Depp Shadows takes on a green tint

by nkronos on February 4, 2011

The Wrap reports that Eva Green will play the witch in Angelique in the new Johnny Depp reboot of the old Dark Shadows TV show, which will be directed by long-time Depp collaborator Tim Burton.

Although my opinion of Burton’s oeuvre is mixed, I’m looking forward to this film and hope that it comes out while the original Barnabus, Jonathan Frid, can still enjoy it. Frid, who is 86 says, “I will be participating in a modest way in the world of Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp.” I’ve perused Frid’s personal Web site several times and have always found it to be a refreshingly genuine window into the subject’s soul–unlike most celebrity sites that consist of little more than PR releases.

Eva Green

Eva Green

Long before Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, and True Blood, Dark Shadows tapped into the public’s jugular for romantic vampires. Besides a movie, the show also inspired an update starring Ben Cross that, unfortunately, never caught on and expired after only one season.

From the proposed cast list in the link, it appears Burton is going to free-wheel his re-interpretation as he has a blond Victoria Winters and a brunette Angelique Bouchard–reversing Alexandra Moltke’s and Lara Parker’s hair coloring in the original. Getting the casting right will be critical to the film’s success; if Burton over-relies on his usual toolbox of animation-like special effects he will misinterpret the source of the TV series’ special charm.

Dark Shadows had horrible effects and sets, was frequently poorly rehearsed, and featured melodramatic but stilted dialogue. Besides the kitsch, though, it was an original take on the vampire as more human than monster–a take that has now been done to undeath. Otherwise, it featured lots of young actors cutting their fangs before going on to bigger and better things and old war horses who delivered decent performances under trying conditions. Watching them was what made the show so enjoyable.

Burton needs to re-create that with his casting or he’ll have another movie like Alice in Wonderland that’s pretty to look at but doesn’t have an ounce of heart.

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