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Johnny Depp's true 'Dark Shadows' vampire revealed! -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

Photo by Leah Gallo

Behold the real visage of Johnny Depp’s vampire from Dark Shadows!

Last week, long-range paparazzi shots of the actor wearing ghostly white makeup, large sunglasses and a pulled down fedora made fans of the original 1966-71 supernatural soap opera bristle nervously, with complaints he looked simply too strange.

Nevermind that he’s playing a 200-year-old vampire, which is strange enough.

As you can see from this cast shot, Depp’s bloodsucking pater familias Barnabas Collins actually borrows heavily from the aged-little boy look of original Dark Shadows star Jonathan Frid — not that anyone would be happy to see this guy show up as your prom date either.

Still, this official First Look may reassure those die-hard fans of the original series, memorably offbeat ABC daytime drama about a vampire whose extended family are bedeviled by ghosts, witches, and other gothic woes.

Depp, who fought for years to make this movie, is one of those fans. “I do remember, very vividly, practically sprinting home from school in the afternoon to see Jonathan Frid play Barnabas Collins,” the actor says. “Even then, at that age, I knew — this has got to be weird.”

Weird certainly sums up this particular family portrait — a shot director Tim Burton, who also obsessed over Dark Shadows as a boy, staged in the early days of production.

“I remember seeing a group photograph of the cast of the original series,” he tells EW. “For me it captured the weird Dark Shadows vibe in a single image. I had a brief window of opportunity to have our cast present at the same time, the day before principle photography began. We decided to stage a similar picture instead of rehearsing, to see if we captured the Dark Shadows feeling.”

Here’s who those family members are, one by one. READ FULL STORY

New 'Beetlejuice' movie in the works at Warner Bros.

Beetlejuice-poster

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetleju–!

Not so fast. Everyone’s favorite “Ghost with the Most” isn’t going to appear again that easily, but fans of Tim Burton’s 1988 weird-fest will be curious to learn that a new movie is being hatched, though the details are sketchy at this point. Warner Bros. announced to Deadline a production deal with KatzSmith — the company made up of producer/writers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith — to make Beetlejuice 2, or Beetlejuice Begins, or whatever form the new movie takes will be crafted by them.

Reps for the pair say it’s too early to characterize the form the movie might take, or whether the original cast Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, and Alec Baldwin will be involved, but it will not be a remake.

Given Grahame-Smith’s strong relationship with Burton, it’s likely the filmmaker will be involved in Beetlejuice‘s resurrection.

READ FULL STORY

John Lasseter on Pixar's early days -- and how 'Toy Story' couldn't have happened without Tim Burton

The Ichiro Suzuki of Hollywood, Pixar so far has batted 11-for-11 in feature film hits, generating $6.6 billion in worldwide grosses and 40 Oscar nominations. Woody and Buzz Lightyear to WALL•E and Lightning McQueen have yielded even more in ancillary revenue for parent company Disney from toys, clothes, DVDs, and theme-park attractions. Pixar has 1,200 employees so there’s a lot of credit to go around, but no single person has been more vital to the Pixar success story than chief creative officer John Lasseter. The 54-year-old, Hawaiian shirt-wearing filmmaker has directed five of Pixar’s features, including this month’s Cars 2. He’s also shepherded every Pixar production, and was the sole character animator when the company was founded in 1986.

For the studio’s 25th anniversary, Lasseter agreed to reflect on all 12 of Pixar’s features. His memories can be found in this week’s new issue (on stands June 17). But the animation wiz also discussed Pixar’s early days of struggle (when it made short films as a means to showcase its bulky graphics computer), his groundbreaking short films, and how director Tim Burton unintentionally paved the way for Toy Story. READ FULL STORY

Johnny Depp on 'Dark Shadows': Can a vampire get corn stuck in his fangs?

“What I’d like to do with him is maybe stretch him out a bit — in the extreme. Just ever-so-slightly take him a little further, beyond what may be considered… corny.”

