Johnny Depp Channels Michael Jackson in First Pics as 'Dark Shadow's' Barnabas Collins

Johnny Depp Channels Michael Jackson in First Pics as 'Dark Shadow's' Barnabas Collins

Sep 14, 2011


When word hit that Tim Burton would be remaking the 1960's gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, the news brought both dread and joy to fans everywhere. Burton's recent track record hasn't been stellar, but die-hards for the vampy series had an inkling of hope that BFFs Burton and Johnny Depp – who are known for their collaborations on all things dark and dreary – could put aside the overdone, cartoonish style that Burton has been cashing in on for years with his eyes half shut. The director mentioned that his retelling of the melodramatic serial, in which Depp will play the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, would have a "weird tone" -- but he also said it was an "ethereal tone" he was going for. The first pics of Depp's Collins have appeared online, and needless to say, they're anything but ethereal.
Sporting what looks like a complete cluster f*ck of every Burton costume he's ever worn – and looking more like Michael Jackson or Batman's The Joker than the tragic, conflicted, and stately protagonist Collins is known to be – Depp's fedora, white pancake makeup, and cane seem strangely out of place, but frustratingly predictable for Burton. My only guess is that he's going for some kind of uber German expressionist vibe with exaggerated … everything. It's true that these are just a few early pictures and we can't judge everything on them, but it already seems that Burton has zeroed in on Dark Shadow's overwrought appeal due to the way he's dressed the movie's lead character. Dark Shadows' drama and cheese factor was set to high, sure, but the show's spooky supernatural universe had an old school scary feel that fans will be sure to miss if Burton goes heavy-handed with everything.
Judging from this synopsis, it sounds like Burton wants to make Dark Shadows more like Hammer's fabulously ridiculous Dracula A.D. 1972 than an homage to the original soap opera:
"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..."
Chime in with your thoughts below. Are you digging what Depp and Burton are doing so far? [via Celebuzz]

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