Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Reacting To 'Twilight,' Potential Sequels & More From The Press Tour For Tim Burton & Johnny Depp's 'Dark Shadows'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 11, 2012 at 2:07PM

Whether you end up loving it or hating it (as our reviewer did), one has to admit that there are few films like "Dark Shadows" in theaters this summer. Based on the popular 1960s/1970s ABC soap that included vampires, werewolves and witches, the film is a curious blend of comedy, drama and horror that's indelibly a Tim Burton creation.

Dark Shadows Eva Green
Unusually, Danny Elfman listened to the music from the TV series to prep for his score.
Working once again with his most frequent collaborator in Burton, composer Danny Elfman found their process differing a bit. He told the AV Club, "...on 'Planet Of The Apes' and 'Charlie [And The Chocolate Factory]' and 'Batman,' we made a conscious decision to make no references—ever—to the originals, that they should be their own thing and that we shouldn’t even listen to it." However, Burton wanted to pay more of a homage with this film. "Tim really did like the tone of the music to the TV show, and he got me listening to it. So half the score is kind of big, melodramatic orchestra, and… We didn’t really know how to approach it at first, but it finally kind of evolved into this clear design where, when we’re in the big part of the love story in the past and how Barnabas became a vampire and his battle with Angelique, we’re using the orchestra in a more or less traditional way. But whenever he’s with the family in the house, we’re going to use an ensemble that’s very much like the ensemble might have been in 1970. A very, very small orchestra, mostly just three solo instruments: a bass clarinet, bass flute, and vibes. And the vibes and the flute very much are taken and inspired from the original TV music," Elfman said. "Furthermore, there were these riffs that they did that I really liked, so I did pull some music from the TV show into the score, and Bob Cobert, the writer for that, is credited in the cue sheets for those moments where it kind of becomes a co-composition. So it really was unique."

Tim Burton claims the ending doesn't necessarily point to a sequel.
While Burton hasn't ruled out a potential franchise coming from this film, and ends the film with a pretty big hint towards a followup, he claims a followup was not on his mind. "Because of the nature of it being like a soap opera," Burton says to Collider, "that was the structure. It wasn’t a conscious decision. First of all, it’s a bit presumptuous to think that. If something works out, that’s one thing, but you can’t ever predict that. That had more to do with the soap opera structure of it."

Dark Shadows Eva Green
Tim Burton might not know a good script even it bit him in the face.
His words, not ours. Regarding the potential "Beetlejuice" sequel, via Collider: "Seth [Grahame-Smith] is writing something. I just told him, because it was something where I liked the character, he’d probably have a better response. He has ideas about it, so I just wanted to let him respond to it and see what he comes up with. If it was interesting. Although, I don’t know if I would ever know a good script if it bit me in the face. But, I know what I like, so we’ll see. "

This article is related to: Dark Shadows, Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny Elfman, Seth Grahame-Smith, Interviews

The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.

E-Mail Updates