Wait, corny?

That’s Johnny Depp talking about his upcoming role as centuries-old, lovelorn vampire Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s new take on Dark Shadows.

Remember Dark Shadows? READ FULL STORY

Johnny, Matt, Leo, or RPattz: Who's your man?

green-zone-remember-meImage Credit: (left) Jonathan Olley; Myles AronowitzFor the record, I swear I will never again write the word “RPattz.” Blame it on the dizzying effects of the storm that turned the East Coast upside down on Saturday, ripping giant trees out by their roots. But you know what I mean: Depp, Damon, DiCaprio, and Pattinson all wanted you to choose them this past weekend, offering a quartet of movies that, taken together, might be read as the resting pulse of serious, mainstream American cinema. Which is why I’ve always had a particular fondness for springtime wide releases: They’re so content to be what they are. There’s no pretense, no great expectations. Spring movies don’t rattle their chains and bellow like summer joy-ride blockbusters; they don’t hustle for prestige (with the best of manners, of course) like autumnal Oscar bait. What you see is what you get.

And by that measure, Alice in Wonderland, Green Zone, Shutter Island, and Remember Me comprise a pretty classy assortment pack. (For the mainstream comedy alternative, add She’s Out Of My League.) Here’s Tim Burton’s family fairytale made by one of the medium’s most inventive visual stylists, starring one of the medium’s most interesting chameleons; Paul Greengrass’ distinctive action pic, incorporating essential information about current events; Martin Scorsese’s lavish construction of a big old spooky junky thriller; and dewy romantic mush that ends with the kind of howling tonal misstep that makes bad movies interesting.

When you look it at it that way: Cool! (And no one is angling for an award!)

So who was your man this weekend?

'Alice in Wonderland' is a huge hit, but is Tim Burton struggling to hold onto his creepy-cool imagination?

johnny-deppImage Credit: Ed Wood: Everett Collection; Alice: DisneyBack in the mid-’90s, I was having a drink with a prominent filmmaker who had risen up in the indie movement, and we started to talk about Tim Burton, whose career at that point, with the recently released Mars Attacks! (a bomb — though seriously underrated in my book), was headed toward a tricky moment of truth. The filmmaker, who was dealing with a few struggles of his own, smiled and gave me a line about Burton that he’d obviously thought of, and used a number of times, in the past. He said: “What’s a director supposed to think when his best movie is his biggest failure and his worst movie is his biggest hit?”

That line was just glib enough to echo and resonate, even if it wasn’t entirely true. The two Burton films he was talking about were Ed Wood (1994), the great, one-of-a-kind biopic of the legendarily awful poverty-row movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. — a movie that I, too, consider to be the highlight of Burton’s career, though one whose reputation dramatically outstripped its popularity; and Batman (1989), the industry-shaking earthquake of a comic-book smash that was really the first, trend-setting example — before Steven Soderbergh, Sam Raimi, Christopher Nolan, etc. — of a director like Burton, all but defined by the flukiness of his personal vision, crossing the corporate channel to make a megabucks studio blockbuster.

Let me state right up front that I don’t agree with the aesthetically dismissive assessment of Batman. I think it’s a flawed but still marvelous movie — a very grand gem of gothic baroque kitsch, with a performance by Jack Nicholson that’s more than just one actor’s over-the-top, zany-hambone showcase. Even though he was officially playing the film’s villain, what Nicholson, as the Joker, expressed is a playfully demonic, bats-in-his-belfry joy that linked him, in spirit, to every great, bent Burton hero, from Pee-wee Herman to Beetlejuice to (one year later) Edward Scissorhands.

Nevertheless, I think that my director acquaintance was onto something. He was, in a way, almost anticipating the trouble that a filmmaker like Burton would have, in the new franchise-happy Hollywood, attemping to bring his vision to full, prankishly surreal flower in a mainstream context. READ FULL STORY

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