Collinwood Manor

On page 156 and 157 of Vanity Fair‘s current issue portrait photos of the Dark Shadows cast — Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter — appear. Warner Bros. will open Tim Burton ‘s vampire film on 5.11.

Wiki synopsis: “In 1752, the Collins family sails from Liverpool, England to North America. The son, Barnabas (Depp), grows up to be a wealthy playboy in Collinsport, Maine and is the master of Collinwood Manor. He breaks the heart of a witch, Angelique Bouchard Green), who turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. In 1972, Barnabas is accidentally freed from his coffin and returns to find his once-magnificent manor in ruin. It is occupied by dysfunctional Collins descendants (Pfeiffer playing Elizabeth Collins0 and other residents, all of whom have secrets.”

Jonny Lee Miller costars as Roger Collins, Elizabeth’s brother. Chloe Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, Elizabeth’s rebellious teenage daughter. And Helena Bonham Carter plays Dr. Julia Hoffman, Elizabeth’s hired live-in psychiatrist.

59 thoughts on “Collinwood Manor

  1. Burton and Depp both need interventions. Their relationship was fine for a while, but it’s time they see other people. Each subsequent neo-expressionist CGI-fest they put out where Burton does his Gothic thing and Depp does his “look how quirky and colorful my character is!” thing dilutes the individuality of each film, and they all start to run together.

  2. Depp’s descent into this permanent kiddie plastic state is such a tragedy. I’d say it’s even worse than Downey, because Downey isn’t nearly as versatile an actor and is making up for lost time.

    Still imagine what Depp could have leveraged Pirates into. As it stands, this is a man who could get anything made.

  3. Given that it’s a Tim Burton movie… what are the odds that the vampire is the most “human” character, and all the Collins clan are the (metaphorical, in most cases) monsters?

  4. DiscoNap, can we take a look at movies Depp did after Pirates? I’ll even discount Once Upon a Time in Mexico because he shot it before, I think (though it’s one of my favorite performances of his ever). Finding Neverland may have been shot before, too. So, the tally:

    –Three Pirates movies. OK, that’s probably a bit much, but it’s a fun character, his meal ticket, and he likes doing it. Can’t really blame him for saying yes.

    –Four collaborations with Burton (including voicework in Corpse Bride) that are pretty much nothing alike, and include an Oscar-nominated singing role in an adaptation of a classic musical.

    –The Libertine, a nigh-unwatchable passion project that’s aimed as far away from the multiplexes as possible.

    –The Rum Diary, a half-reprisal of his Hunter S. Thompson role that basically got a 2,000-screen release (and exists at all) because of his stardom, despite it being, again, no kind of mall-mutliplex movie.

    –An engimatic, low-key leading role in a Michael Mann crime drama (that happens to be fucking awesome).

    –Inspired voicework in Rango.

    –Fun, eccentric performances in admittedly piffle-y entertainments Secret Window and The Tourist (both movies that are sort of undone by terrible twist endings but are pretty cool and underrated up to that point).

    Now, let’s take a look at the movies he did in the ten years or so leading up to Pirates:

    From Hell; Chocolat; The Ninth Gate (awful movie, despite the Polanski pedigree); Blow; Nick of Time; The Astronaut’s Wife; Donnie Brasco; Sleepy Hollow and Ed Wood for Burton; Fear and Loathing; Dead Man; and a couple of movies absolutely no one has seen (The Man Who Cried and The Brave), one of which he directed to no acclaim.

    I’m not saying the first batch of ten are bad. Not by any stretch.

    I’m saying that they’re just not hugely dissimilar as a set: some Burton collaborations; some Hunter Thompson; some art-house stuff that turned out to be unwatchable. The main difference is that his mainstream movies are now Disney franchise movies instead of low-rent thrillers. And yeah, he and Burton have been more able to get their collaborations off the ground.

    What a fucking tragedy, huh?

    I mean, Nick of TIme, guys. Are we going to pretend that Nick of Time is great work? That Chocolat contributes to his legacy?

  5. Jesse is right. Looking at Depp’s credits, I’d say his work with Burton is his best.

    By the way, his brother Daniel’s Loser’s Town and Babylon Nights are terrific, the second even better than the first.

