Johnny Depp to Step into the Shadows

by Mary Parker for

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have had a long, fruitful relationship. The latest cinematic venture of this duo is the now-shooting Dark Shadows, based off the popular 1960’s supernatural soap opera. Warner Bros. recently released a full plot synopsis to commemorate the beginning of filming:

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 Brouchard (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 (Bella Heathcote).

It seems that the film will focus primarily on the character of Barnabas, which may upset fans of the original soap who want to see the drama and a love triangle subplot that dominated the series. This isn’t surprising, though, because, well – it’s Johnny Depp, the man audiences are paying to see.

Depp and Burton have talked about making this movie for years, and for fans of the partnership, news that cameras are rolling is good. But fans will still be holding their breath to see if, in this world of Twilight, vampires that don’t sparkle will find as big an audience as those that do.

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