Friday, September 30, 2011

News in Brief

  • CBS reports that the US economic climate has severely affected the finances of National Trust properties, citing the Lyndhurst estate as an example. Lyndhurst represented Collinwood in the two 1970s Dark Shadows feature films and has recently had to halve its staff. To read the full article, click here. More information can also be found on Lyndhurst's official website.
  • Devil's Rain, the new album from horror rock band Misfits features a track called Dark Shadows, which references the series and Collinwood. The CD is out this coming week and can be ordered online by clicking here.
  • The recent LA TheatreWorks production of Dracula starring David Selby (Quentin Collins) as Van Helsing is coming to CD this October. The full-cast radio drama can be pre-ordered now by clicking here.
  • Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) and Lara Parker (Angelique) will be appearing at the West Hollywood book fair, taking place this Sunday, October 2 in Hollywood, California. Both actresses will be discussing making the transition to authors and signing books. For more information, visit the event website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Empire Magazine Features New Dark Shadows Photos

Hot on the heels of this week's feature in Entertainment Weekly, UK movie magazine Empire's November issue is to feature a set report on the new Dark Shadows movie, including unseen photographs and behind the scenes interviews. The issue is due out later this week and two new preview images can already be seen on the Empire website by clicking here.

Elsewhere, IMDB reports that child actress Alexia Osborne has been cast as young version of Bella Heathcote's character Victoria Winters. Alexia is also set to appear in the upcoming adaptation of The Woman in Black starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Picture of the Week: A Famous Monster

This week it's a stunning artwork cover of Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins from Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, originally published in October 1968. The portrait, by famed horror artist Basil Gogos, was to accompany an interview with Barnabas himself titled Who's A-Frid of the Big Bad Vampire?

"I was fascinated by [big screen Dracula] Bela Lugosi," revealed Jonathan. "His performance was like ballet. Yet his vampire was a bloodless, evil, relentless monster... I never took that tack. The Dark Shadows writers gave full life to Barnabas. He was a human being, more like Mr. Hyde with a lust for blood."

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Entertainment Weekly Unveils Dark Shadows Movie Cast Photo

Entertainment Weekly have issued the first official cast photograph from the new Dark Shadows feature film, which is seen above. From left to right: Helena Bonham Carter (Dr. Julia Hoffman), Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard), Eva Green (Angelique Bouchard), Gulliver McGrath (David Collins), Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters), Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins), Ray Shirley (Mrs Johnson), Jackie Earle Haley (Willie Loomis), Jonny Lee Miller (Roger Collins) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard).

The picture is based on this classic cast portrait session from 1967. Says director Tim Burton: "For me, it captured the weird Dark Shadows vibe in a single image. I had a brief window of opportunity to have our cast present at the same time, the day before principal photography began. We decided to stage a similar picture instead of rehearsing, to see if we captured the Dark Shadows feeling."

The piece also confirms that the character of Mrs Johnson will appear in the film, played by Ray Shirley. Collinwood's faithful maid has been reinvented slightly, as writer Seth Grahame-Smith explains: "Poor old Mrs Johnson... the mostly blind, mostly deaf maid who has been with them [the Collins family] for decades and decades."

To read full profiles of all the characters with commentary from Tim Burton, Seth Grahame-Smith and producer Richard D. Zanuck, visit the Entertainment Weekly website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Win a Signed Copy of Dark Passages

Actress Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) recently published her new new novel Dark Passages, drawing on her 1960s experiences of working at the Dark Shadows studio and the New York Playboy club. Courtesy of Kathryn, we have three copies of the book to give away with signed bookmarks. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this simple question:

Before she came to Collinwood, where did Maggie Evans work?

Email your answer, along with your name and postal address, to before October 20. Please note this prize draw is only open to US residents. To read our chat with Kathryn about Dark Passages, click here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picture of the Week: Diagnosis Grayson

To mark the birthday of Grayson Hall (Dr. Julia Hoffman), here's a shot of her hamming it up between scenes on set for House of Dark Shadows in 1970. In the background are Don Briscoe as Todd Blake and Terry Crawford cameoing as a nurse.

As a seasoned film actress, Grayson educated the younger members of the cast as they made the transition from television to the big screen. "Grayson Hall... was our mentor," Lara Parker recalled in the Dark Shadows Movie Book, "patiently explaining to those of us completely ignorant in these matters, that intense facial expressions would be horrifying projected 20 feet high on the big screen."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More From Chloe Moretz

Chloe Moretz was a guest at last week's Toronto Film Festival, where she spoke once again about her role as Carolyn Stoddard in the Dark Shadows feature film. Asked about the film's tone, she offers: "It's a lot like Sleepy Hollow... you go from the Ichabod Crane character to the Headless Horseman who's comedic and yet terrifying. It straddles that fine line of camp and drama so it's like a drama horromedy thriller!"

