Another new month and another new batch of fresh movies and TV shows on Netflix are available for streaming. While titles like four of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, three of the Terminator films, and Zack Snyder’s 300, are now available on Netflix a pair of two very divisive movies starring Johnny Depp have also somehow appeared on the service as well. Not only are they Johnny Depp-starring remakes but they’re also Depp/Tim Burton collaborations, we refer sadly to 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and 2012’s Dark Shadows (Burton’s Depp-free Big Fish is also now streaming too).
In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, though Depp and Burton were seemingly aiming for something a little closer to Roald Dahl’s original book rather than an outright remake, was met with derision. Depp took on the part of candy maker Willy Wonka for the film, delivering a larger-than-life performance than Gene Wilder did in the original 1970s feature film. Wilder even gave a statement on the film being remade, at one point calling its existence an “insult.”
“It’s just some people sitting around thinking, ‘How can we make some more money?’ Why else would you remake Willy Wonka? I don’t see the point of going back and doing it all over again,” Wilder told The Telegraph back in 2004. “I like Johnny Depp and I appreciate that he has said on the record that my shoes would be hard to fill. But I don’t know how it will all turn out. Right now, the only thing that does take some of the edge off this for me is that Willy Wonka’s name isn’t in the title.”
With Dark Shadows, Depp took on the role of vampire Barnabas Collins, originally played by Jonathan Frid in the original long-running soap opera. Frid tragically passed away before Depp and Burton’s Dark Shadows movie was released but when his death was reported, Depp revealed that Frid “generously passed the torch of Barnabas to me,” calling him as elegant and magical as I had always imagined.”
The Dark Shadows remake was not as immediately put down by some fans as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the critical consensus for it on Rotten Tomatoes reads: “The visuals are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with less success than other Johnny Depp collaborations.”
Both films were marginal hits at the box office though with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory bringing in $475 million worldwide and Dark Shadows nabbing $250 million globally.
Like the headline says, if you’re interested in watching either of these divisive experiments, Netflix is your destination.