Saturday, December 31, 2011

Danny Elfman Talks Dark Shadows

Fearnet caught up with Dark Shadows movie composer Danny Elfman recently, where he chatted about the possibility of including Robert Cobert's original theme tune from the series. It was previously reported that the piece would feature, but Elfman was unsure if it would feature in the new score:

"We had this discussion with Batman... whether we wanted to incorporate the TV theme. And Tim said, 'No, don't do that.' And on Planet of the Apes, once again, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory... So I'm just guessing that he's gonna say no again, that he's gonna want to develop his own language and dialogue for this. Having said that, who knows? You may just hear a theramin!"

In other movie news, Christopher Lee has spoken briefly about Dark Shadows in a Christmas video message posted on Youtube. He describes the experience as "a very happy reunion for me, because I really do feel like one of the family with producer Richard Zanuck, director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp." As previously reported, Lee will play fisherman Bill Malloy. "It's not a long part," he says. "I don't play long parts. They must be short parts, but they've got to be parts that mean something... where people will notice when I’m on the screen and people will remember the character."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Two Dark Shadows Events For 2012

The Dark Shadows Festival has announced two events for 2012, taking place on both the east and west coasts. ShadowGram reports that planning is underway and more details will be announced in the coming months.

West coast fans can celebrate the release of the new Tim Burton Dark Shadows feature film when the Festival hosts a midnight premiere screening on May 10 at Hollywood's Vista Theatre, featuring "in-person appearances by original Dark Shadows actors" and "other surprises". The Vista has hosted a number of Dark Shadows events over the years, including 2010's House of Dark Shadows screening, which saw Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins) place his handprints in cement for posterity.

Additionally, the east coast will host a second Dark Shadows event in the Summer, set to take place in "the New York vicinity". The precise date and location have yet to be confirmed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rare Seaview Terrace Photos

Site reader Bill Branch has written in to share some wonderful rare photographs of Seaview Terrace, the Newport, Rhode Island residence that was used for the exterior of Collinwood on Dark Shadows.

The images were first published in the May 1928 edition of The Architect showcasing the recently-completed mansion and the work of its architect, Howard Greenley. The project had taken five years of construction at a cost of over two million dollars. Dark Shadows viewers will note the interior elements of the building that designer Sy Tomashoff later included in his studio set designs, such as the great hall's distinctive chandelier and stained glass window. Other details of the house, such as the griffon sculptures on the patio and the tower's weather vane, were long gone by the time the show filmed at Newport in 1966.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger view. Courtesy of the Bill Branch collection.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dark Shadows Costume Designer Interviewed

MTV has spoken to Colleen Atwood, the costume designer of the forthcoming Dark Shadows feature film, discussing her designs for Johnny Depp's incarnation of vampire Barnabas Collins. The actor was photographed by unofficial photographers during September location filming in Cornwall, with his unusual look becoming the subject of huge debate online.

"He plays a vampire who wouldn't normally go out in the daytime, but we wanted him to be able to have outings," explains Colleen. "So I did two or three different hat shapes and we tried them once he got his hair and makeup on. I also found these amazing hundred-year-old sunglasses, but they were too small... so I took them and had them copied. The color of the sunglasses and the color of the hat and his costume coat, which was a really dark green, is one of our favorite combos we've come up with in our work together."

Elsewhere, a new Dark Shadows production photograph has surfaced on the website of the British Society of Cinematographers. The image shows director of photography Mike Valentine BSC shooting an "underwater ghost" in a green screen tank at Pinewood Studios. To view the image, click here.

And don't forget, you can now keep up with all the latest Dark Shadows updates on our Twitter feed, including daily trivia and more. Find us by clicking here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

News in Brief

  • Dynamite Publishing have announced that they will be publishing a trade paperback volume of their new Dark Shadows comic strip. The paperback collects the first four issues and will be released in April. To pre-order the book from Amazon at a discount price, click here. UK readers can also purchase from by clicking here.
  • David Selby (Quentin Collins) can be seen this week in TNT's original movie Deck The Halls. The film airs on Tuesday December 20 at 9.00pm EST. David will also be returning to Washington's Ford's Theatre to portray Abraham Lincoln in the new play Necessary Sacrifices. The production runs from January 20–February 12 and tickets can be purchased online by clicking here.
  • Jerry Lacy (Reverend Trask) has recorded a CD of his favourite ghost stories and poems. The disc includes readings from Edgar Allen Poe and Saki and can be purchased from his official website.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kathryn Leigh Scott Responds To Helena Bonham Carter

Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) has written in with some thoughts on the recent comments from Helena Bonham Carter about the original Dark Shadows series. Carter, who plays Dr. Julia Hoffman in the new production, described Dark Shadows as "a really bad, hilariously bad soap opera."

