It’s basically destiny that freako-king Tim Burton ever discovered Eva Green, the French goth gamine who haunts Showtime’s Penny Dreadful with a ghostly and voracious vulnerability. She is as delicate and fierce as any of his muses through the years—Lisa Marie, Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowski—and has the slightly macabre sensibilities that he requires.

In Burton’s Dark Shadows, though, Green played a vengeful blonde witch who slinked around a haunted mansion in a crimson cocktail dress; her role in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based on the 2011 Ransom Riggs book of the same name, looks more like Green and Burton getting down to brass tacks, developing the titular character as a dark-haired practitioner of secret, cool witchery.

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As Miss Peregrine, a governess and actual peregrine, she protects a menagerie of children with strange gifts—a girl for whom gravity does not function, another with a shark-toothed monster in the back of her head, a young boy with superhuman strength—and keeps them away from the normies who clearly wouldn’t know what to do with them. (Kill them, probably; normies always want to kill that which they don’t understand.) At the story’s center is a young boy by the name of Jacob Portman (Ender’s Game’s Asa Butterfield), whose gift isn’t revealed but whom is apparently tasked with protecting the freaks from a bunch of devil types who want to harm them—the kind of magical youth through which Burton finds a vessel for his creative storytelling. And this looks like it has the potential to be one of his best in years.


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