Discussing Carolyn's character, Chloe says: "She is crazy. She is this teenager, like 15-year-old hippie who is into The Carpenters and Alice Cooper. She's super music-y and raw, like free love, you know. I did a lot of musical research, so I listened to a lot of music from the era. My character is so different from the soap opera. I can't say much because he has a really dark secret I can't tell you." Asked if Carolyn's secret was a plotline from the original series, she hints: "No, it's new. It's new to everything, so go see it. May of next year, Dark Shadows!" To read the full interview, click here.

Back on the set of Dark Shadows, filming is continuing this week as the wrap approaches, with some backstage staff already having left the production. IMDB has also reported some more cast and crew appointments. Visual effects company The Senate are working on the film's imagery. The UK-based effect house specialises in computer-generated environments, with past credits including Kick-Ass and Angels & Demons. It's also been announced that Susanna Cappellaro will be playing Naomi Collins, Barnabas' mother, in the 17th Century sequences. IMDB notes that the role is uncredited, suggesting that these scenes will form only a small part of the storyline.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Glimpse of Johnny Depp as Barnabas

Shooting on the new Dark Shadows movie has moved to Cornwall, where unofficial photographers have captured the first photographs of Johnny Depp as vampire Barnabas Collins. The images show scenes staged on the Devon coast with actress Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters. As can be seen, Depp's Barnabas retains the character's familiar Inverness cape and cane, as featured on the original show.

It's fascinating to reflect on early glimpses such as these, without context and post production treatment. Undoubtedly these are not the pictures the film's producers would have chosen to be the initial views, but by being the first seen, they naturally become iconic. It will be very interesting over the coming months to see how they compare to the finished film.

More shots can be seen at Splash News, The Huffington Post and Celebrity Gossip.

Monday, September 12, 2011

News In Brief

  • Donna McKechnie (Amanda Harris) can currently be seen on stage at New Jersey's McCarter Theatre Center in Ten Cents a Dance. The production runs until October 9 and tickets can be purchased online by clicking here.
  • Denise Nickerson (Amy Jennings) is to appear on Bravo's Top Chef, as part of an edition celebrating 40 years of her classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The episode debuts on September 14. Denise also features on the new anniversary edition of the film, due out next month on DVD and BluRay.
  • Hot on the heels of its recent Ghost Hunters episode, original Collinwood location Seaview Terrace is back on screen as a location in the new movie Tanner Hall. To see a trailer, click here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Picture of the Week: Right Hand Man

This week, it's an atmospheric publicity still of Count Petofi's faithful henchman Aristede, as played by the late Michael Stroka. "The fans usually wait outside the stage door," Michael told Flip magazine in December 1969. "We go out and sign autographs and take pictures. Gifts are one thing I've gotten a lot of. I mostly get beads, but I have gotten stuffed animals, and everything I get I save. I think it would be groovy to get paper flowers. I'd like to be able to do a whole collage in my apartment."

If you would like to submit an image for Picture of the Week, email

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chloe Moretz Promises a "Dark Secret" For Carolyn

Actress Chloe Moretz recently appeared as a guest on UK radio station ChoiceFM, speaking briefly about her role as Carolyn Stoddard in the forthcoming Dark Shadows movie. Chloe described the film as "a mixture of Beetlejuice and Sweeney [Todd] meets Sleepy Hollow... It definitely has a bit of scariness, but it has the fun-ness of Beetlejuice and the craziness of Sleepy Hollow."

Talking about Carolyn's character, Chloe said: "She's a hippie... I have a dark secret, a very dark shadowy secret." Pressed for details, she said: "I can't say it – super confidential... [It's] close to what I've once played before, kind of... but not really." Asked if she meant her role as a vampire in Let Me In, she agreed: "It's kind of like that... but no, it's not."

Discussing Dark Shadows further, she also revealed that "Michelle Pfeiffer (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) just wrapped and... it's just so cool to see someone be so normal and chilled to hug you goodbye and be so genuine about it. I'm just so blessed to be a part of everything I'm doing right now." To listen to the full interview, click here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's a Wrap For Chloe Moretz

Actress Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) finished work on the Dark Shadows feature film earlier today after nearly four months of shooting. Chloe's final scene went before the cameras at 4.00pm this afternoon. Speaking on Twitter, she said: "Last day of set on Dark Shadows... Gonna miss everyone from this movie, it's been such an amazing experience."

