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New Looks At Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter & More In 'Dark Shadows'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
April 11, 2012 9:16 AM
19 Comments
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How could a movie based around a cult TV show that no one really remembers all that fondly be turned into a summer blockbuster hit? Well, for one you pair up Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and then you (finally) release a trailer that is not only pretty rock solid, but seems to finds the top talents comfortably in their wheelhouse. Is it still a bit too quirky and strange? You might think so, but even the competition knows better, and it was earlier this week Paramount decided to get out of the way, moving "The Dictator" back five days from May 11th, having it open the following Wednesday on May 16th, effectively ending what would've been one of the summer's biggest showdowns at the box office. So with all that preamble out of the way, let's get to the movie, shall we?

Here's what you need to know: The story follows Barnabas Collins (Depp) who breaks the heart of the witch Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green) in 1752 and, in her fury, she turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. He wakes up in the 1970s, only to find his manor in ruins and his family in disrepair, to the point that matriarch Elizabeth Collins (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called in a psychiatrist (Helena Bonham Carter) to help. So yeah, it's a mashup of a period movie, vampire flick, horror and comedy all in one, yet somehow it all seems to click from what we've seen thus far.

These new images from Kinopoisk give another peek at what to expect, and it appears that the costume- and set-design departments had a ball. It all looks pretty outrageously decadent, which fits right into the classic Burton/Depp mold. "Dark Shadows" opens on May 11th.

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19 Comments

  • Lisa | April 12, 2012 12:51 PMReply

    Well, personally, I loved the series (both versions), and cannot wait for the movie. I am going to see Barnabas. I am going to see Johnny Depp. I'm going to see how much fun Tim Burton had making this movie. "A slap in the face" for original DS fans? Oy vey. It wasn't made just for original DS fans. Get over it. And I'm sorry, but when I watch DVDs of the series, I laugh a lot. There was a lot about DS that was over the top, and dare I say, "campy." It seems to me that Mr. Burton and Mr. Depp simply took it to a new level, which was their right as the owners of the rights to DS, filmmakers, and artists. Why does it have to be a complete replica of the original? If I want to see the original, I will watch the original. Problem solved.

    And yes, Johnny Depp is old enough to have watched the original series on TV.

    LOL@Kevin for the idiot comment!

  • Terry Scott | April 12, 2012 6:21 PM

    Nowhere do I see ANY DS fans asking for a complete replica of the original series... ALL of us are aware that, under new direction... a film is going to reflect the skills and talents OF that director! Duh!!! BUT, this is so far from what Anyone had expected or was told to expect by Burton and Depp, that is was a shock... to say the least! There is SO little that even resembles or pays homage to the original that it shouldn't even be called Dark Shadows.

  • HB | April 12, 2012 3:05 PM

    I will never understand the black and white thinking like this. Most of the original series fans DO NOT WANT TO SEE A COMPLETE REPLICA OF THE ORIGINAL!!!!!!!! Most of us want to see a NEW MOVIE that builds upon the foundation laid many years ago by the original series. Most of the original series fans I have communicated with are delighted by Danny Elfman's score, which is completely different from the original score yet uses the seeds of Robert C0bert's music. THAT is what most of us wanted from this movie.. not a complete farce.

