Johnny Depp is known for his macabre roles in films like Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd; but also for his love of ostentatious tomfoolery on set, like that in his Hunter S. Thompson films.
These two sides of his personality seem to come alive whenever he is enlisted for one of Tim Burton’s highly original film scores; and now the two long standing friends and collaborators have been working together for their new Vampire flick, Dark Shadows, which is set to take the UK by storm.
The pair had become despairing at popular culture’s portrayal of the undead, turning these old folkloric beings into pin-up boys in the throes of love, there to be ogled at by teeny-boppers.
They have taken the vampire back to an earlier construction, to its original state, when Vampires were terrifying monsters to be feared.
After months of Twitter rumours and blurred snapshots of Depp dressed up in his 17th century regalia, with his extremely pale make up and dark sinister eyes showing, fans can finally enjoy a sneak peak of the film.
The brand new trailer has just recently been released online and is stirring a vast wave of excitement through the underworld of Vampire fandom.
From the small snippet here, Depp looks in imperious form playing a vampire who has arisen from the grave after being cursed by a witch, and wakes up in 1972. The film shows no signs of the Twilight treatment, and has a wry sense of humour while harking back to the old terror inspired by Dracula and Nosferatu.
It’s apparent here that Depp and Burton believe vampires should look like vampires, not supermodels.
Depp said: “Over the years all these vampire TV shows, the movies have come out and nobody looks like a vampire – what happened?”
“I adored Dracula and still do. All those wonderful horror films. This was an opportunity to go into something which doesn’t really exist anymore, which is classic make-up and a classic monster character. So that was really the inspiration and what Tim and I talked about a lot.”
The cast list is full of A-listers as you would expect from a Burton-Depp film, and includes the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz and Jonny Lee Miller. Helena Bonham Carter is there in the mix as always, and has become part of the furniture in their little double act. She is Burton’s wife after all.
This is the first time Depp has got back in the saddle with Burton since their film Alice in Wonderland, in which he played the Mad Hatter.
Although it did not receive the best reviews, the film still sold well in the box office and this new film will surely follow suit. You will be able to catch Dark Shadows from May 11th on the big screen.
Words by Martin Higgins, at www.mhfreelance.co.uk