic tone of the film found little favor with long-term devotees of the original TV series which was much darker and serious.
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Although this movie is mainly about vampires, Chloe Grace Moretz plays a werewolf. However, she did portray a vampire in the 2010 horror film "Let Me In".
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John August wrote the first draft of the screenplay.
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Rick Baker:  A decorator at Collinwood.
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Director Trademark 

Tim Burton:  [Jack Skellington]  Jack's face appears on the scarecrow amongst the pumpkins at the manor when Willie first meets Barnabas.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Carolyn Stoddard is the fourth werewolf in the "Dark Shadows" saga, but the first female one ever.
There are indications of Dr Hoffman being on her way to becoming a vampire:
  • she's always wearing red and she's always thirsty (when the transfusions begin this takes on a new context)

  • she asks someone to close the curtains, displaying an aversion to sunlight

  • she becomes noticeably pale throughout the film

  • and when Barnabas bites her, she is seen to be bearing fangs.

According to Tim Burton, the last scene of Dr Hoffman's revival was in keeping with "the soap opera structure of the story" (Burton is noted for not doing sequels).
Dr Hoffman turns herself into an immortal with transfusions of vampire blood from Barnabas Collins. This is the reversal of a Dark Shadows (1966) storyline where she turned Barnabas human with transfusions of human blood.
As a child Victoria/Maggie (Bella Heathcote) was committed by her parents to Windcliff Sanitarium. In the original series, Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) is sent to Wyndcliff Sanitarium, which was run by Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall), after Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) kidnaps her and attempts to brainwash her into thinking she's Josette du Pres.
According to Dr Hoffman, David believes his mother is an immortal entity. In Dark Shadows (1966) Laura is described as a Phoenix, a fire-based immortal.
The character of Victoria Winters in this film is based on her Dark Shadows (1966) incarnation (a governess at Collinwood Mansion), but also incorporates elements of Maggie Evans (an lookalike of Barnabas's old lover Josette duPres, who spent time in an asylum and who can see and communicate with ghosts). However, each girl throws herself off Widow's Hill, the same fate as in the original show.
There are indications of Carolyn Stoddard being a werewolf, long before it is revealed:
  • she is seen dining under a picture of the full moon

  • Barnabas's wolf-headed cane is a prop seen in "The Wolf Man" films

  • the mechanism that reveals a secret passage features clockwork wolves howling at an image of the full moon

  • Angelique compliments her as growing into "a fetching creature."

  • and Barnabas watches the Scooby Gang on TV exclaim about a werewolf.

Body count, 12.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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