Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood presents a look back at five decades of the classic Gothic horror soap opera that made sympathetic vampire Barnabas Collins a pop culture phenomenon and prompted the big-screen revival starring longtime fan Johnny Depp, directed by Tim Burton.
Includes hundreds of rare photographs and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Kathryn Leigh Scott, Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker and David Selby, who appear in cameo roles with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer in the new Gothic epic. With the ongoing fascination for all things vampiric, this book about the making of the new film and the history of the original series is an enticing volume for new and old fans alike.
Return to Collinwood can pre-ordered now at a discount price by clicking here. Pomegranate Press are also offering a signed photo with the first 200 pre-orders made through their website. The Dark Shadows News Page caught up with co-author Kathryn Leigh Scott to chat about the new book and her cameo role in the new Dark Shadows movie...
Return to Collinwood is five decades of Dark Shadows in all of its incarnations – including the two original films, the 1991 series, the Warner Bros. pilot, and of course the original television series. It's our Dark Shadows family album. Ben Martin found a treasure trove of new photographs that we did not have when we did the previous books and we came across quite a few others, so it's nearly all new photographs, too.
What was your reaction when you were asked to appear in the new Dark Shadows movie?
It's highly unusual, because people always want to reinvent the wheel and make something new and their own. Hollywood just normally doesn't do that. But I think that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp and everyone connected with this project... for them, it's a labour of love. They wanted us to be a part of it. That's so refreshing and so wonderful. I think that, more than anything, has endeared the fans to this new film.
From the original Dark Shadows studio to Pinewood must be quite a leap. Do you think the new movie feels recognisably like the original?
Yes, I think so. I love the sort of Rip Van Winkle twist... The film starts in 1972 and Dark Shadows went off the air in 1971 – I love the idea of that. I think that what they have done with the story is to make it fresh and new – to really appeal to the sensibilities of an audience some 40 years later. They needed to make it their own, but the fact that they included us and made us a part of it is really magical.
Johnny Depp has spoken about wanting to make Barnabas a classical vampire. Do you think that will work for a modern audience?
With this huge current interest in all things vampiric, this is film has the advantage of being about the granddaddy of all contemporary vampires – Jonathan Frid's Barnabas. Johnny Depp has created what is essentially a valentine to Jonathan Frid, while at the same time making it very distinctly his own. So I think for someone 14 years old, who has no awareness of the original show, they will be be catapulted into the heart of the real Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp will become their Barnabas Collins.
That's an interesting way of putting it. How do you see Dark Shadows enduring beyond this film?
There are certain shows – things like Star Trek, I Love Lucy and The Honeymooners... and we're now in that pantheon. There's no question that Dark Shadows is now iconic and I think that has a great deal to do with the fans, in collusion with the original actors. Because, were it not for our books and appearances at events over the years... together we've really nurtured it. Rather than preserving it in aspic, we've created a legacy that's an ever-growing thing.
For you and the other actors making cameos, how did it feel to see a new cast playing your roles?
It was a nice feeling. In Return to Collinwood, Lara Parker and I both address this. I created Josette, she created Angelique, and there have been others who stepped into those roles. One does feel a little proprietorial about it, but on the other hand one is fascinated by what another actress can bring to those roles. So we feel both territorial and kind of willing embrace a new interpretation. It will be very interesting to see what Eva Green brings to that role of Angelique. We did the original Dark Shadows on a budget that wouldn't pay for a day or two of filming on this new production. They have so much more, by way of resources, and will use them. We have only what we originated, 45 years ago.
Original creator Dan Curtis tried many times to remake Dark Shadows on a grand scale. Do you think he would have approved of this version?
Dan had – if you'll forgive the word – a very rigid interpretation of Dark Shadows and he always stayed within certain parameters. He wanted to produce his vision in a big budget way. He was so excited about the 1991 primetime version – I think that gave him enormous satisfaction. Tim Burton's interpretation is going to be Tim Burton's interpretation, and I'm really looking forward to it. He's just an amazing film maker, and I can't envision anybody else but Johnny Depp taking on this iconic role. I think that it's a match made in heaven.
Does this feel like signing off from Dark Shadows?
None of us feel that we're handing the show over to a new generation. We really feel like the baton is still in our hands – I think it's wonderful that the new production realises that we're still very much a part of the world of Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp may not be the last Barnabas Collins. He certainly wasn't the first, but he's now part of the Dark Shadows legacy too.