Hulu Removing Divisive Johnny Depp Movie Later This Week

Sometimes an outlandish project works, and sometimes it just doesn't. One of these failures is 2012's Dark Shadows, a bizarre film remake of the 1970s cult television show. While some diehard fans of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's collaborations enjoy the film's wild swings, most argue that it is a shadow of their more successful projects. If you're a completist, Dark Shadows is available to stream on Hulu until Dec. 31, but it will be leaving the streaming service in the new year.

In Dark Shadows, Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a dandy and nobleman who is cursed by a witch (Eva Green) to become a vampire. After being imprisoned for 2 decades, Collins returns to his family estate in the 1970s. There he faces his dysfunctional ancestors, plenty of secrets, and the witch who still wants to ruin his life. Dark Shadows also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jonny Lee Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, and Chloë Grace Moretz.

Dark Shadows was Burton and Depp's eighth film collaboration together, following Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, and Alice In Wonderland. However, it was easily their biggest failure. Dark Shadows only made $79 million domestically on a $150 million budget, although It was a bigger hit abroad and made $165 million internationally. It was also a critical failure, sitting at 35% on the Rotten Tomatoes review aggregate, with just a 46% audience score. 


In an interview with Collider, Burton explained that it was a challenge to adapt the soap opera tone of the original series to a feature film. "It's a tricky tone and we all recognize that. When we talked about Dark Shadows, part of its appeal was the weird nature of all the elements that went into it," Burton admitted. "It was very serious, but it was on in the afternoon, on a daily basis. There were certain reasons why we loved the show, but you couldn't necessarily adapt to a film. It was the weirdest challenge to get the acting tone and the soap opera nature of the tone. That's a weird thing to go for in a Hollywood movie. It's not like you can go to a studio and go, 'We want to do weird soap opera acting.' They go, 'Oh, great! Whatever that means.' That's why I was so grateful to all of the cast. Even the ones that didn't know the show, got into the spirit of it. What made it Dark Shadows was trying to capture the spirit of what the show was."