Johnny Depp & Michelle Pfeiffer Talk Tim Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’

Published 2 years ago by

dark shadows michelle pfeiffer johnny depp 570x380 Johnny Depp & Michelle Pfeiffer Talk Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows

It seems odd, in some ways, that Tim Burton has not yet tackled the bloodthirsty world of the vampire – seeing how he is the king of quirkily macabre cinema. But Dark Shadows does indeed mark his first foray into the world of the be-fanged undead. His longtime collaborator, Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and so on), had been a fan of the 1966-1971 fantasy soap opera and came to Burton with a plan to adapt the series for the big screen.

Burton expressed a fondness for what he refers to as a “strong property” during the Los Angeles press conference for Dark Shadows. Depp had a desire to depict a vampire that, as he says, “looks like a vampire” which is in part the actor’s way of “railing against those vampires that look like underwear models” as we see so often in our current film and television renderings of the creatures.

Depp, Burton and writer Seth Grahame Smith (who also penned the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) met to hash out the details of the story, which Depp says “revealed itself to them.” The film places the cursed Barnabas Collins (a vampire who has been buried for nearly two centuries) into what Depp feels is the most surreal era of our time, the 1970s, in order to give the ancient monster a rich environment to respond to. The challenge for Burton, then, was to have what is “clearly a vampire, fit into this odd society and dysfunctional family.”

Collins Family Dark Shadows Johnny Depp & Michelle Pfeiffer Talk Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows

The Collins Family: David, Roger, Elizabeth, and Carolyn

The head of said family, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, is played by Burton’s Batman Returns star, Michelle Pfeiffer (the film marks their first collaboration in 20 years). Pfeiffer was an avid watcher of the original television series and actively sought Burton out. She said she would not have had the courage to call him directly which “isn’t done” but she was working with a mutual friend who, knowing what the property meant to her, “egged her on.” The director said he was delighted to discover she was a “closet ‘Dark Shadows’ lover” adding “I knew she was weird, but not that weird.”

He did place her in some slightly treacherous circumstances, having her don eight-inch platforms and sending her down an elaborate staircase where she was meant to walk, talk, and not look down. “Did the people on ‘Dynasty’ look down?” Burton asks.

When one reporter goaded Michelle Pfeiffer for a comment on Anne Hathaway picking up the Selina Kyle/Catwoman mantle in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Burton ribbed the journalist about the slight absurdity of the question: “yeah, comment on something you haven’t seen before,” he said. “There’s something derogatory about the comparison. ‘You’ve played this character and now it’s somebody else.’ MEOW, catfight!”

Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman Batman Returns Johnny Depp & Michelle Pfeiffer Talk Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows

Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman in Batman Returns

Pfeiffer, however, gave the following polite and politic response:

“I love Anne Hathaway, I’m a huge fan and the nature of these characters is that they are played by different people. I think she’s great and I think she’s going to be awesome.”

Depp and Pfeiffer are themselves, in Dark Shadows, once again bringing previously established characters to fresh new life.

The cast is rounded out by Eva Green, Jaquie Earl Hayle, Jonny Lee Miller and Bella Heathecote.

Dark Shadows opens in theaters today.

Follow me on twitter @JrothC

TAGS: dark shadows

5 Comments

Post a Comment

  1. I’m sure she’ll do a good job, but Michelle Pfeiffer will always be my favourite Selina Kyle/Catwoman :)

  2. Depp feels the ’70s was a more surreal era than now? He may need to qualify that one slightly… :-)

  3. just as Micheal said I’m dazzled that anyone can get paid $5387 in 1 month on the computer. did you look at this web site NUTTYRICH d0t com

    • F*ck you spammer

  4. Don’t reply to the spammers. Once the banhammer comes down, the replies will kind of screw up the posting.

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

Be Social, Follow Us!!