Thomas McDonell Graduates From ‘Prom’ To ‘Dark Shadows’

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.

Comments (13)

  • Wow, he does look like a younger Depp. He should be considered for the role of Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games. Yeah, his eyes aren’t the same color as Gale’s, but it’s not a really relevant detail to the story. He should go after the role. Having an upcoming film with Burton and Depp might help distinguish him from the rest of the pack.

    Comment by JR — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 7:13pm PDT  
    • @JR – Thomas did show interest for Gale. He actually has been interviewed stating that he has read the script. Sadly, “Dark Shadows” has the same filming schedule as “Hunger Games” so this makes him unavailable for THG.

      Comment by Marcy — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 7:22pm PDT  
    • Yesh…he does look like him. Very good casting.

      Comment by Vickie Donovan — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 7:23pm PDT  
  • This casting is a no-brainer. The second I clapped eyes at Thomas McDonell, I thought “wow, he reminds me of Johnny Depp from his 21 Jump Street Days.” I’m glad he’s getting a break. It was just a matter of time before he and Johnny were cast in the same movie.

    Comment by Marcy — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 7:20pm PDT  
  • They cast a looksy. Me thinks this role is very small. Should be a footnote… not an entire section. Slow day in the movie biz i supposed

    Comment by Surely — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 8:50pm PDT  
  • Looks like Wesley French, no?

    Comment by f — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 9:30pm PDT  
  • This is undoubtedly a small role, probably a flashback. Entirely possible he could do another film filming at the same time if schedules could be coordinated.

    Comment by Michael Strangeways — Monday March 28, 2011 @ 10:28pm PDT  
    • I agree, Michael. I think these schedules could be coordinated. If his management hasn’t already tried, they should re-engage THG producers to see if they could work this out. Gale’s role in the first installment of the THG trilogy is small as well. The book opens with Katniss and Gale hunting. They talk and then they go to the “reaping” where Katniss is chosen to fight. Gale says good-bye to her later and that’s the last you see of him until the next book. It could be done if THG producers want him.

      Comment by JR — Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 5:53am PDT  
  • Does anyone know what the tone of this movie will be? I hope it’s not total camp and aspires to be a thriller…anyone heard?

    Comment by Robbie — Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 8:04am PDT  
    • The scriptwriter says…

      “My job on Dark Shadows was to make it fun and funny, first and foremost. It can still be dark and it can still even be gory and gothic at times, but it also needed to be fun and it needed… to be an experience that people would enjoy having. I came at it from, ‘Let’s not be afraid to be funny. Let’s make Barnabas funny. Let’s see this movie through his eyes and really see a man who is trying to come to terms with what he is, where he is and when he is.”

      I would say, be prepared for camp…ugh.

      Comment by Ivory Donn — Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 11:12am PDT  
  • Wow, they’re bringing the Dark Shadows series back?!

    My family LOVES this show. We watched the original 60′s series and the 80′s remake religiously.

    I hope with this modern version that they don’t make it campy and have Victoria Winters as a blonde; like they did in the awful early 2000′s series.

    For the movie version, Angelina Jolie would have been the perfect actress to play Victoria Winters, she has an uncanny resemblance to the actress from the 80s series.

    Dark Shadows is the original True Blood.

    Comment by SW — Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 9:38am PDT  
  • I am just wondering though, a flashback of what??? First I thought 1795, but it occured to me, Barnabas wouldn’t look any different in that period than he does in the present day, so why would they need a younger actor? It must be a flashback of an even younger period we’ve never seen.

    I have to be honest when I say, I have no real hope for this movie at all, after everything I have heard.

    The scriptwriter says…

    “My job on Dark Shadows was to make it fun and funny, first and foremost. It can still be dark and it can still even be gory and gothic at times, but it also needed to be fun and it needed… to be an experience that people would enjoy having. I came at it from, ‘Let’s not be afraid to be funny. Let’s make Barnabas funny. Let’s see this movie through his eyes and really see a man who is trying to come to terms with what he is, where he is and when he is.”

    Make Barnabas Collins funny??? What is possibly funny about it? I have a feeling there are going to be alot of unhappy people in the theater when this movie comes out. There is just too much going on with this film that doesn’t make any sense.

    Comment by Ivory Donn — Tuesday March 29, 2011 @ 11:10am PDT  
  • He looks like Johnny Depp when he played Gilbert in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in that photo

    Comment by rae sinclair — Saturday May 5, 2012 @ 10:38pm PDT  
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