Dark comedy: Depp, Burton team up for 'Dark Shadows' European premiere in London
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Dark comedy: Depp, Burton team up for 'Dark Shadows' European premiere in London

LONDON – Johnny Depp’s gothic comedy “Dark Shadows” is creeping into London for its European premiere.

The star joined director Tim Burton and co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green and Chloe Moretz on the red carpet in the British capital Wednesday night. The movie hits U.K. cinemas Friday.

For Depp, it was the eighth time he’s teamed up with Burton, who keeps things “fresh.”

“It’s always new, it’s always different, so it feels like the first time every time,” he said. “He just keeps getting better and better as a filmmaker and as an artist.”

“Dark Shadows” is based on the American cult classic TV series. It centres on Barnabas Collins (Depp) — a wealthy man who is turned into a vampire by a witch (Green) and then buried alive. Some 200 years later he is unearthed by a construction crew and suddenly finds himself back in his insular Maine hometown in 1972.

A confused Barnabas discovers that his descendants have lost the wealth his family once had.

Pfeiffer said the film version is very different.

“Our movie isn’t all that reflective really of the original series,” she said. “It’s more of an homage really, but Tim has a very distinct stamp on this and it’s really more of a Tim Burton movie.”

Burton was a huge fan of the TV show, which is why he jumped at the chance to adapt it for the big screen.

“It was a soap opera on in the day that had witches, ghosts and vampires, so it was a weird thing … especially at that time when there was not a lot of cable and stuff,” he explained. “We’d run home from school and watch it and it was the combination of that it was just such a weird, serious supernatural soap opera that made it intriguing.”

As with the TV show, Burton kept the story in the early 1970s, which meant the cast had to look the part.

For Pfeiffer, who plays Barnabas’ descendant, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, embracing the fashion of the time was fun.

“I love the hair, the makeup, the shoes, I love all of it — for women,” she said. “For men, I don’t think it is a great period. It’s not good for men.”

But Bonham Carter, who stars as the family psychiatrist, wasn’t as much of a fan of the 70s look, describing it as “not the most flattering era.”

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