Tim Burton is continuing to fill his Dark Shadows with familiar faces: Deadline reports today that (as many assumed) Burton’s long-time girlfriend/muse Helena Bonham Carter is in line to play Dr. Julia Hoffman, the scientist who uncovers and (spoiler!) attempts to cure 175 year-old Barnabas Collins of his vampiric affliction. It’ll be fun to see what the movie does with this dynamic; throughout the series Dr. Hoffman (Grayson Hall) nurtured an unrequited love for Barnabas, curing him only to helplessly watch him pursue girls half her age. Dr. Hoffman spent a lot of time scowling and pouting in the series.
The bigger news from Deadline is that Burton hopes to reunite with his Catwoman, seeking Michelle Pfeiffer to play Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the head of the Collins household with a closet full of skeletons. In the series, Mrs. Stoddard (played by Joan Bennett) spent a lot of time staring out a window, being occasionally menaced by ne’er do wells, and was once buried alive for a about a month. Putting aside for a moment the existential horror of realizing Michelle Pfeiffer is playing the OLD LADY ROLE in the movie, in a linear retelling of the Barnabas story, this character doesn’t have a whole lot to do. That such a high-profile actress is being sought is either good news for the role, or bad news for Pfeiffer.
Elsewhere, Johnny Depp has told MTV News that he plans on keeping his portrayal of Barnabas Collins close to original series star Jonathan Frid’s, saying “I find it very difficult to stray very far from that (performance).”
It’s going to be kind of bizarre to see a straight-up Jonathan Frid impersonation amidst all the revisionist casting we’ve heard so far, but an intriguing notion nonetheless.