So I just caught a fairly lengthy trailer for the upcoming Tim Burton/Johnny Depp Dark Shadows movie. Those who peruse my filmography may know that I wrote and produced a Dark Shadows pilot for Warner Brothers television back in 2004, working with E.R./Southland producer John Wells and series creator Dan Curtis. The pilot had an amazing cast, including Jessica Chastain, Martin Donovan, Blair Brown, Jenna Dewan and many others, but for a variety of unfortunate reasons WB decided not to go ahead with the series.
Even then Dan Curtis, who was in his 70's at the time (and has since passed away) was talking about Johnny Depp's interest in playing Barnabas Collins. Working with Dan on the pilot was quite an experience, one that would require more time to explain than I'm currently willing to invest, but suffice to say that he was a man of... great passion. And I wonder what he would have thought of Burton's clearly comic take on the material. Curtis was very possessive of the franchise (justifiably) with many definitive ideas on how a series should proceed. And I suspect none of those ideas would have involved disco music, a mirror ball gag, 70's music, and comedic moments like Baranbas tooth-brushing his fangs.
That said, I think the new movie looks pretty hilarious, a return to the Burton Beetlejuice era, so I'll be there. But I don't want to be around if there really is an afterlife and Dan C.'s there catching a matinee showing. I'm not sure the universe could take the sundering intensity of his reaction... (Or maybe he'd love it! What do I know?)