You know, the one with all the creepy, weird characters and the mix of Hot Topic 13-year-old Goth macabre and acid-trip color palettes? Yeah, that would be inimitable Johnny Depp. And I know what you’re thinking: “How is that possible? Burton is known for his constant, grating casting of Daniel Day-Lewis, constantly sticking him in absurd costumes that overwhelm any ‘acting’ that might have been going on and more or less ruining his reputation through sheer overuse.” I know. Poor Daniel Day-Lewis. But this time, it’s Johnny’s turn.
In all seriousness, though, when is Burton going to let Johnny rest in peace? Did Burton witness Depp in the act of committing a murder? Is this the penance that needs to be paid to keep Burton from going to the cops and revealing Depp’s sordid past? Go to jail, Johnny. This isn’t worth it. Don’t let the man with the fork-in-electrical-socket hair win. You’re better than this.
Now, I don’t know much about the film itself, but if you’ll allow me to make a few assumptions, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be some spoOoky characters, and Depp delivering his lines with this peculiar but, by now, predictable mix of quiet curiosity and pseudo-goth strangeness. There is probably going to be some overwrought set design, lots of furniture and wall decor with curlicues and other classic-Victorian-on-mushrooms-style, and a bunch of smaller characters that litter the film, serving as nothing more than moving set pieces to add to the general “wonkiness,” so to speak. And there will be makeup. Cascades, rivers, a veritable ocean of makeup — both cosmetic and special effect — so much so that you’ll find yourself in the theater vaguely asking yourself, “Wait, is that… anyone other than Johnny Depp?” only to shake your head in reassurance when you realize that it is just, in fact, Johnny Depp with a metric ton of makeup on. Phew.
Oh, and of course, there is undoubtedly going to be The Patron Saint of Nepotism, Helena Bonham Carter. Sure, she’s Tim Burton’s wife, but that doesn’t mean she’s not an awesome actress. I mean, she goes from playing spooky woman who talks to Johnny Depp while having delightfully absurd hair, to spooky woman who talks to Johnny Depp while having slightly less delightfully absurd hair. I often find myself thinking, “I’m so glad that Tim Burton chose to look at Helena every morning when he wakes up, because now we get the pleasure of doing it, too. He is truly doing the Lord’s work.” If only every film could feature her pre-packaged kookiness, the world would be a better place. (Don’t tell me you didn’t go into near cardiac arrest when you saw her range in the Harry Potter films. Black corset, ridiculous hair, dark makeup, macabre settings, and carrying a wand? This woman knows no limits.)
Now we can only hope that people go see this film in endless droves, hordes upon hordes of loyal viewers who haven’t yet seen a couch that wouldn’t look better if it were candy-cane striped and covered in spiderwebs. We can only hope that this film makes so much money that Hollywood literally gives Burton carte blanche to turn every beloved series ever into a vague hour and a half of scary-looking clocks and weird hairstyles. We really owe it to ourselves as a culture, as a society, as human beings.
Congratulations, Burton, on becoming the new M Night Shyamalan. We knew you could do it.