Says Kathryn: "Lara Parker (Angelique) and I, who both play cameos in the new Dark Shadows film, are surprised by Helena Bonham Carter's comments because they do not at all reflect our wonderful conversation together on the set. She was eager to hear about Grayson Hall, who played Dr. Julia Hoffman, and we were only too happy to tell her about our old friend."

"Helena and Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) were both into watching the original episodes and we all laughed about the famous bloopers, which were indeed 'hilariously bad'... However, we take pride in the original series, bloopers and all. Our budget for a single episode of the series wouldn't pay for a tea break on the set of the new film, Yet our series has become an enduring classic for over 45 years! The new movie should be an easy sell to the legions of fans who ran home from school to watch the original and the multitudes of young new fans drawn to us each year."

Elsewhere, in a recent interview with Soap Opera Digest, David Selby (Quentin Collins) spoke briefly about filming his cameo for the film: "My part is very brief. There's a big party and I'm one of the guests. Tim [Burton] and Johnny [Depp] wanted to pay homage to the show. I also couldn't believe how they managed to create the Collinwood set. It was incredible."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Michelle Pfieffer Reveals Love For Dark Shadows

Michelle Pfieffer has spoken about her role as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard in the forthcoming Dark Shadows feature film, revealing that she personally approached director Tim Burton, asking to be involved. Appearing on ABC's Live With Kelly show earlier this week to promote her new film New Year's Eve, the actress spoke about watching Dark Shadows as a child:

"I would rush home from school every day... and you got home [mimes panting] and you would sit in front of TV. I was driving in the car with my husband. We were talking about TV shows that were being made into movies... I said 'Somebody should do Dark Shadows! Literally, a couple of months later I read in the trades that Tim Burton is doing it. And I go [mimes dialling on a phone] 'Tim, it's Michelle!'"

Talking to The Detroit News, she added that Dark Shadows was "an exceptional experience on every level. It's one of those movies where a lot of stuff was shot that I wasn't privy to, [with] the special effects, and I just can't wait to see it. I was a huge, huge fan of the show."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Shadows Movie News Round-up

  • Michelle Pfieffer is already eager to reprise her role as Collinwood matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Speaking to MTV, she says the Dark Shadows feature film was "a dream job... such a fun cast and we had so much fun. I loved meeting Helena [Bonham Carter] (Dr. Julia Hoffman) and getting to know her. I hope it's successful so that we can do a bunch of them because it was such a fantastic, creative group of people."
  • Eva Green (Angelique) tells Film News that she initially found herself intimidated by her Dark Shadows co-stars: “I am always anxious before shooting - this time, I was petrified. The first two weeks were really difficult. I was fazed by Johnny Depp (Barnabas), and, most of all, by Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays my rival in the movie. [Director] Tim [Burton] believed in me and he did everything to make me feel comfortable. Finally, it was the most beautiful shoot of my life."
  • Meanwhile, Helena Bonham Carter courts controversy in an interview with MTV, where she described the original Dark Shadows as "a really bad, hilariously bad soap opera. And because it's so bad, [Tim Burton] felt he had to make a hugely expensive movie." Speaking about the remake, she was rather more positive: "I love Dark Shadows. It's very original. It's uncategorizable. It's going to be impossible to sell, frankly, because it's just so... it's a soap opera but it's very, very subtle. It's a ghost story... but then it's an unhappy vampire story. It's a mixture of so many different things and a real ensemble piece."
  • Rock legend Alice Cooper has revealed more about his Dark Shadows movie cameo in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reports that he was filled with admiration for the film's sets at Pinewood, which include "a sprawling gothic mansion and a harbour city complete with pier and boats floating in an artificial ocean." The piece once again confirms that Cooper will be playing himself, adding that "Barnabas Collins hires the rock star to play a private ball at his seaside home in Maine."
  • And finally, Variety has reported on the enduring appeal of vampires on-screen, citing the success of the latest instalment of the Twilight franchise and a slew of undead projects for 2012. The article declares Dark Shadows' May 11 release date is a "prime slot" and estimates the budget for the production to be $60 million.