  6. I would like to see a pseudo-Edward Scissorhands performance from this. Kind of meek and quiet until the third act when he actively tries to get the people out of his.

  7. I suppose none of you ever heard of the Dark Shadows TV Show the movie is based on? Both JD and Tim are huge fans of the show, that’s why Depp acquired the rights to a big screen adaptation through his company Infinitum Nihil and he picked Tim as the director for the movie. This material is right what they need, especially since it’s their kind of movie.

    And Eva Green is blond because of her character’s profile…

  8. I suppose none of you ever heard of the Dark Shadows TV Show the movie is based on? Both JD and Tim are huge fans of the show, that’s why Depp acquired the rights to a big screen adaptation through his company Infinitum Nihil and he picked Tim as the director for the movie. This material is right what they need, especially since it’s their kind of movie.

    And Eva Green is blond because of her character’s profile…

  9. Burton represents one of the few completely unique voices in film as a whole, let alone big-budget fare. The same criticism was leveled here against Wes Anderson a couple of weeks ago (change it up, try smething new, what a hack, etc.) but at least their films represent a true part of themselves and their funny, bright, and twisted minds.

    I saw the Burton exhibit at LACMA last year and even as a kid, he was so delightfully warped. His style is just embedded in him and it’s not worth changing. I think his bank account agrees, anyway.

  10. Man, Eva Green is so sexy and a genuine talent to boot. Can someone put her in a real f-ing movie? She’s one of the biggest reasons for “Casino Royale’s” sizzle and that film has done nothing for her since then.

  11. >Can someone put her in a real f-ing movie?

    She was in Kingdom of Heaven, which I think qualifies, though her part wasn’t that interesting (it’s more fleshed out in the extended cut).

  12. The last time Depp worked with Burton (Alice) and played Captain Jack (On Stranger Tides), each film grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. When he’s done other things in that same time period (Rum Diary, Tourist, Public Enemies), let’s just say not as much.

    If Johnny wants to get his goth on, or put on the bandanna, there are very few people who are going to tell him no. Nor should they. I’m sure he’ll do more character stuff when he gets older. For now, he should do whatever he wants.

  13. Re dino velvet’s comment:

    Ironically, a trailer was just released for Burton’s animated feature remake of FRANKENWEENIE.

  14. Hey look! It’s Every Fucking Burton/Depp/Bohham-Carter movie rolled into one.

    “Get Panavision on the phone! We need more super-wide-angle lenses!”

  15. Someone mentioned Robert Downey jr above and I just have to say: I’m in my mid-30s and thru my teens and 20s I absolutely loved him, he was my favourite actor. I just thought he was brilliant. But now, I cannot bear him. The soulless movies he makes, the always-the-same performances, the take the money attitude; the awful annual Oscar appearances are the icing on the cake. The smugness. The fact that he thinks he’s cutting edge and original. The other night at the oscars he just made a fool of himself. I’m not hating, as I say for half my life he was my favourite actor but there is nothing now – nothing – that would make me go to a Robert Downey Jr film.

  16. I don’t get this AT ALL.

    I watched the old show. I watched the REMAKE of the old show. Now they want me to watch the Alice in Wonderland version of the show??

    If the original had been deadly earnest instead of “just campy enough,” a Tim Burton sendup would have made sense. If the remake hadn’t reinvented it so well (BEN CROSS POWER), a new version would have made sense.

    I don’t get it.

  17. Terry – Yes funny that Frankenweenie ads are already out there! Why nothing on Dark Shadows? I’m guessing the film is going to be a tough sell, tonally, i.e. it isn’t quite horror and it isn’t quite comedy, it isn’t romantic enough to force it on the Twihards etc…nothing about it screams Summer Movie, either.

  18. Albert – I agree. Downey’s Oscar appearance just reeked of smugness. Of course given his box office status, nobody’s going to say no to him or reject any of his brilliant ideas for Oscar skits etc.

  19. So, nobody is going to challenge Jesse on equating ‘Ed Wood’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’? Of course it doesn’t look like Johnny Depp’s output has gotten worse if you take the best movie he ever made and two of the worst and say “Eh, they’re basically the same thing”.

