This month's issue of UK film magazine Empire features a report from the set of the new Dark Shadows movie, including quotes from screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, producer Richard Zanuck and actress Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard). "It was actually Johnny [Depp] who wanted to make this movie," reveals Zanuck. "When they were younger, he and Tim [Burton] would both rush home, at opposite ends of the country, to watch this show every day. Johnny, quite independent from Tim, acquired the rights, because he had such a passion for the show."
Writer Olly Richards reports that the massive set for the Collinwood mansion is "festooned with marine details, like merpeople sculptures that will come to life, and an enormous chandelier entirely constructed of crystal-like squid tentacles." Zanuck explains that: "You could make most of this with CG [imagery], but it's not the same. A lot of the mood is in the sets, in the detail... Tim likes to work on live sets, and it's better for actors too. And it's always worth it. It shows in the final film."
Seth Grahame-Smith, reflecting on the original Dark Shadows episodes, says: "I wasn't actually alive when it aired... It reminds me of Twin Peaks, in that it was so ahead of its time, and when you look back it's so anachronistic and daring. It's taking stories right out of Edgar Allan Poe and putting them in a soap opera..."
On the film's 1970s setting, Grahame-Smith explains: "Tim and Johnny [Depp] took a long time explaining exactly why it had to be 1972. 1972 is right at the time when the hippie movement... is dying out and being replaced by this me-me-me generation... who are all about showing their wealth and having everything. Barnabas, who was very much me-me-me in the 1700s is now realizing that family and love are what matters most and going in the opposite direction to he rest of the world."The article also confirms that Alice Cooper, previously reported to be making a cameo appearance, will be playing himself, and that Christopher Lee's role is "a sort of king of the fishermen" who spends time at The Blue Whale, the Collinsport pub featured in the original series. IMDB is listing Lee's character as Bill Malloy, who featured in the show's earliest episodes. Originally played by Frank Schofield, Malloy was the manager of the Collins family fishing fleet.