I’m really on the fence about Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows remake. My introduction was actually the 1990 version, which I absolutely adored. (True Blood fandom origin — solved.) So, as someone who fell for a remake — and was called blasphemer by all her 1960s Dark Shadows adoring friends — I always secretly wanted someone to give it another shot.
I just don’t know if that someone was Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. But I am trying to remain open-minded.
This new bit of casting probably fuels my interest more than anything, though. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Jackie Earle Haley is in talks to play Willie Loomis, the sleazy con artist who sets up residence in the Collins mansion, and accidentally reawakens Barnabas. Instead of getting his hands on the ancestral riches, Willie ends up being the vampire’s servant a’la Renfield. It’s been proven again and again that Haley can do wonders with the smallest of roles, and be the best thing in any given movie, so this is fantastic news. It’s also a good sign that Burton and Depp are breaking out of their usual comfort zone in terms of supporting cast members. If we don’t see all of Sleepy Hollow reusing their cravats, I’d be thrilled.
DHD also reports that Bella Heathcoate is the top choice for Victoria Winters, the young governess of the Collins and the narrator of the story. I’m completely unfamiliar with her work, but she’s been a name that’s popped up for a number of tender young heroines lately. And she fits the Burton doll face aesthetic to a T: