Tim Burton Talks DARK SHADOWS and FRANKENWEENIE; Gives Update on BEETLEJUICE Sequel

     January 12, 2012

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We recently brought you a new image from Tim Burton’s adaptation of the cult classic TV series Dark Shadows, and now we have quite a few words from the director on a few of his upcoming projects. He’s currently in post-production on Dark Shadows, which tells the story of a vampire (played by Johnny Depp) who attempts to reintegrate with his descendants after being buried for 200 years. In addition to talking about the setting, tone, and characters of Dark Shadows, Burton gave an update on the Beetlejuice sequel that Seth Grahame-Smith is writing and revealed that they’ll be testing an IMAX version of Frankenweenie. Hit the jump for all the details.

In an extended interview with MTV, Burton talked about the tone he was trying to capture with Dark Shadows:

“It’s got such a strange vibe. And it’s not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You’re trying to do a weird soap opera… Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn’t, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what Dark Shadows was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama… It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn’t really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone.”

The director revealed that due to the fact that the cast arrived at different times, there wasn’t an opportunity to rehearse in order to get the vibe right. However, a couple days before shooting Burton gathered the entire cast together to take “family portrait” sort of photo (presumably this picture), and he says that helped immensely in order to set the tone.

dark-shadows-tim-burton-michelle-pfieffer-jonny-lee-miller-set-photo-01Burton said that Dark Shadows mainly takes place in 1972, but flashes back to the 1700s before Depp’s character is buried. The director also revealed that the film would implement “a tiny bit” of time travel (as the TV series did). Burton cautioned that time travel won’t be utilized too much, and hinted that it wasn’t his favorite aspect of the show.

In addition to Dark Shadows, Burton also talked about one of his most beloved films: Beetlejuice A Beetlejuice sequel has been rumored for years, and in September Warner Bros. set Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author (and Dark Shadows screenwriter) Seth Grahame-Smith to begin work on a “reboot”. When asked if he’s considering doing another Beetlejuice film, Burton responded enthusiastically:

“Yes. I love that character, and Michael [Keaton] is so great in it. I always think about how great and fun that character was, so I just said to [Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter writer] Seth [Grahame-Smith], ‘If you have some idea about it, go for it, and then I’ll look at it freshly.’ In the past, I tried some things, but that was way back when. He seemed really excited about it.”

frankenweenie-imageSo it sounds like Burton is hands-off on the development process until a draft of the script is finished. It’s nice to hear that he’s not completely opposed to the idea of a follow-up, and I would sincerely hope that Keaton would return should Burton take a liking to Grahame-Smith’s script. Furthermore, given the fact that he’s talking up Keaton I’m inclined to believe that Grahame-Smith is working on a sequel rather than a reboot. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.

In addition to Dark Shadows, Burton is also releasing the stop-motion animated film Frankenweenie this year. The pic is based on Burton’s 1984 short film of the same name, but this new version is feature-length, stop-motion, and 3D. The director revealed that they’re getting ready to do a test for Frankenweenie in IMAX, so it may be coming to the big, big screen once it hits theaters.

If you’re a fan of Burton, I highly suggest you check out the full interview over at MTV. He’s pretty candid and open, and it makes for a good read. Dark Shadows opens May 11th and Frankenweenie hits theaters October 5th.

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