DARK SHADOWS Set Photos Provide First Look at Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins

     September 13, 2011

The first photos from the set of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows adaptation have surfaced online and they reveal Johnny Depp looking about as creepy as you would expect him to look in a Burton film. In case you’re unaware, Dark Shadows sees Depp making a turn as Barnabas Collins, a powerful playboy who is buried alive in the 18th century only to reemerge in 1972 as a vampire who is none too pleased with the ruin of his once fine piece of real estate.

Check out the set photos and an official synopsis after the jump. Also starring Chloe Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Lee and Jackie Earle Haley, Dark Shadows is slated to hit theaters on May 11th, 2012.

Click over to Celebuzz to check out more Dark Shadows set pics [click to enlarge]:

Here’s the official film synopsis:

In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet—or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.

Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.

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  • Strong Enough

    why does he like like a f*cking mime?

    • joe kerr

      because apparently that’s all he needs to accept a role. that and because tim burton is clinically insane.

      • cc

        Says the person who is a broke nobody.

  • Marta

    it’s about Michael Jackson?

    • Co

      No, it’s about your mama.

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  • Leonardo

    Maybe the film will be in black and white, well i hope.

    • Pi

      have no fear about the “look”. Bruno Delbonnel who shot AMELIE, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, and HALF BLOOD PRINCE is the cinematographer for this movie. i don’t know if it will be black and white. but with the DP involve, who’s a master at Digital Intermediate, expect a desaturated color or palette. Tim Burton used it with another cinematographer on SWEENEY TODD.

      • littlekim

        Good to know. I love the desatured palette of Ameile. Sheer genius. Movies like that, make me wish I’d stayed in film school major. I could go on and on about artistry of motion pictures. Great cinematographers, like Anthony Dod Mantle (28 day later), are a real inspiration.
        Anyhow, thanks for the heads up on Bruno.

      • littlekim

        eh, mispell.

  • witchy woman

    Love Johnny Depp, but he’s too cute for the role of Barnabas Collins. He’s going to have to work for this one. As a former fan of Dark Shadows I’m wishing him luck, but I seriously don’t think he can pull this one off.

  • VALENTINEproductions

    ugh i was hoping this would taken a bit more serious. he looks like mad hatter and willy wonka again. god burton i love you but do something different already.

  • maxinpains

    So weird. I really wanna see it!

  • Lawrence

    I agree it looks to much like Michael Jackson!!

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  • light

    ugly make up .do it is for all time of movie

  • hugo melo

    I had high hopes for the movie, but after seeing the make up for Barnabas, my expectations plummeted considerably. Anothe rmake-up extravaganza resembling the Hatter and Wonka. Could Johnny be a closet drag, searching endlessly for an oppotunity to put on some makeup without his sexuallity being questioned? I like Johnny but I’m growing tired of his “weirdoes” gallery.

    • ck

      Grow up.

      • hugo melo

        Get over your man crush with Johnny. I really like him as an actor but Burton and him are becoming tiresomly predictable. Wasted potential is a shame.

    • James

      I lost interest in Tim Burton quite a few years ago. It just feels like he stopped challenging himself after Big Fish and is instead content with taking audiences down the same road over and over again.

      • Pi

        SWEENEY TODD? remember it’s one of the best reviewed films of that year. probably around 88% in Rotten tomatoes. it just failed to get nominations on critics circle because of the heavy line up of 2007(There Will Be Blood, No Country, Juno, Michael Clayton etc.)

        Sweeney Todd is probably his best film since Ed Wood.

  • Roger

    Judging by the over the top makeup, this must be filmed in black & white. They used to use the same amount of makeup for those old black and white films. If it is not. Then this looks ridonkulous!

  • Steve

    Absolutly do not like the makeup. How would Barbabus “blend in” with everyone else looking like a drag queen? My hope is that this is dis-information.

  • Colleen

    I loved Dark Shadows when I was a kid. I wish it was on TV again. Not that I didn’t love Michael Jackson but Johnny Depp looks more like Jackson not Barnabus Collins!!

  • JLC

    The last time Johnny Depp put on pasty makeup in a Tim Burton movie, it grossed over $1 billion worldwide. I’m sure the studio will be crushed if this film does that poorly.

