Release Date: May 11, 2012 Studio: Warner Bros. Director: Tim Burton Screenwriter: John August Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath Genre: Horror, Drama MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking)
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feetâ€”or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy – until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is making its way onto DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow (Tuesday, October 2nd) and Shock Till You Drop was offered the chance to speak to the original screenwriter of that film, John August.
August is out promoting another Burton effort, Frankenweenie, opening in theaters this Friday (October 5th), however, this writer wanted to know a bit more about his original vision of Dark Shadows before Seth Grahame-Smith came in and did a rewrite on the film.
Asked how much of his work is represented in the final cut, August told me, “Not a lot. Dark Shadows, when it came to me, it was before Twilight had come out and before True Blood. They said, ‘Let’s make a big gothic, vampire drama.’ I pitched that and I wrote a Godfather-like saga of the Collins family and Barnabas was at the center of it all.”
Warner Home Entertainment has sent out an alert informing press that Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is debuting on DVD and Blu-ray on October 2nd. The presentation? Rather weak sauce in the special features department.
Opening in theaters today: Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton. On writing duties is Seth Grahame-Smith, not necessarily a newcomer to the genre, but a writer making his feature debut with this adaptation of the supernatural soap opera.
Shock first met Grahame-Smith when his book, How to Survive a Horror Movie, hit shelves. We later crossed paths during the interview sessions for His Name Was Jason, the Friday the 13th documentary (which Grahame-Smith is all over talking about his love for the franchise). His real success took off with the Jane Austen mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which launched not just a novel but a movie deal.
This summer, audiences get a one-two punch from him with Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, an adaptation of his novel, produced by Tim Burton opening June 22nd. So, yes, we’ll be hearing much more about the writer in the coming months. For now, we spoke to him about all things Burton/Johnny Depp. Head inside for our chat about bringing Dark Shadows to the screen.
It’s Tim Burton week here at Shock, apparently. Today, earlier today we offered a preview of Frankenweenie and the coverage keeps on rolling for Dark Shadows, opening in theaters this Friday.
After the jump, you can listen to the audio from a recent press press conference with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, director Tim Burton, writer Seth Grahame-Smith and producer Richard D. Zanuck. It is quite amusing, to say the least. For our review of the film, follow this link.
In the late 18th Century, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) spurned the love of the witch Angelique (Eva Green) who cursed him, turning him into a vampire and having him buried alive. In 1972, his coffin is found and opened and he returns to his beloved mansion Collinswood where his descendants still live and he discovers the world has changed a lot in the 200 years he was gone, although Angelique is still alive and trying to ruin the Collins’ business and name.
By now, the history of director Tim Burton and his best bud and frequent collaborator Johnny Depp is fairly well known with watershed high points Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, followed by lots of “Ed”-less movies that have received mixed reactions. In fact, it almost seems like the weaker the results of their collaboration, the more money a movie will make at the box office, and if that rule holds, Warner Bros should be very happy with the box office performance of Dark Shadows.
You may already know that this is based on the cult supernatural soap opera of the ‘60s, but rather than maintaining the shoddy charm of the television show’s notoriously poor production values, the film is on the opposite side of the spectrum as Tim Burton and his team do an amazing job introducing the lush environment of Collinsport, Maine, where the story mainly takes place.
No stranger to the world of genre, Chloë Grace Moretz’s early credits include films like 2005’s The Amityville Horror, 2008’s The Eye and 2010’s Let Me In.
This Friday, the young talent joins forces with director Tim Burton in Dark Shadows, playing Carolyn Stoddard alongside a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote and Gulliver McGrath.
What’s more, she’s gearing up to play the leading role in Carrie, Kimberly Peirce’s upcoming re-adaptation of Stephen King’s very first novel.
In the following exclusive interview with ShockTillYouDrop.com, Moretz talks about returning to a darker side of cinema, working alongside Burton and what fans can expect from her Carrie White next year.
Writer Seth Grahame-Smith provided Shock Till You Drop with an update on his upcoming projects while promoting Dark Shadows this afternoon. He broke it down real easy, filling us in on the priority projects that await his attention.
Surprisingly, Beetlejuice 2 is not something he’s jumping on right away. The other day, Tim Burton told us he’s waiting on the writer’s take on the sequel. But it appears Grahame-Smith has some other things he needs to tackle first.
“Everyone is waiting for me to get my ass in gear,” Grahame-Smith said. “I just finished a script called Night of the Living, and I’m giving it to Tim this weekend. And I’m moving now into adapting Unholy Night, which I have to deliver to Warner Bros. I’ve got to do this, then I’m going around the world for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, so I’ll be writing Unholy Night on the plane and in hotel rooms.”
When we last reported on Night of the Living, I speculated that the plot could be a unique twist on Night of the Living Dead, except that the humans were a threat to the zombies and not vice versa.