  20. All you haters want nothing more than for Depp to be Ethan Hawke. Why for Christ’s sake can’t you just let him be who he is? There isn’t anybody else like him, that’s a good thing!! There are plenty of other actors who do the conventional thing. Why do you want him to go that way? I don’t get it.

  21. @Albert Starling: I feel the same way regarding Downey Jr. Not that I wouldn’t see an interesting movie because of his presence, but he does bother me in public appearances because he acts exactly like Tony Stark. It feels weird and packaged and the post Jeff made awhile back about Downey being a puppet that his wife controls was kinda creepy.

  22. I’m not equating them directly… I’m saying that his career hasn’t actually taken a radically different direction post-Pirates. (And if you wanted a post-Pirates equivalent to Ed Wood, it would probably be more like Sweeney Todd… which isn’t as flat-out amazing as Ed Wood but is a pretty excellent movie in its own right.) I’m saying before and after Pirates, he did some commercial movies, some art movies, and regular Burton collaborations. (Sleepy Hollow, pre-Pirates, isn’t exactly Ed Wood, either… although I like it a lot.)

    I mean, by the same token, of course it seems like Johnny Depp’s output has gotten worse if you hold up Ed Wood and say, WHY ISN’T EVERY MOVIE HE’S MADE SINCE PIRATES LIKE THIS!

    My point is that this huge sellout career path he’s supposedly taken is far more similar to the path he was already on than most people admit. If The Tourist had been a 1997 movie, it would probably be held up as a missed Depp classic. And if Blow came out post-Pirates, it would probably be ignored (in terms of the “Depp’s recent work sucks”) the way Public Enemies is now.

  23. “Why for Christ’s sake can’t you just let [Depp] be who he is? There isn’t anybody else like him, that’s a good thing!! There are plenty of other actors who do the conventional thing.”

    “Burton represents one of the few completely unique voices in film as a whole, let alone big-budget fare.”

    These comments both seem straight out of 1993 or something — am I going completely insane??

    “I mean, by the same token, of course it seems like Johnny Depp’s output has gotten worse if you hold up Ed Wood and say, WHY ISN’T EVERY MOVIE HE’S MADE SINCE PIRATES LIKE THIS!”

    The problem is — it wasn’t just Ed Wood (although, admittedly, that’s prob. my fave Burton-Depp ever). It was Donnie Brasco, Dead Man (both of which are apparently just “low-rent thrillers,” according to your classification), Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow (hey, just like Charlie and Alice!), Fear & Loathing (same as Rum Diary, right?).

    Even in films that weren’t that good like Benny & Joon, he rarely (hardly eveeeer!) just phoned it in. He seemed really bored in Public Enemies, and I think that was probably one of the better films he’s been in recently.

    Let’s face facts here: from a creative standpoint, both of these guys have gone downhill fairly significantly.

  24. I thought Sweeney Todd was really strong, although I’d give more credit to Burton than Depp…If Rango hadn’t come out this year, I’d be more inclined to dump on Depp but that was a cool flick and it required a lot out of him. He’s definitely been, let’s say, “taking it easy” lately, but his work in the first Pirates was outstanding and he’s still short of 50.

    I agree that Public Enemies didn’t get much out of him…Cotillard stole every scene she was in…As for Burton, directors hit little ruts and bounce back, and Burton’s so prolific that I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least for a few more years.

    And what about some Gilbert Grape love, if we’re feeling nostalgic for old Depp? Weird ass movie and he and DiCaprio were fantastic in it.

  25. On page 156 and 157 of Vanity Fair’s current issue portrait photos of the Dark Shadows cast — Johnny Depp, franklin marshall Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter — appear. Warner Bros. will open Tim Burton ‘s vampire film on 5.11.

  26. No, I wouldn’t qualify Dead Man or Donnie Brasco as low-rent thrillers; I’d just point out that he did plenty of low-rent thrillers while he was doing those now-beloved nineties movies. I’d put Donnie Brasco as equivalent to something like Public Enemies; they’re both terrific, and Depp is terrific in them. I don’t find him bored or boring in Public Enemies, and it’s a bit of damned-if-you-do-or-don’t thing there, because he’s so florid and bizarre in his Burton movies, and then he’s completely different and low-key in Public Enemies, and people say oh this is so boring and disappointing.

