Wait, there's a chance Helena Bonham Carter might appear in a Tim Burton movie?

Oooooooh, the suspense.

At this point, one of the things that distinguishes Burton is the ensemble cast that he carries with him from film to film, and obviously his girlfriend, the talented and stone-cold weird Helena Bonham Carter, is a major part of that ensemble.  According to today's report, Carter is looking to play Dr. Julia Hoffman in "Dark Shadows," Burton's next movie.

If you're not familiar with "Dark Shadows," it was a very strange hybrid of supernatural family saga and straight-up soap opera, and according to Johnny Depp, the film will be a fairly faithful rendering of the series.  In the show, Dr. Hoffman was a blood disorder specialist who moves into Collinwood, the ancestral home of Barnabas Collins, the 200-year-old vampire that Depp will be playing.  Hoffman worked to find a way to cure Collins of his addiction to blood over the course of the show, and I'm guessing that will be a major part of the film if they're including the character.

Meanwhile, the genuinely exciting news is that Michelle Pfeiffer may be working with Burton again, playing Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who owns Collinwood.  It's not a lead, but what I love about Pfeiffer is how she is a secret freak.  Sure, she looks like a movie star and she's capable of doing very mainstream work, but when she works with certain filmmakers, she reveals real depths of eccentricity, and there is no better example of that than her work as Catwoman in "Batman Returns."  For my money, it's still the best Catwoman we've seen onscreen, and it's because Pfeiffer plays her as a raw nerve, all impulse and barely-restrained fury.

With Jackie Earle Haley as the Renfield-esque Willie Loomis and Eva Green onboard as a witch, "Dark Shadows" is shaping up as one of the most interesting casts for Burton since "Mars Attacks," and I sincerely hope there's a strong script in place that gives all of these performers something to do.

We'll see "Dark Shadows" in 2012.