I hope the interesting Tim Burton is still in there somewhere, I really do. I can’t help but laugh though, when he lets some shit like this slip out of his mouth when talking about Johnny Depp to The Wrap…
“…we’ve always taken the tack of not working together just to work together. It’s got to be the right part, the right movie, all of that sort of thing.”
Right on, Mr. Burton.
Dark Shadows will of course be the eighth Burton flick to star Johnny Depp (and the seventh consecutive film to include Helena Bonham Carter), and it has already started filming- but apparently not in 3D. When asked, the filmmaker expressed an extremely reasonable opinion towards the format-
“I have no plans for that. I loved doing “Alice” in 3D. “Freankeweenie,” gonna do that in 3D. There’s people like, “Everything’s gonna be in 3D,” or “I hate 3D!” I think people should have a choice. I don’t think it should be forced on anybody. At the same time, it’s great, some of it. It’s like “Yes or no!? 3D! Yes or no?!” It’s like, well, you know, come on, whatever, some yes, some no.”
The only bad news here is that if the studio forces his hand, a conversion would be necessary. Of course, if you believe word around town, apparently 3D is dead and buried with the lower 3D returns of the last two sequel releases (Panda and Pirates both had less than 50% of their gross come from 3D- pack your bags now!), so there’s no real reason to fear studio pressure for such a thing. Regardless, it’s always good to know a filmmaker has been empowered with the choice to use a tool, rather than the directive to do so.
The director also spoke on the tone of the film, an issue that Elisabeth has expressed concern with, and apparently Burton hasn’t entirely figured it out yet himself.
“It’s been hard to kind of come here because I’m just starting, and it’s a weird tone and it’s a lot of actors and, you know, we’re not starting with the simple stuff; we’re sort of getting right in there. You like to kind of sneak up on it a little bit, but this one we just kind of slammed right into it.”
That’s kind of an easy statement to jump on and wax cynically about a director not understanding the film he’s making before he starts rolling, but anyone who has made a film or learned enough about the process to truly understand it would also know that this is the case with many good, great, or even classic films. You don’t always know what you have until you have it. However, it’s hard not to be concerned (insofar as I’d ever be concerned about a Burton film) that he doesn’t have a handle on the tone simply because that is such an important part of this piece. There’s a delicate balance to strike between camp, darkness, humor, and drama with a film like this. From me that comes simply from reading the synopsis of the film without having any familiarity with the show, so I can only image the fear it puts in the heart of an actual fan.
Again, I hope the interesting filmmaker still lies within Burton, and routine casting choices aside, maybe this twist on his wheelhouse will bring it out. Not counting on it, but maybe…
There’s more to read in that interview above, especially if you have any interest in Burton’s fine art showings.
Any Dark Shadows fans paying attention? What kind of tone do you think this thing needs to strike to have any chance at being worthwhile?
(via Latino Review)
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