Burton and Depp's latest collaborations have been less than spectacular. Alice in Wonderland made Disney gobs of cash, but it felt like a hollow and phoned-in interpretation of the story it's based on. Sweeney Todd also found success but was all but forgotten after its release, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory doesn't hold a candle to the eccentric brilliance that was Gene Wilder.
With Dark Shadows, both Burton and Depp seem like they're having more fun and are focused on putting at least one of their best feet forward rather than collect another check. It still hits the overly whimsical tones that the pair can't seem to resist, but there's also some devilishly darker parts, especially where the witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) is concerned. Green seems to have become the go-to sorceress/witch in Hollywood and you'll hear no complaints from me.
By going the comedic route, fans of the original Dark Shadows television series will undoubtedly take offense to this new less serious "for the masses" treatment. If it works, and anything on Burton's resume over the past decade proves it can, then dollars will once again win out over respect for the source material.
Maybe it was for the best that pictures of Depp in his pasty white Barnabas Collins makeup leaked during production. It gave us ample time to digest the bizarre look and learn to accept it prior to the trailer's release.
Dark Shadows also stars Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Thomas McDonell and Gulliver McGrath. It opens in theaters everywhere on May 11.