Sunday, January 8, 2012

'Dark Shadows' Trailer: Three Things We Want To See

From Eva Green's witch, Angelique, to what's really up with Dr. Hoffman, here are the top things we're itching to see.
By John Mitchell

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on the set of "Dark Shadows"
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

We are just five months away from the release of the hottest vampire movie that doesn't sparkle in the sunshine, and we're starting to get excited. Very excited.

But unlike the other major movies that have earned themselves a column here at MTV — "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Hunger Games" and "The Twilight Saga" — we are still waiting for a trailer for "Dark Shadows." And, well, we're starting to get pretty impatient.

So far, director Tim Burton has kept a tight lid on his vampire soap opera — only a few official pics from the set (and one much-discussed paparazzi shot of Johnny Depp in character as Barnabas Collins) have been released. But the new year should bring fresh blood. We know filming has wrapped and that things apparently went so well on set that Michelle Pfeiffer told MTV News while promoting "New Year's Eve" that working on "Dark Shadows" was "a dream job." Pfeiffer, who plays family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, added that she hopes the film does well so "we can do a bunch of them, because it was such a fantastic, creative group of people."

Whether that on-set camaraderie will translate into the campy big-screen spook-fest we're hoping for remains to be seen, and while we hope the trailer doesn't give too much away, here are a few things we're hoping to see when it arrives.

1. Eva Green in action as Angelique
Angelique Bouchard is the witch who turned Barnabas into a vampire in the late 1700s after their affair went sour. She's a woman with an axe to grind and has been haunting and cursing the Collins family ever since. So far, the only image we've seen of Green in character is the full cast shot, in which she stands in the background wearing modern clothes.

We hope the trailer gives us a taste of how the "Casino Royale" Bond girl is going to play the over-the-top villainess. This is a scenery-chewing role that any actress worth her salt would have a field day with. We have faith that the super sexy starlet will do it justice, but a little advance evidence would be nice. We want to see corsets, blood and maybe a voodoo doll or two.

2. A little insight into what Dr. Hoffman is up to
For us, one of the biggest mysteries of the film is exactly what role Helena Bonham Carter's Dr. Julia Hoffman will play in the shenanigans at Collinwood Mansion. The actress has described her character as "an alcoholic psychologist," and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith told Entertainment Weekly that Hoffman "has been there for years, working with David [Collins] but not making any progress. He still claims he sees ghosts and talks with his dead mother."

Grahame-Smith goes on to describe the character as "a woman with a lot of secrets herself" who is "interested in Barnabas in more than one way."

What no one has mentioned is Hoffman's role, in the original series, as a blood disorders specialist who attempts to cure Barnabas of his vampirism. We'll be watching this trailer very closely to see if HBC is carrying more vials than she is notepads.

3. Collinwood Mansion
We got a glimpse of the manor in the cast shot, with its Gothic windows and ancient-looking rugs, but we're excited to see the rest of the haunted mansion. Overlooking the Atlantic from Collinsport, Maine, the house contains a room that is a gateway to a parallel time, for goodness' sake. Given that so much of the action of the series takes place within the walls of the mansion, we're really hoping that Burton and his first-class team of art directors, set designers and cinematographers got it right and captured the regal horror of the place.

What will you be looking for in a "Dark Shadows" trailer? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me at @JohnMitchell83 with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!

Check out everything we've got on "Dark Shadows."

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