  • Terry Scott | April 12, 2012 8:13 AMReply

    Hello Kevin... I just happen to be one of those fans that you seemed to believe are non existent. I, and the many hundreds of thousands that REMEMBER the show and LOVED it, are wondering why you would imply that we don't exist! I have been searching the web and finding that over 3/4 of the comments on the various forums are from the so called non existent fans that are outraged at Burton's interpretation of this Classic TV show! In all fairness to Tim Burton, he has a purpose in life and that purpose is to make himself, his friend Mr. Depp and the Studio LOTS of money and there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. We have seen him do this time and time again... with some very successful films, and a few that just fell seriously flat. I have enjoyed many of those films and will no doubt see more in the future. The thing that astonishes me the most about the vast disappointment in this film are the initial comments made by both Mr. Burton and Mr. Depp. When it was first rumored that the Dan Curtis production was being considered for a film, both Burton and Depp made it a point to declare their love for the original series and their intent to stay true too that series as well. To many of the thousands of fans, this was a Major relief and I can honestly say that I was thrilled and excited to see just what magic Burton and Depp would do to revitalize this Classic show. Just too clarify, I have copied something from the general description of the show from another site to give you a basic understanding of the impact that “Dark Shadows” had on the American culture.
    “Dark Shadows was distinguished by its vividly melodramatic performances, atmospheric interiors, memorable storylines, numerous dramatic plot twists, an unusually adventurous music score, and a broad and epic cosmos of characters and heroic adventures. Now regarded as something of a camp classic, it continues to enjoy an intense cult following. Although the original series ran for only five years, its scheduling as a daily daytime drama allowed it to amass more single episodes during its run (1,225) than most other science-fiction/fantasy genre series produced for English-language television, including Doctor Who and the entire Star Trek television franchise. Only the paranormal soap opera Passions, with a total of 2,231 episodes, has more.
    Directors Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino, and pop singer Madonna have publicly stated they are fans of the series. As a child, Johnny Depp was so obsessed with Barnabas Collins that he wanted to be him. He has collaborated with Tim Burton on a theatrical film adaptation which is scheduled to open in 2012, in which he plays Barnabas.
    In 2004 and 2007, Dark Shadows was ranked #19 and #23 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever.”
    It is apparent that this show garners far more respect then is given. It is also apparent that the Burton team has done NOTHING to show homage or respect to the original series, other then to offer cameos to any who had been cast members of the original show. I am deeply saddened that this cult classic, well loved and STILL hugely followed TV show is being turned into such a tremendous pile of SH%^ (sorry, just my opinion), that I for one have no interest in seeing this production. If from the very beginning Tim Burton had declared his intentions, it would have been far less scandalous and far better received from at least SOME of the shows original fans. In the future, I suggest that you take some time to research more about a movies fan base before you decide to write a review on the film. I mean you no disrespect, it is just obvious that you were unaware of just how big this show really was and just how many of it’s fans are still here! Although many of the fans of this show will probably disagree with me, I am confident that this movie will make some good money for Burton and the Studio, but only because of the Burton/Depp fan base. I would also like to add that I am GREATLY disappointed in the lack of respect given to the fans of this show by Many of the comments being made on the various forums. It’s only right that the fans be able to share their disappointment and heartbreak over this film, as it is for those who will no doubt love this movie… but to say some of the things that I have read… to be so blatantly brutal to the fans of the original show is just childish and wrong!

  • ForestLawn | April 12, 2012 12:18 PM

    If Burton had just called this movie "Son Of Scissorhands", a lot more people would be going to see it and a lot less people would be unhappy with it. A "Dark Shadows" movie made with modern Hollywood mega-bucks and technology could have been a beautiful gothic fantasy that could have been handled in such a way as to please the die-hard fans as well as the newbies. Unfortunately, this is not a "Dark Shadows" movie.

  • HB | April 12, 2012 1:05 AMReply

    I don't get the logic of saying that if the original series fans don't like what they've seen in the trailer, they all just must want to see a copy of the original show. I am an original series fan, I HATE what I've seen in the trailer, and I am also tired of the same ground being retread in each new DS remake. I wanted to see a movie that built upon the themes and atmosphere of the original, but gave us something new and original. Danny Elfman's score is wonderful -- he incorporated the tone and a very small amount of original music/cues, but went in a new and exciting direction with it. If the movie had been constructed the way the score was, I'd be the first in line.

  • ForestLawn | April 12, 2012 12:39 AMReply

    What was the point in making a "Dark Shadows" movie in the first place if the whole idea was to target people who don't know or care anything about the source material? What not just make "Son Of Beetlejuice"? Ok, wait. It kind of looks like that's what they've done.

  • CC | April 11, 2012 6:05 PMReply

    Not remembered fondly? Are you an idiot?

  • Kevin | April 12, 2012 12:10 AM

    As a matter of fact, yes, I am.

  • Holly | April 11, 2012 4:32 PMReply

    My parents both watched the original series growing up and are not impressed with the revival. I however being a huge Johnny Depp fan am excited to see it. I think it is more about something different rather then copying the original. I've seen old episodes online and admit it was a great series but let's face it, if Tim and Johnny tried to copy the show it would be a disaster. If you've ever seen Johnny/Tim movies you know it's going to be eccentric and different. I think it will be great. At least I sincerely hope so.

  • Silverwolf | April 11, 2012 3:15 PMReply

    How can someone who thinks that this series is not all that fondly remembered have the audacity to write about that of which he obviously knows nothing about? Reverend Trask is not the only one due for a wall bricking.

  • megansspark | April 11, 2012 2:30 PMReply

    Oh dear, I love the old show. Its really charming, and what a unique and talented cast. Joan Bennett! And Frid is a one of a kind talent. I think there are many more fans of the show than there appear to be. The fan clubs online are NOT good places to be, and I can't say I would ever be interested in attending a festival. (yeekers) But the show-- is a treasure. With regards to the new film, I feel its for a new generation, and I do hope they will enjoy it.

