Dark Shadows has been in production since May and details about the quirky, vampire film have been trickling in. Last week, we got our first official look at the impressive cast looking rather morose in standard Tim Burton fare, and today Empire has released a few photos from behind the scenes as well as some fresh details about the story.

In the rather cool new images, we get to see Burton and frequent collaborator Johnny Depp hard at work getting bloody for a scene. The director can also be seen spending time with Crash Override himself Johnny Lee Miller, and Michelle Pfeiffer who may or may not be an actual vampire, because how else can you explain her looking as good at 53 as she did 30 years ago?

Dark Shadows will follow Barnabas Collins (Depp), a vampire who has been buried for over 200 years trying to integrate with his family in 1972 and deal with the vengeful vampire who buried him, Angelique (Eva Green); it sounds like a weird, gothic story perfectly suited for Depp and Burton.

Empire was able to sit down with the film’s writer, adapting from the 1960s soap opera, Seth Grahame-Smith, who has made a name for himself by writing Quirk Classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, both of which are getting big screen adaptations. Smith explains exactly why the film needed to be set in 1972:
Tim and Johnny took a long time explaining exactly why it had to be 1972. 1969 was too early and 1973 was too late. 1972 is right at the time when the hippie movement and all its peace and love is dying out and being replaced by this me-me-me generation in the '70s who are all about showing their wealth and having everything.

Other good news uncovered is that the film will not be in 3D, something for us to be thankful for as Burton’s last foray into the medium, Alice in Wonderland, didn’t go so well. The film is due out May 11, 2012 which actually isn’t all that far out. With production nearing its end, expect quite a bit more from Dark Shadows in the near future, including a teaser which shouldn’t take too long to turn around.

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