Feb 21, 2011

Michelle Pfeiffer Stakes Out "Dark Shadows"

According to reports, actress Michelle Pfeiffer will reteam with her "Batman Returns" director Tim Burton for the Warners feature film reboot of 1960's horror soap opera TV series "Dark Shadows". Pfeiffer would play matriarch of the 'Collins' clan, 'Elizabeth Collins Stoddard'.

Previously cast are Johnny Depp as 'Barnabas Collins', Eva Green as the witch 'Angelique Bouchard Collins', Jackie Earle Haley as conman 'Willie Loomis' and Bella Heathcoate as 'Victoria Winters', governess of the Collins estate.

The production will start April 2011, with Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and Graham King’s GK Films producing.

Screenplay is by Seth Grahame-Smith ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"), who drafted a rewrite of a previous screenplay by John August.

"Dark Shadows", created by Dan Curtis ("The Night Stalker"), originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, June 1966 to April 1971. Story 'bible' for the show was written by Art Wallace.

The series became popular a year into its run, with the introduction of Canadian actor Jonathan Frid, playing the 200-year old Barnabas Collins who encounters other vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, man-made monsters, witches and warlocks.

Writer Malcolm Marmorstein, who created the character of Collins, also created series characters 'Sam Hall', 'Gordon Russell' and 'Violet Welles'.

The series often used classic horror stories including "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "The Picture of Dorian Gray", "The Turn of the Screw" and "Wuthering Heights", freely borrowing prose from authors Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James and H. P. Lovecraft.

Collins was originally the object of desire, circa 1795, for the witch Angelique. In the present day, Collins is released from his coffin by 'Willie Loomis'. Collins then kidnaps waitress 'Maggie Evans', believed to be the reincarnation of lost love 'Josette du Pres'.

Composer Robert Cobert's music score for the series entered the Billboard top 20 national album chart in 1969. The spoken-word instrumental track "Quentin's Theme", earned a Grammy nomination, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

1,225 episodes of
"Dark Shadows" were produced during its TV run, with a feature film, starring Frid, released in 1970.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Dark Shadows"...