  • MCW | April 11, 2012 1:33 PMReply

    Yeah, gotta go with Tina on this. This show was and is beloved by legions of fans that rushed home from school in the late 60's to get the crap scared out of them. Depp claims he was one of them, but his age doesn't really match up to those facts. What is evident by the trailer is that this farce is a slap in the face to the fans of the original show (and the revival series) and doesn't pay homage to the source, as many had hoped it would, but rather skewers it by turning it into some Addams Family-type slapstick comedy shlock. It is a sad and sorry shame that people too young to remember the original show will see this film, have a silly little laugh and never know how bold, daring and atypical the source material actually was. Barnabas is a cultural icon of sorts, albeit one that is known less and less each decade simply because there is a segment of younger folks that would never watch anything that isn't new. But for those of us that remember Barnabas as the original American vampire, seeing Depp in that clown-face makeup is just insulting to a wonderfully complex, dark character that we all were so fond of. I feel as though I'm looking at Willy Wonka with a new hairdo and Jack Sparrow's slightly tweaked accent. To take a deliciously dark, Gothic show like Dark Shadows and go the comedic route just seems like plain lazy writing and shows zero respect for what so many of us deem to be cherished childhood memories. Back in the day, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas as a tortured, conflicted character who had a lust for blood but resented the fate he was resigned to live with; a man that longed for some internal peace but feared he would never have it and laid waste to anyone unlucky enough to cross him. What we see in this new trailer is a feckless buffoon that spends a lot of time on his hair. I, for one, will wait for this particular Tim Burton offering to hit the Wal-mart 2/$5 bin. Burton/Depp should have just made something original and left the Dark Shadows name off of it!

  • TEGA | April 12, 2012 9:14 AM

    I'm not 15, I'm 48 and yes, he does look like they the original vampires WERE created. Of course I know vampires don't exist except in people like yourself who are tearing apart something they have never even seen yet except for trailers.

  • MCW | April 12, 2012 2:46 AM

    A twilight lover? That's by far the funniest thing I've heard in a while. What are you, 15? I've never even seen one of those pansy flicks, so I wouldn't know, but just because Depp says anything, don't make it so. How vampires were back in the day? What day? You realize that vampires don't actually exist, right? Have you even seen the trailer? That's going back to the origins of vampires my ass! Another young internet troll sounds off! Hilarious! Barnabas was a bad-ass, not some posturing, clown-faced buffoon like Depp acts in these trailers!

  • tega | April 11, 2012 8:12 PM

    You sound like a Twilight lover. A movie that doesn't show vampires for what they really are. That's what Johnny and Tim are doing here. Johnny said in an interview he wanted to go back to how vampires really were back in the day. It is not the same as the original but that is not necessarily a bad thing especially the masses who never saw the original won't appreciate a remake that way. Maybe the masses who never saw the original series will seek it out after seeing this movie and original Dark Shadows series will live once again on some cable channel somewhere.

  • JIm | April 11, 2012 12:31 PMReply

    I for one, remember it very fondly. And if many people didn't, this movie would never have been made, the series would not have been released on DVD, the conventions would have stopped long ago, and as for the rest... What Tina said.

  • Cathy Robbins | April 11, 2012 12:31 PMReply

    I apologize however, we fans of the original Dark Shadows and we are many, Do have Fond memories about this show and the original Dark Shadows is still very much alive and well Thank You very Much!!

  • Tina | April 11, 2012 11:28 AMReply

    How many shows have fan conventions 40+ years after cancellation and you think it is not remembered fondly? I think the numbers @ IMDb prove that you and those who are worshiping this comedy (and they turned it into a comedy) are in for a very rude awakening. The Dictator was moved not because it felt intimidated by Dark Shadows, but they know after week 1 or 2, it will have it's target audience back. It's that simple. Also when "Crooked Arrows" hits the theaters, it is a movie the whole family can enjoy...We all KNOW that the family film fares better than a dark comedy.

    Fans aren't going to this thing to see the "Burton/Depp" creation. They are going to see "Barnabas Collins" and how he is portrayed. Since the trailer has been released with the tasteless jokes in it (RE: Childbearing hips remarks), many fans are already saying they will wait for the dvd. Even some fans who worship the actor (Depp) also grew up watching the original and the Revival series and are saying he sounds more like Jack Sparrow in white face than Barnabas. I find it interesting that the Revival series is getting much more respect since the trailer for this fiasco was released. The true fans of the original and the Revival know that Dan Curtis would roll in his grave at this thing being turned into a "comedy" and they won't waste money on tickets. They'll wait for the dvd.

    Hopefully, they won't lay waste to the Night Stalker as well. It is also nice that Ben Cross is finally getting some belated and well-deserved respect for his own rendition of the character after over 20 years.

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