Dark Shadows

I try not to report on set photos very often, and that’s for a of couple reasons. First off, it’s one thing to look at official images that are released by the studio and are ideally meant to create hype for a project without giving much of it away, and it’s another to look at spy photos that, quite frankly, give away a lot more about a movie than I want to know before I’m sitting in the theater to watch the finished product. And also, seeing things out of context, not through the lens of the cinematographer, and without any of that special “movie magic” attached to it, can give you the wrong impression of how a film is going to look and make you go into your actual viewing of the finished film battling unfair prejudices. Case in point are some recent spy pics from the set of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, which made the rounds and gave Internet fans a glimpse at what Johnny Depp would look like as the vampire Barnabas Collins. His face was covered in a thick layer of grease paint, it looked like he had plastic hair, and generally the picture made Dark Shadows look like it was going to be one of the over-the-top cartoon movies that have become a hallmark of Burton’s recent career. That aesthetic doesn’t jibe much with what the original Dark Shadows was, and would have probably been a pretty stupid way to approach the material. Probably if […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a wild summer romp disguised as a prestige flick. We toss together some of the news that your brain needs to hold most tightly to for fear of losing it forever. Do you dare know what can’t be unknown? Since it’s going to be a bizarre (fiercely sexual) post tonight, we start off with the innocent pleasure of shoes. Custom painted movie shoes to be specific. For full disclosure, yes, PeregrinePaints over at Etsy is a friend of the site, but who cares? Her stuff is very cool, the work speaks for itself, and you can dictate exactly what you want painted on your kicks. Not a bad deal, especially for the super-fan who can’t understand why Nike hasn’t produced as an official El Topo sneaker yet.

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And The Joker is his stylist. CelebBuzz (via Cinema Blend) has a handful of shots that prove that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have begun shooting Dark Shadows, but the design work going on here is absolutely atrocious. Fortunately, there are more where the one above came from. Of course, we don’t know if this is the costume and make-up work for Barnabas Collins or just Depp arriving to work, but if it’s the former, applause is in order. It’s nice to see that they’re keeping this thing as cartoonish as possible. Dark Shadows was never meant to be taken seriously.

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Coming off the heels of box office news that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides made more money in its standard showings than in its 3D showings, and a weekend in which the big 3D family release Kung-Fu Panda 2 opened softer than analysts were predicting, comes comments from Tim Burton regarding his upcoming films, and whether they will use 3D. As you might remember, Burton’s last film, Alice in Wonderland, used the oft derided 3D post conversion method and became one of the poster children for film’s that didn’t present well crafted 3D effects at all, but still charged the extra money for the ticket. When asked about 3D plans for his upcoming big screen adaptation of the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows, Burton said, “I have no plans for that.”

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Dark Shadows is the next chance for Tim Burton to succeed, and he’s playing in a very familiar sandbox. A too-familiar sandbox for some, but there’s still hope that in retuning to Gothic roots in a passion project for Johnny Depp, the director can recapture some magic. The one mystery about the movie is what kind of tone it will take. The television show is well known enough, but the movie could take it seriously, keep the camp, or shoot for something entirely different. Fortunately, there’s a plot synopsis  lurking about (thanks to a Warner Bros. press release announcing the start of filming). Unfortunately, it won’t tell us anything about the tone. Read the synopsis for yourself and try to figure out if Burton and company are going more Scissorhands or more Ed Wood here:

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The possibility of a return to Ed Wood sensibilities has been a major reason to keep an eye on Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows adaptation that sees Johnny Depp fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming the second best actor to portray Barnabas Collins. The cast is the other major reason. Amidst the usual gang of idiots that hover around Burton and Depp are Eva Green, Michael Sheen, and Jackie Earle Haley. According to JoBlo, we can add Chloe Moretz‘s name to that list. She’ll play the daughter of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (who’s being played by Michelle Pfiefer) – a spoiled, bratty rich princess named Carolyn. Sort of a Veruca Salt for the vampire crowd. Sounds like Moretz can thank that blonde girl from Addams Family Values for blazing the path.

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Boiling Point

Does anyone hate Johnny Depp? Sure, probably. That same person probably also hates chocolate, delicious potato chips, sex, and 8 year old whiskeys. In short, un-fun dicks. Johnny Depp is just one of those guys you have to love. He hasn’t been perfect over the years (The Man Who Cried) but even his odder films (Cry Baby, Dead Man) and his less than great films (The Astronaut’s Wife, Nick of Time) are generally worth watching. Depp was only briefly a secret, but he was never a true star until Pirates of the Caribbean launched him into the stratosphere. Then that cool, off-kilter actor suddenly became a familiar face on toys, notebooks, t-shirts, and the walls of teenage girls. Do I still love Johnny Depp? Of course. But Johnny, I think it might be time to take a break.

