With Johnny Depp background and center as a centuries-old vampire, this “family photo” from the upcoming Dark Shadows film, directed by Tim Burton, reveals an unearthly ensemble. Dark Shadows will revamp the ABC 1966-1971 soap opera, which focused on the lives of supernatural siblings and their extended family, including witches, ghosts, and all manners of gothic horrors.
An early snapshot of Johnny Depp in full pancake make-up and oversize sunglasses sparked fear in Dark Shadows loyalists that Depp’s portrayal of Barnabas Collins would be too off-the-wall, but this first look photo suggests that with dim gothic lighting, Depp’s look achieves a subtler creepiness. Entertainment Weekly wrote that Depp’s look as Barnabas Collins pays homage to the “aged-little boy” expression of the original Dark Shadows star, Jonathan Frid.
In addition to Depp’s portrayal of an Revolutionary War era businessman turned Vampire, the cast includes Burton regular (and better half) Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman, a psychiatrist hired by the Collins family to attend to their youngest son. Eva Green, Chloë Moretz, Della Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath, Ray Shirely, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, and Michelle Pfeiffer complete the ensemble cast. (EW has more on the background of each Dark Shadows character here.)
The movie, which is filming now, is set for May 2012 release.