The first trailer for director Tim Burton’s big screen adaption of the cult 60s Gothic soap opera classic Dark Shadows has been released, and I think it is going to annoy most of the original series’s fans. Going by this trailer, Burton has turned the sudsy story of an 18th century man (Johnny Deppp) cursed by a spurned lover to become a vampire only to be entombed for two centuries before being re-released in the late 20th century into what appears to be a wacky fish-out-of-water/man-out-of-time comedy. For comparison’s sake, I’ve included in the trailer for the first of the two Dark Shadows films that were spun off from the original series featuring the show’s original cast.
I’m of two minds on this. On a purely visual level, it is definitely a step up from the muddy and dreadful looking Alice In Wonderland. But tonally, outside of the trailer’s first 40 seconds or so which seems to nail what the film should be like, it looks like a complete misfire. Is Warner Brothers marketing just pulling out some isolated comedic moments in order to try to sell the film as Johnny Depp playing another goofy character a la the Pirates Of The Caribbean series or has Burton decided to go the same route that the recent big screen Green Hornet and 21 Jump Street films did and take something that was done fairly seriously and turn it into a comedy? If that is the case, then as a Green Hornet fan, Dark Shadows fans out there have my sympathy.
Dark Shadows stars Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jackie Earle Haley. It opens on May 11.