Meanwhile, Deadline revealed yesterday that writer Seth Grahame-Smith's screenplay for Dark Shadows has netted him a two-picture deal with Warner Bros. "We first got to know Seth through his fantastic work on Dark Shadows, and it immediately became a priority to expand our relationship with him," Warner Bros production president Greg Silverman commented. Seth's next project for the studio is expected to be a sequel to Tim Burton's film Beetlejuice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Method Studios To Create Dark Shadows VFX

Below the Line reports that Method Studios will be working on the visual effects for the new Dark Shadows feature film. The company is a part of the Deluxe corporation, with facilities in the US, England and Australia. Method's other current projects include Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (produced by Dark Shadows director Tim Burton) and the upcoming Clash of the Titans sequel.

Meanwhile, more news about Dark Shadows continues to emerge via Twitter. Actress Chloe Moretz (Carolyn Stoddard) has announced that she returns to the US this week and a posting from a supporting artist indicates that work is underway on the film's 18th century sequences. Also, more recent updates indicate that shooting will continue throughout September, with fabric dyers Shultz & Wiremu revealing that: "filming of Dark Shadows will go on for a few weeks longer than expected."

Remember, you can keep up with all the latest updates on the production with the Dark Shadows News Page's Twitter feed, bringing daily dispatches from the Dark Shadows world. Follow us by clicking here.

Ghost Hunters at Collinwood

As recently reported, SyFy's supernatural investigation series Ghost Hunters will be paying a visit to Seaview Terrace, the Rhode Island mansion used for the exteriors of Collinwood on Dark Shadows.

Ghost Hunters: Dark Shadows airs this Wednesday and courtesy of SyFy, here's an advance synopsis. To see preview clips from the episode, click here.
Episode 713 – Dark Shadows Premieres September 7, 9.00pm/8.00pm Central

Forty thousand square feet. Gothic architecture. Former girls' boarding school. Once the house where the cult classic TV show Dark Shadows was filmed.

The owner of the Seaview Terrace in Newport, Rhode Island calls on the TAPS team to investigate the scary happenings in her home for the first-ever paranormal investigation of the mansion where the gothic soap opera was filmed. First there was a male voice in the hall saying, "Hello, is that you?" Then there was a drastic temperature change in the 3rd floor tower. The final straw was when she reached for a door handle only to see it slowly turn on its own. Jason, Grant and the team are about to get to the bottom of the all the bangs, footsteps and knocks and encounter the loudest evidence they've ever heard.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Picture of the Week: Hot Rod Hearse

Though nearly 200 years out of his time, Barnabas Collins adjusted to the modern world enough to master driving, even if it mostly ended in roadside accidents. On television, he had to make do with a conventional car, but in 1969 model kit makers MPC went one better and devised the continuity-busting Barnabas Vampire Van – a groovy hot rod hearse complete with a miniature Barnabas sleeping in his coffin. Making its own bid for eternal life, the kit is now set to be revived by Round 2 models.
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

News Round-up

  • Louis Edmonds' (Roger Collins) role on All My Children will be seen as part of an episode marathon coming to SoapNet on September 17. Louis played con-artist Langley Wallingford on the show for over 15 years.
  • Incoming Twilight director Bill Condon has revealed a childhood connection with Dark Shadows in a recent interview: "I would run home to see that show... There were all kinds of creatures, but it was mostly vampires and Barnabas Collins. I think it was growing up in a very intense Catholic household that makes you a little twisted." To read more, click here.
  • Lara Parker (Angelique) confirmed at the recent Dark Shadows Festival that her novel Angelique's Descent is to reprinted in 2012 by Tor Books. The new edition will also feature a specially-written epilogue chapter not featured in the original book.
  • Grayson Hall's (Julia Hoffman) 1967 guest appearance on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. is coming to DVD as part of Warner Bros. manufacture-on-demand range. Grayson's episode, The High and Mighty Affair, features on the second part set and can be purchased by clicking here.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Dark Shadows Half-Price DVD Sale

The entire Dark Shadows archive is available on DVD, and for a limited time Amazon are offering the range of episodic box sets at a fantastic 50% discount. Each volume contains up to 40 original episodes on four discs, with bonus interviews and additional features. Here are ordering links:

Dark Shadows: The Beginning (pre-Barnabas episodes): Collection 1, Collection 2, Collection 3, Collection 4, Collection 5, Collection 6