Vanity Fair character portraits prove Tim Burton is sticking with the aesthetic of the ’60s series.
By John Mitchell
Another week has passed, and we still don’t have a “Dark Shadows” trailer. For those keeping tabs, we’re just over two months out (70 days, to be exact) from the scheduled release of Tim Burton’s campy vampire blockbuster. But to whet increasingly impatient fans’ appetites, in this month’s Vanity Fair, Burton and company have released some character portraits of Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard and Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman.
Taking a close look at the portraits — and, really, we might as well, because there isn’t much other “DS” material to stan over — it’s striking just how close Burton and costume designer Colleen Atwood have kept Depp’s big-screen styling to the Barnabas that “Shadows” series creator Dan Curtis developed for actor Jonathan Frid all the way back in 1967. The more we see of Depp in character, the more we’re reminded of Frid, who also appears in the film.
“Johnny’s very open about what things are in the process, but he really lets people present things to him. He never really pushes at all,” Atwood told MTV News late last year about Depp’s costuming for “Shadows.”
“Sometimes he doesn’t even look in the mirror in his fittings. It’s so funny. It’s pretty amazing. People would be surprised, because I think they have this image of Johnny, because he’s so stylish always, but he really feels his costumes, more than looks at them, and the movement and the feeling in them is really important.”
From the hair and pale, monstrous makeup to the penchant for 18th-century bling, it’s kind of amazing how closely Burton is hewing to the look already established for the characters in the late-’60s series. And that’s true of nearly all the key players in his adaptation: He’s taken famed brunette Eva Green blonde, as Angelique (played by Lara Parker) was on the show, given Bonham Carter’s eccentric Dr. Julia Hoffman the same sweeping ’60s ‘do worn by Grayson Hall and has Pfeiffer sporting dark, regal ensembles similar to those worn by Joan Bennett to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.
One notable exception is Chloë Moretz, who plays Carolyn Stoddard in Burton’s “Shadows.” In both the original ’60s soap and the short-lived early ’90s revamp, Carolyn is portrayed as being in her early 20s, but Moretz’s Carolyn will be, like the actress in real life, 15 years old.
Indeed, Burton made a command decision to avoid the sexy vampire cliché that has become pervasive in movies these days. That he did so when his star is arguably one of the sexiest movie stars on the planet is especially commendable. Depp is far from what we deem traditionally sexy, but we still think he’s weirdly alluring. Such is the power of the Depp, we suppose.
What do you think of these latest character portraits? Are you weirdly drawn to Johnny Depp’s Barnabus too? Let us know in the comments below and tweet me at @JohnMitchell83 with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!
Check out everything we’ve got on “Dark Shadows.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.