Tuesday, October 2, 2012

John August's original vision for Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows comes to Blu Ray and DVD today ... so lets start the finger pointing!

While the film wasn't the commercial bomb the media is making it out to be, the latest collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton certainly didn't make the kind of money WB was hoping to earn from a summer blockbuster. Depp and Burton have been mum about the movie's middling success and cool critical reception, but original screenwriter John August insists the final product doesn't include much of his work.

"Dark Shadows, when it came to me, it was before Twilight had come out and before True Blood," August told Shock Til You Drop. "They said, 'Let's make a big gothic, vampire drama.' I pitched that and I wrote a Godfather-like saga of the Collins family and Barnabas was at the center of it all."

For those of us hoping for a serious interpretation of the property, it's a little difficult to read about the movie that almost-was. Just to rub salt in the wound, August goes on to say "I was excited to make that movie and, honestly, I think it's one of the best scripts I've written.  But I totally get why, at the time they went off to make it, they didn't make that version.  It was frustrating to see other things coming out doing what was there, like True Blood, but that's going to happen."

Granted, none of this means the film would have automatically been good. Movies are insanely difficult to make, but it sounds as if August's vision for the film would not have left such a bad taste in the mouths of fans.


Zahir Blue said...

Different people have different tastes. By my count there are now ten versions of DARK SHADOWS and each has its own flavor, its merits and flaws. One of these is by Tim Burton and (no surprise) looks like a Tim Burton film! I've enjoyed them all to some degree or other, mostly because I take each one as itself, judging them accordingly. Makes for a more enjoyable life.

Cousin Barnabas said...

You're absolutely right. My feelings about the movie have softened a bit over the last few months. I think it's a gorgeous movie and has a great cast ... it was just missing a finish script.

retzev said...

I'm in agreement. Sorta. My expectations were low going in, and I was fine with the way things turned out. But, oddly, as time goes on, and I think of the film less and less, the more disappointment I feel when I do think about it. The upcoming DVD/Blu release isn't helping, I think. Alas, I'll get over it again, and enjoy the hell out of that less than spectacular sounding disc when it comes out.

Long live DS.

Anonymous said...

Zahir, I'd love to hear what you consider the "ten versions" to be.

DavidXBrunt said...

Hmmm... could be fun.

1) The original telly version.
2) The Marilyn Ross novels.
3) The Gold Key Comics.
4) The daily comic serial.
5) The 60s movies.
6) The revival series.
7) The 2004 pilot.
8) ...let me think...
9) ...getting tough now...
10) The Burton/Depp joint.

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