Saturday, May 12, 2012

“Dark Shadows” team: Child abuse a good mood-lightener

Posted By on Sat, May 12, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Hey, Tim Burton: Your pet project is tanking all over this great land! What are you going to do now?

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“I’m going to ruin yet another beloved property -- this time one of my own! But first, I’m going to gratuitously remind everybody that one of my old collaborators is a sex offender!”

Surprising absolutely no one, Burton’s Dark Shadows (see review) is a total dog, expected to take in less than $30 million in its opening weekend. Not only that, but exhibitors are already pulling the picture from screens to get more play out of the still-mighty Avengers.

But that’s not stopping Burton and Johnny Depp from planning a further assault on their audience’s carefully guarded memories. Burton is apparently going ahead with plans to lens a Beetlejuice sequel -- which would really be something to look forward to, if not for the little detail that he’s totally forgotten whatever he once knew about making movies.  Michael Keaton is interested in reprising the lead role (honestly, what else is he doing these days?), and Burton’s latest corporeal chew toy, writer Seth Grahame-Smith, is going to pen the screenplay. That is, he’s doing it if his upcoming Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter in some way redeems him in the eyes of the industry after his participation in the 113-minute Hindenburg crash that is Dark Shadows.

The real groaner here is that Burton, who can barely take a shit these days without involving Depp in some way, shape or fashion, is seriously considering adding the latter to the cast of Beetlejuice 2. (He’s considering adding Depp, that is; not a bowel movement.)

And what role would Depp be playing in the sequel, pray tell?

“You’ll be playing Jeffrey Jones,” Burton snarked to Depp in an interview with MTV.

“Yeah. I can play Jeffrey, I think,” Depp volleyed right back.

Wow. Just wow.

Now, you’d expect that MTV, being the font of all that was hip a quarter-century ago, would have immediately picked up on the ugliness of that remark. But in their online recap of the interview, they merely wondered if Burton meant that Depp would be playing the character Jeffrey Jones created in the original Beetlejuice, or if he would instead be portraying Jeffrey Jones himself. (What is this -- a Charlie Kaufman movie?)

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It took Perez Hilton to point out the should-have-been-obvious context of the “joke”: Jones, best known for playing the high-school principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, is a show-biz near-pariah who’s appeared in a grand total of one feature film since 2003, when he pleaded no contest to hiring a teenage boy to pose for sexually explicit photos.

Well, har-dee-har-har. There’s nothing like a little levity at the expense of an old chum with deep personal problems. Especially when said problems involved an innocent, underage victim who may have been scarred for life.

Listen up, Tim and Johnny: I wouldn’t be laughing at anybody else’s troubles right now. I know somebody who went to see Dark Shadows this morning, and the theater was being used for a motivational seminar.

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