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You already knew that Helena Bonham Carter would be joining her life partner Tim Burton’s film version of Dark Shadows because you haven’t been in a come for the past decade. It was only a question of who she’ll play. According to Deadline Sunnydale, Carter is in talks to play Dr. Julia Hoffman – a regular character on the creaky television show who was originally played by Academy Award nominee (for Night of the Iguana) Grayson Hall. No word yet on whether her character will have two different-colored shoes. It would be a role that sees a lot of screen time with (a wigless) Barnabas Collins (as played by Johnny Depp). According to the same report, Michelle Pfeiffer might re-team with Tim Burton for the first time since Batman Returns. She would play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the mater familias of the clan who was played by noir legend Joan Bennett on the original show. It’s also important to note that while the television show has a moderately large cult following, and is truly beloved by the filmmakers here, it was a trainwreck of a program that typically had flies buzzing in and out of shots, a door that refused to work, and boom mics sneaking into frame. It was hectic, daily episode madness that made it so lovable, so it’ll be interesting to see if Burton can capture that same spirit.

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Depp has had a lot of criticism hailed at him in recent years, some even from yours truly, saying that he is getting too comfortable relying on props and gimmicks to float through his performances in Tim Burton movies. Basically get the man a silly wig, have him imitate some sort of funny voice, animate a bunch of trippy stuff to happen around him, and you have a movie. No real acting necessary. That may be harsh, and it’s not entirely true, but there is a smidge of truth to it. There’s no denying the things he and Burton have been doing together in recent years have looked quite similar. Well Depp tells MTV that with Dark Shadows he won’t be straying too far from the performance the original actor who portrayed Barnabas Collins gave in the 60s TV show. He said, “For me, even the conversations I’ve had with Tim, what Jonathan Frid did with that character and that classic look he created, I find it very difficult to stray very far from that. I think it’s going to be somewhere in that arena, with maybe just a couple of different touches here and there.”

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Hot on the heels of the news that Jackie Earle Haley and Bella Heathcoate would be joining Tim Burton’s new mystical romp as a manservant and a mistress of an estate comes word that former Bond girl with a sexy French accent Eva Green will also be joining the cast. She will be playing Angelique, a witch who has a complicated but heated relationship with Johnny Depp’s vampire protagonist Barnabas Collins.

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Deadline Dayton has gotten word that Jackie Earle Haley is in talks to play the role of Willie Loomis in Burton’s upcoming big screen adaptation of the late 60s-early 70s era daytime soap Dark Shadows. He joins Johnny Depp, who is already slated to play Barnabas Collins, Loomis’ vampiric overlord, and negotiates alongside Bella Heathcoate, who is reportedly the first choice to take on the principle female role of Victoria Winters. Haley is coming off of two dark yet big budget roles playing Rorschach in the Zack Snyder film version of Watchmen as well as Freddy Krueger in the recent Platinum Dunes remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. It makes sense that the next logical step for his career would be to work with Burton, who has similar gothic if not a bit cartoony sensibilities. In the original soap Haley’s character, Loomis, was a con man and thief who was turned into Barnabas’ slave after a failed attempt to rob the mausoleum where the vampire’s coffin was housed. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” scribe Seth Grahame-Smith is writing this updated version, and when talking to MTV Burton had this to say about the script, “ … it’s been kind of a long time coming, but I think I’m getting a script that I like. I don’t really like talking because I’m not really sure what’s happening yet but I’m excited about it. I think, yes, finally for me, it’s getting to be the right tone.” It’s been kind of a […]

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Let’s face it. The original Dark Shadows television series was a delight in spite of the flubbed lines, the visible boom mics and the wobbling sets. In fact, it was probably fun to watch specially because of how low rent it was. The concept of a crew so dedicated to making something scary failing so epically (and in turn creating something hilarious) was explored a bit on an episode of This American Life, and it’s a question that lingers for how Tim Burton will treat his film version of Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp. We’ve reported before on the project, but it’s now confirmed to be Depp and Burton’s next project – one that will begin filming in April of 2011. The one major change is that John August (Big Fish) is no longer writing the script. Instead, it’s Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” The biggest question is whether this will be a polished version of the vampire story or whether it will seek to have some of the ridiculousness achieved in the television show. Are we looking at a genuine horror flick or a comedy of Ed Wood proportions? The second biggest question is whether this start date will put Depp out of the running to star in Kathryn Bigelow’s Triple Frontier, which is supposed to begin in February. [Deadline Burbank]

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Johnny Depp once said that he was obsessed with the character Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows,” and wanted to be him. Now, thanks to Tim Burton, he will get his chance.

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Dark Shadows

After he is done Burtonizing Alice in Wonderland, it will be imperative that director Tim Burton move on to something equally as challenging, equally as ambitious and equally as Johhny Depp-filled. Right?

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Tim Burton to direct Dark Shadows adaptation

Before Interview With the Vampire or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was a rather unusual soap opera called “Dark Shadows”.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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