Dark Shadows plot synopsis reveals vamp secrets as filming begins

Thirsty for story details on Tim Burton's new gothic horror movie that began shooting in England? Satisfaction is only a heartbeat away. Cameras for Dark Shadows were finally rolling inside London's historic Pinewood Studios this week, and not a scream too soon.

Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green and Michelle Pfeiffer star in the eerie, big-screen production inspired by the cult daytime soap created by Dan Curtis. Dark Shadows originally ran on ABC from 1966-'71. The rumor cauldron on this ghostly spectacle peaked last year when Burton and company signed on and casting whispers filtered through the midnight air, but never anything about the screenplay ...

Until this synopsis from Warner Brothers materialized:

"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, played by Bella Heathcote."

Burton's obvious love for classic Hammer horror tales was displayed in Sleepy Hollow, and we see them layering this project with that same polish and respect, He'll direct Dark Shadows from a clever script by Seth Grahame-Smith. Grahame-Smith wrote the Jane Austen-meets-the-undead bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the screenplay for Timur Bekmambetov's (Night Watch, Wanted) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter from his own novel. Whew, busy guy!!

An all-star crew of Burton regulars includes Oscar-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Sleepy Hollow), Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland) and editor Chris Lebenzon (Unstoppable, Corpse Bride). The score will be composed by maestro Danny Elfman.

Check your pulse if the delirious notion of Burton and Depp haunting the 18th-century realm of cobwebs, crypts and coffins doesn't cause any heavy breathing.

Sounds like a dream project to us. Will you be there when the casket opens next year?

(via The Daily Blam)

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