Can’t say I’m a big Dark Shadows fan, having been born ten years after it went off the air (and never caught a rerun on SyFy or whoever might have carried it post-mortem) so I have no attachment to the franchise. I watched the first twelve episodes or so about a month or two ago, those episodes before anything terribly spooky started. The signature character, Barnabas Collins, hadn’t shown up yet.
So when the first photos of Johnny Depp as Barnabas hit the internet today/yesterday, it didn’t really inspire any rage or disgust. More as “casual indifference.” And that’s how I think any of you should handle this upcoming movie. I wasn’t surprised that Depp looks like a powdery Truman Capote playing at Darkman. Nothing about this coven surprises me anymore.
Look at the stats: It’s a big screen adaptation of a 70’s soap opera that wasn’t that popular to begin with. It’s being directed by Tim Burton. It stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Danny Elfman is the music composer. Yes, it’s just as you think: this is the same exact movie as Sleepy Hollow/Big Fish/Corpse Bride/Sweeney Todd/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Alice in Wonderland. I’m sure you can toss in half of Edward Scissorhands and half of Planet of the Apes in there as well, bringing up the total to 7 movies spanning twenty years.
But should we get mad? No. It’s going to happen. No matter what, some fool will give Tim Burton to make movies with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. They will always get funding, they will always get distribution. Warner Bros. knows that there is a contingency of the population that will always go see a Johnny Depp movie, no matter what. There’s also a slice of the public that actually enjoys Tim Burton’s movies, even if there’s no story, no character development, no plot or no real sense. The shit will always have a distinct spooky look to it.
Until Burton has a divorce (from either Helena or Johnny) these movies are always going to be made. We can’t stop them. It’s a Big Brother/Chinatown thing. Either you can end up loving Tim Burton or you can walk away. Getting mad won’t do anything anymore.