    Also, there’s a lot of hindsight involved in talking about how he made great movies in the nineties and lousy ones post-Pirates. Neither of those distinctions are very nuanced, or true. Dead Man, while beloved now, got pretty mixed reviews when it came out, as did Fear & Loathing. No one in 1998 was saying, man, Johnny Depp can DO NO WRONG!

    I’m not saying The Rum Diary or The Libertine are just as good as Dead Man or F&L (in fact, The Libertine is awful), but if we’re talking about the KINDS of movies Depp is doing, they’re pretty similar groups. I’d say it averages out to similar quality, too. Maybe 1993-2003 averages a 7.3 and 2003-2012 averages a 6.8, or something like that? I’d say that’s more due to the luck of the draw of the occasional flat-out masterwork like Ed Wood (agreed, it might be the best Depp/Burton collaboration) than some kind of crazy downturn in quality.

    And you’re still kind of doing that thing where you take his best movies from the nineties and ignore how shitty The Ninth Gate and Nick of Time and Astronaut’s Wife are.

    And I mean, is Sleepy Hollow WORLDS better than Alice and Charlie? I know lots of people hate those last two for no real strong reason (dislike or indifferent, I understand, but HATE, not really), and I might marginally prefer Sleepy Hollow, but I wouldn’t look at those and say, wow, he is a changed man, he was so so so much better in Sleepy Hollow, that nineties masterpiece! (Which, again, I really love. But there’s some rounding up going on there and rounding down going on post-Pirates in terms of how people regard these movies.)

    In fact, Burton-wise, I like plenty of his past-decade movies, too. Big Fish would go in my Burton top five, and Sweeney Todd is pretty great.

  27. @Carl Kolchak, interesting observation about Ethan Hawke. I’d guess that because Hawke isn’t the boxoffice draw that Depp is, no one cares if he does vampire films (Daybreakers) or Len Wiseman remakes of Schwarzenegger films (Total Recall).

  28. JLC, I agree… there’s this weird thing where if an actor is sort of mid-level, famous but not a huge draw, as Depp was for the first fifteen years or more of his career, no one really complains if his or her career is an eclectic mix of serious stuff, junk, hits, flops, etc. Because, you know, that’s how most careers go.

    But once there are a big hits involved, and if some of those hits seem, gasp, intentional! Well, then, it’s somehow an affront to everything that was good and pure about those earlier movies that not that many people cared about at the time. Now suddenly they’re “the same in everything!” even though, objectively, the idea that Depp is the same in Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist, and Rango is ridiculous (regardless of what you think of those performances).

    There are certainly actors who consistently pick crappy, paycheck-y, or low-rent projects when they could be doing better work. Downey, yes, seems far guiltier of it than Depp. Post Iron Man, he’s done three other movies as Iron Man; two as Sherlock Holmes; one serious Oscar-y movie that didn’t happen (and I didn’t see: The Soloist); and one Todd Phillips comedy (plus the very funny Ben Stiller comedy that was shot before Iron Man hit). He’s good in most of them, but it’s a shame he hasn’t used his clout to mix in a passion project or two instead of just collecting franchises. Depp, again regardless of what you think of the results, totally has done this. The Rum Diary was obviously not a calculated commercial play. I mean, Tropic Thunder and Iron Man show that you can do interesting work in a mainstream framework, but Downey’s post-08 choices have gotten a bit monotonous.

    But for the most part, actors don’t just do amazing, film-nerd-approved movie after film-nerd-approved movie. That’s just the reality of how the business works and how movies turn out. I do wonder if the tendency of DiCaprio, Clooney, Damon, and Pitt to take on mostly artistically interesting projects has spoiled some people, expecting that all actors can afford to do this — or that there are enough of those roles to go around.

  29. Agree with those that say Depp hasn’t really had a significant change in his career choices since Pirates other than the terrible decision to continue producing those films.