  • littlekim

    I’m intrested in seeing this movie. Johnny is hit or miss for me. Sometimes his disconnection impeds reaching through to audience. He can withdraw into himself too much.
    But his most successful moments on screen seemed to be when he inhabits his character fully – in the moment – without editing his performance with an experimental seasoned director in tow. Like in Cry BAby, Ed Wood and yes even 21 Jump Street as Tom Hanson.

  • littlekim

    I meant, Johnny can be too literal about a disconnected character.
    Otherwise, he is so enjoyable when he is aggressively breaking new ground with unusual new characteriztion. The fresh subtext he implies, is second nature – when he is streching the boundry of character and in turn, plot. So that his character transends the movie to another level. Its the ideal most actors never get.

    So, I forgive him, if he is too busy shattering norms. I think no one want to face that pressure every single day at work. I hope he is having fun with this movie. And who knows, maybe this will be another transending moment in film.
    But, I hear ya. I’m conservative with my movie dollars. So, “Dark Shadows” better rock.

  • dan demianiw

    What the hell is tim burton doing to this movie on the show we
    love Dark Shadows??? It’s a big joke!!!

  • dan demianiw

    Johnny Depp looks more of jackson! And not like Barnabas Collins
    From Dark Shadows. What the hell is tim burton thinking??? He
    must have rocks in his head or doing to more drugs or must be
    drunk!! Burton you are making our favtorit show into a BIG JOKE??
    I don’t think the fans are going to like it????.

  • Tarek

    Is it a sequel for the Shadow ?
    I’m out. ^^

  • grapenutsrbt


  • littlekim

    Dark Shadows was not really a serious soap opera, it was pretty cheaply made and B grade (if that). The acting was pretty awful and the dialog was worse. But we love the boldness, originality and the ernest way the actors carried through.
    It is full-out-fun to sit down to an episode and totally surrender to the absurdity of Dark Shadows.
    I can’t see really anyone getting a movie exactly the same as the soap. Thats impossible.
    Besides, most people have no idea about the original. Thats for media buffs, old folks and hipsters or some hybrid of the three. So Burton will probably be free to take a lot of artistic license without too much critic from average movie goer. It will seem original to them. And hopefully a fresh POV for all of us.

  • Roger

    I am going to be expecting an Adamms Family vibe with this film by the look of things. I hope Johnny’s trust in Burton is not misplaced this time around. A fish out of water story, where the fish in question is a vampire, trying to fit in to his bickering family who think he is dead. It sounds okay on paper, but will it translate to the screen? Let’s hope Johnny can create another character, and not just rehash something he’s already done.

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  • JED

    Yeah as previously announced the film is being shot in black and white… so everybody stop slating this film until we can at least get a look at the trailer…

  • karojen

    I would say for the amateurs to step [waay] back, and let the professionals make their movie.

    Depp loved Dark Shadows and would not do any characterization to make Collins look unrealistic.

    Since none us of know the circumstances of those unauthorized pics, or really even know what we’re seeing, why so quick to critisize?

    I know that Depp is raw telent, and I know of no other actor…ever alive or dead that can create a character, not just play a preconceived one like Depp can.

    I have complete faith that Dark Shadows will be a huge hit, totally absorbing and that Depp will be sexy, slightly vulnerable and total in character of Barnabus.

    I personally did not like Frid and hope Depp will allow himself to be handsome but if he doesn’t, again, I trust his impeccable instincts to create a movie that is actually worth the price of admission.

    Go Johnny!!

  • joseph

    had high hopes for this , not so sure now !

  • Andrew Bayuk

    I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt. There have already been 2 full length feature Dark Shadows movies with the original cast from the series. After the series, there was a pretty accurate remake that lasted one season in the early 90′s (starring Ben Cross as Barnabas). So following the original has already been done.

    Both Burton and Depp have independently stated that they were fans of Dark Shadows and both expressed a reverence to adhere to some of the appeal of the original, even setting the events in the new movie to occurring in the 1970′s. So, it should be interesting to see what they cook up.

    If you want to hear a cool song called “Barnabas Collins” that does capture the appeal of the original character, check this out:


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