Warner Bros and director Tim Burton has set Thomas McDonell to play the young Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, the feature film based on the 1960s TV soap. He’ll be serving as the younger version of the character that Johnny Depp plays in the film’s lead role. McDonell gets the job after starring in the upcoming Disney pic Prom. Shooting begins in May.
McDonell joins Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bella Heathcoate, Jackie Earle Haley and Eva Green, with Helena Bonham Carter also expected to join the cast. I’ve also heard that Michael Sheen is in early discussions to play the role of Roger, the conniving brother of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (the role being played by Pfeiffer). Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the script. McDonell is repped by WME.
Tim Burton is turning to familiar onscreen leading ladies for roles in Dark Shadows, the film he’ll direct for Warner Bros with Johnny Depp in the lead role of Barnabas Collins. Michelle Pfeiffer is in talks to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. And while talks haven’t begun yet, I’m told Helena Bonham Carter is in line to play Dr. Julia Hoffman.
Pfeiffer, who played a memorable Catwoman in the 1992 Burton-directed Batman Returns, will play the reclusive matriarch of the Collins clan. She is the owner of Collinwood, the mansion where the supernatural saga unfolds. That role was originated by Joan Bennett in the TV series.
Bonham Carter, who is Oscar nominated for The King’s Speech and just won the BAFTA, is likely to play Hoffman, a specialist in psychology and rare blood disorders who moves into Collinwood. While she initially is a threat to the vampire Barnabas, she eventually becomes his ally, who might be able to cure him of his thirst for blood. Bonham Carter, Burton’s leading lady off screen, has starred in Burton-directed films that include Alice in Wonderland and Sweeney Todd. Hoffman was played in the series by Grayson Hall.
Deadline told you previously that Eva Green was set to play the witch Angelique, Jackie Earle Haley is playing the conman Willie Loomis, while Bella Heathcoate will play Victoria Winters, the young governess of the Collins estate.