    “Public Enemies” is much better, IMO, than either “Donnie Brasco” or “Blow.” “Donnie Brasco” is sort of listless short of a nice performance by Pacino. “Blow” is basically a “Goodfellas/Scarface” mash up that while sort of entertaining is far from some great achievement. “Public Enemies” has Mann’s gorgeous photography and kinetic robbery sequences, a classic Depp movie star performance in a Bogart sort of way, and Cottiard burning up the screen.

    I think a lot of people’s issues with current Depp work has more to do with Burton overrelying on CG and going back to the same well again and again. “Alice” was sugary garbage, but “Charlie” was noticeably better, both though have a very similar visual aesthetic though that make the two films sort of meld together.

    I actually enjoyed “The Rum Diary” more than the godawful “Fear and Loathing” which completely lost the message of Thompson’s book because of Gilliam’s fixation with the hallucionary sequences.

  30. I also feel like Burton’s CG-ified aesthetic in Charlie and Alice makes them both pretty different from a lot of his other work, for better or for worse. Everyone makes the same hacky Hot Topic Goth Lite All the Same jokes, but does Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with its psychedelic colors and cartoonized sets, really look the same as Sleepy Hollow, with its more tactile Hammer-style sets and brooding gothic mood?

    I understand disliking the former, but calling it the same as Edward Scissorhands or Sleepy Hollow or Batman Returns seems pretty simple-minded.

  31. First off this collaboration needs a time out. They’re sacrificing organic quirkiness for hitting all four quadrant demos, Sweeney Todd being the exception. Depp just doesn’t look scary. He looks like a Robert Pattinson’s distant cousin or something. The tackiness is too overt. everyone looks like they’re gloating “hey we’re in a Tim Burton movie — aren’t we weird, love us.” Its manufactured kitchiness and it smells.

    If this is not a straight up horror movie I’m gonna be pissed!!! I don’t want bullshit whimsy or PG13 cgi porn, I want scary, I want suspense, if you could add some laughs that would be a bonus. if I don’t get that with this one, Depp and Burton are finished with me.

  32. Even when Burton/Depp go R (Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd) you cannot escape the weird. There Will Be Camp.

    Nice to see Michelle Pfeiffer getting work, getting tired of Bonham Carter being in all of these.

    thevisceral – nice reference

  33. Both Burton and Depp said they are fans of the original series, but looking at what we have been permitted to see so far, it doesn’t look good. Depp barely resembles Jonathan Frid’s portrayal of Barnabas. His paleness and overly long fingers and nails are a turn off. Why is there so much secrecy with this movie? Too few photos have been released and the movie comes out in May and we still are waiting for a trailer to appear. What is Burton afraid of that he doesn’t want us to get any advance info on this film?

  34. I think this version of Barnabas Collins is “ok.” I do think that there is a little too much pale makeup. I think the paleness of the character and the fingernails should come in when he is about to feed on someone. Other than that, I think his character should look normal. I do think that Jonathan Frid’s version of Barnabas will be hard to beat because it’s a classic of course. Johnny Depp is awesome, and he always seems to sprinkle a little magic on his characters, and he makes them his own. But where is the trailer?! I don’t know why it isn’t out by now…

  35. Speaking as part of that generation that used to run home from school every day to watch DS, I can only say that if you’re under 40, you really can’t appreciate the impact that show had on us. It’s no coincidence that it’s the only daytime drama in history to have two (now three) feature films spun off, the only one to go into syndication, the only one to be released on DVD (all 1000+ episodes), the only one to inspire fan conventions, and the only one to be revived for prime-time. It is a sui generis brand and institution, and the Burton film could be a blockbuster (TWILIGHT for old people, as I’ve been calling it) if Warners wasn’t dicking around so much with the marketing. An awful lot of money is going to be left on the floor if they don’t get their asses in gear pronto.

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  37. Albert – I agree. Downey’s Oscar appearance just reeked of smugness. Of course given his box office status, nobody’s going to say no to him or reject any of his brilliant ideas for Oscar skits etc.

  38. interesting observation about Ethan Hawke. I’d guess that because Hawke isn’t the boxoffice draw that Depp is, no one cares if he does vampire films (Daybreakers) or Len Wiseman remakes of Schwarzenegger films (Total Recall).

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