Dark Shadows Filming Update

Filming is now underway in England for the Tim Burton film “Dark Shadows” starring Johnny Depp as reluctant vampire Barnabas Collins. Not surprisingly, set security remains tight. Even Chloe Grace Moretz (who plays Carolyn), who tweets often, has revealed nothing about the production save that her hair will again be long for her role.

However, part of the set has been spotted under construction. The stately mansion of Collinwood (or a facade thereof) can be seen, and the first thing that seems obvious is that it resembles startlingly Carey Mansion–the Rhode Island manse the original series used for the long shots of its exterior! The actual mansion is a private residence and somewhat in need of repair, but purists are bound to be pleased to see the original Collinwood again–or something very much like it!

More mysteriously, a local landmark was purchased for the film–a former fishing boat called the “Karen Lynn,” a favorite of artists for decades. The boat was moored in West Mercea for almost twenty years and is now the property of Pinewood Studios for use in “Dark Shadows.”

Helena Bonham Carter recently talked a little bit about her role in an IFC interview, particularly noting that she’s playing a psychotherapist–which happens to be her own mother’s profession. But in her case Dr. Julia Hoffman (the Collins clan live-in therapist) is also an alcoholic who ends up hypnotizing Johnny Depp’s character. Another snippet–the lady making the food for the set did the same job of “Sweeney Todd.”

One last piece of intriguing news–in various appearances in the last month Johnny Depp has been donning a cane. No, he’s not hurt. He is clearly carrying it as a prop–but the head of the cane (which looks ivory) resembles very strongly the iconic wolf’s head cane used by Barnabas Collins in both televisions series and in the film.

For those who don’t know, “Dark Shadows” deals with the wealthy Collins family–Roger (Jonny Lee Miller), his sister Liz (Michelle Pfeiffer), their respective children David (Gulliver McGrath) and Carolyn (Moretz). Rounding out the household includes Dr. Julia Hoffman (Carter), the governess Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) and handyman Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley). Everything changes when their ancestor, the vampire Barnabas (Depp) is freed from his prison. Eva Green portrays Angelique, the witch who loved and cursed Barnabas for his betrayal. Danny Elfman is doing the music, Colleen Atwood the costumes, and of course Tim Burton is directing from a script by Seth Grahame-Smith. Earlier reports that “Dark Shadows” would be in 3D were denied by Burton, who added he’s hard at work recreating the “ethereal tone” of the cult television series (one of whose fans was Johnny Depp).

By david

David MacDowell Blue blogs at Night Tinted Glasses.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is the author of The Annotated Carmilla. and Your Vampire Story (And How to Write It) as well as a theatrical adaptation of Carmilla.


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