It’s a Groundhog Day miracle, y’all.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have been pulling together the pieces for the upcoming film adaptation of that old campy, vampy soap opera, “Dark Shadows.” Now just because your best friend and domestic partner are both actors, doesn’t mean you have to cast them in every single film you make — but indeed, Tim Burton loves his frequent collaborators. So while we wait for news that She-Who-Is-Already-Dressed-And-Coiffed-For-The-Part is going to play matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, we can take solace in this latest news that Burton is capable of thinking outside his dark, dreary and a little too well-used casting box.
Deadline reports that Jackie Earle Haley (“Human Target,” A Nightmare on Elm Street — Hey, how cool is that? JD was in the original.) is up for the role of Willie Loomis, a con man and drifter who takes up residence at Collinwood estate. Loomis is the character who inadvertently releases vampire, Barnabas Collins (Depp) and is forced into evil servitude. Haley has mastered the art of the bad guy with a soul (see Little Children, Watchmen) and I’d love to see him take this role.
Meanwhile, Australian actress Bella Heathcoate (“Neighbors”) is in discussions to play governess and Collins’ romantic interest, Victoria Winters.
While I’m hoping for Dark Shadows to keep a bit of the original camp, it would be good to see Burton go seriously dark and dangerous (as opposed to silly or goofy) and I think Haley would be an excellent turn in that direction. It will be interesting to see where the film goes in terms of storyline. The original had elements of Frankenstein and time travel, ghosts — heck, even a parallel universe. Maybe he could send Helena there.