Johnny Depp was photographed in full vampire costume on the set for Dark Shadows in the UK on Tuesday, in a getup which disgraces the original 1960s TV series.
Photos leaked showing Depp donning a fedora, cane and extremely white painted face looking more like Jack Nicholson in Batman or himself in Willy Wonka rather than the iconic Barnabas Collins played by Jonathan Frid.
Directed by Tim Burton, the upcoming Dark Shadows film seems promising, with a script by Seth Grahame-Smith and an all-star cast hand-selected by Burton. A longtime fan of the old series, Burton has promised since he revealed plans to remake the classic horror drama to update the franchise rather than change it. But this photograph of Depp as Barnabas has me wondering, is Burton going to put his Burton-like spin on my favorite television series?
Dark Shadows is Legendary
If you are a part of the Millennial Generation like me, ask your parents what Dark Shadows is and I guarantee you'll get the typical response: I loved that show! I used to run home from school to watch it every day at 4 p.m.! It was the Twilight of its time, but the first of its kind. (Thanks, Mom.)
The gothic soap opera created by Dan Curtis, which aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971, is centered around the Collins family and their various run-ins with the supernatural, werewolves, witches and vampires. The show stars Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, a man turned vampire thanks to a vindictive witch Angelique Bouchard, originally played by Lara Parker.
The show has only gained popularity throughout the decades, is considered a cult classic and even has a convention that meets annually, alternating between New York City and Los Angeles.
Dark Shadows, The Remake
The film, set to be released in 2012, is currently in production in the UK. Not much has been disclosed about the film aside from the cast, which includes Helena Bonham Carter (Mrs. Tim Burton), Chloe Moretz, Eva Green and Michelle Pfeiffer.
The official film synopsis from Warner Bros. Pictures reads:
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England, to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet -- or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy ... until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
While the series originated in black-and-white before color was added in 1967, Frid always resembled a vampire without the obvious makeup. He was strange and terrifying in a natural way. After all, Barnabas Collins' character resided with regular people with his vampire status undetected, which resulted in him appearing normal, yet dark and mysterious.
Since Burton and Depp have both admitted to being big fans of the original Dark Shadows series, I cannot imagine how Burton did not preserve the original look of Barnabas Collins in the remake. Burton has made public statements about the extensive research he has done in order to remake the gothic drama classic. I'm not sure this is the ethereal tone he spoke about during an interview at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
It's a funny tone, and that's part of what the vibe of the show is, and there's something about it that we want to get, Burton said at the LACMA, denying reports that it would be in 3D, which would be another offense in itself.
Has Burton, instead, shifted gears to make Dark Shadows reminiscent of his Willy Wonka remake?
I think I'll stick to the original series.