Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
Remember when we saw a set photo featuring Johnny Depp in Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows, and he looked like a weird supernatural Michael Jackson cosplayer? We’ve seen one big official cast photo that made him look a lot better, and now there’s a good official image of Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer.
And in this one, Depp looks kind of great as the vampire Barnabas Collins. The hair, the makeup pallor, and the slight change to his nose and chin all combine to make him look like a younger but appropriately rakish version of Collins. That’s the lone new pic, above, but read on for comments from Burton about the movie.
He describes the world of the film as a bit like documentary Grey Gardens (the 1975 doc featuring a nearly hermetic mother-daughter duo inhabiting a crumbling mansion in the Hamptons) and says that time travel, a late addition to the original TV show, is used “a tiny bit” in the movie. He also describes 1972, when the show and movie are set, as “a scary time,” about which MTV sadly doesn’t get him to elaborate.
Asked what stage he’s in with Dark Shadows, Burton says,
Panicking. That stage. We’re editing and doing effects. It’s not an effects-heavy picture, but it’s still got stuff in there. There’s a strange tone to the movie. … It’s got such a strange vibe. And it’s not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You’re trying to do a weird soap opera. I felt really lucky, because the cast is really good. People like Michelle [Pfeiffer] grew up watching it. Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn’t, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what “Dark Shadows” was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama. … It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn’t really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone. We didn’t do any real rehearsals, because the cast all came in at different times. But there was an old photo of the [original] cast which I always remembered, so a couple days before shooting, we got the whole cast together to take a similar shot so everyone could see each other and get that vibe from doing a group photo. That helped set the tone more than anything.
Dark Shadows opens on May 11.