Hollywood Elsewhere has gotten its hands on the April issue of Vanity Fair, and it contains a set of publicity stills from the as-yet alarmingly unpublicized Dark Shadows. The big takeway here is the best look yet at Johnny Depp's version of Barnabas Collins. The design team seem to have pulled from a variety of sources - Nosferatu's fingernails, Bela Lugosi's amulet, Jonathan Frid's ring and an exaggerated version of Frid's weird, trademark bangs.* The message is clear: we're in for one retro vampire.
The film opens in 70 days; as I noted earlier today, we have a trailer for Tim Burton's October film, but not this one. I'd love to know what's going on in the WB marketing offices right now. Meanwhile, since I missed it, here's another official still, of Barnabas squaring off with Angelique (Eva Green). Check out his smoking jacket next to this shot from the original series; we may not know what kind of film they're making, but it seems the original series is very much on their mind.
In other recent news on the film, Horrorhound Magazine got an interview out of Burton, in which he responds to claims that the film is a comedy with "It's news to me... I always start things with the most serious of intentions. I sometimes find humour in things that aren't funny and vice versa." As the leaked descriptions of the test marketed trailers describe a straight-up comedy, it sounds as if Burton is either attempting some spin as the studio continues to struggle with marketing the film, or else he doesn't recall making Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, or Mars Attacks! I suppose anything's possible. .
*True fact: Barnabas' bangs were in place before the actor was. Producer Bob Costello sat in for the portrait of the Collins ancestor before casting was completed, and the painter replicated the balding producer's funky comb-over. When Frid was cast, his face was filled in on the painting and his hair was styled to match the portrait.