New ‘Dark Shadows’ TV Trailer With Alice Cooper; Screenwriter on Trailer Response

Published 3 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 6:13 pm,

dark shadows johnny depp1 New Dark Shadows TV Trailer With Alice Cooper; Screenwriter on Trailer Response

After months of having to sustain ourselves with still frames from the Dark Shadows movie, we’ve finally gotten to see some actual footage from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s mix of Gothic drama and camp. While most people who are unfamiliar with the original 1960s TV series seemed to enjoy the film’s overly jokey trailer, longtime Dark Shadows¬†fans were (by and large) quite vocal about their displeasure with Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith’s approach to adapting the original show.

What appears to be a new TV promo for Dark Shadows (one identical to the first trailer, save for a new coda featuring Heavy Metal icon Alice Cooper) has since made its way online. Meanwhile, Smith has offered his thoughts on the mixed reaction to the film’s official trailer.

Dark Shadows revolves around Barnabas Collins (Depp), an 18th century playboy-turned vampire who awakens after two centuries of slumber to discover his once magnificent estate and family have succumbed to disarray and dysfunction. His subsequent attempts to restore the Collins clan’s honor are continually foiled by the witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) – a scorned ex-lover and the very sorceress who cursed Barnabas to become a creature of the night.

First, have a look at the new Dark Shadows preview below:

If you take a quick look around the internet, you’ll notice a sharp divide between people who like the zany tone and colorful look of the Dark Shadows footage revealed so far – and others who are crying foul, pointing out that the original TV series is a much more somber and serious supernatural soap opera, where the “camp” is mostly the result of limited production values (and not an intentional artistic choice).

EW caught up with Smith at the 2012 WonderCon this past weekend, where the screenwriter and author of such titles as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter admitted to being somewhat surprised by the response to the trailer. He went on to say that the Dark Shadows movie actually has “a very straightforward, dour, gothic feeling” at times, but is overall meant to be more of a whimsical viewing experience.

Smith also offered the following, with regards to why he and Burton chose to approach the Dark Shadows mythos the way they have:

“… [If] we made a movie that was strictly just for the hard core fans, I worry that it would exclude other people who might not want to then experience ‘Dark Shadows’¬†from a complete fresh standpoint. So what we tried to have those elements in the movie that would really pay respect to the original series, to the origin stories, to the characters, their motives, to the idea of this as a real family story, and a gothic story, and something that would make Dan Curtis proud. And yet we wanted to open it up, because we wanted people to not be frightened of it. We want people to come and enjoy it as something completely new.”

michelle pfeiffer dark shadows movie image 570x320 New Dark Shadows TV Trailer With Alice Cooper; Screenwriter on Trailer Response

The Collins family and their servants in 'Dark Shadows'

The way Smith is describing the Dark Shadows movie makes it sound like a horror-comedy more along the lines of Beetlejuice, where the overall mood could be best described as “absurdist” (a term Smith has used before) rather than only funny and/or scary, depending on the scene. Considering that’s the sort of Burton flick fans tend to love the most, that bodes well for anyone who doesn’t really have a strong attachment to the original Dark Shadows TV show – and, let’s be honest, that’s probably going to be the majority of folk who end up seeing this movie.

Dark Shadows hits theaters around the U.S. on May 11th, 2012.

Source: RuTube, Entertainment Weekly

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  1. Thank you SO MUCH for enlightening me as to how your mother feels about Dark Shadows. It really doesn’t have any bearing at all on my opinion, but thank you for it, nonetheless.

    I wonder, though, what’s her opinion on people who direct snarky comments to total strangers on random websites? I’d ask her about that during your next conversation, if I were you.

    And FYI, I clearly stated that I was a fan of the 90s remake, and not the original, which you so cavalierly refer to as “pretty corny soap opera.” If that’s how you feel about it, then you CAN’T understand and certainly DON’T respect the fans of the original. But that’s okay because now Tim Burton has given you your own version of Dark Shadows, so you don’t need to concern yourself with what came before it. He didn’t. So I wouldn’t expect anything more from his fan base.

    • You’re very welcome. ^_^ I’m very thankful to have someone so knowledgeable in classic cinema and TV who was able to give me a fresh perspective. Practically everyone in here is basically saying “I’m a FAN and I HATE this” while my mom was familiar with the show and a fan for a few episodes and is actually INTERESTED for the movie.” Something I thought was worth mentioning.

      Oh I do respect the fans who are upset, I don’t have respect for hipsters who attack “mainstream” taste and tout themselves as superior because of it. It really torques my jaw. It’s the only reason I really replied to YOUR post. Pat yourself on the back there buddy and get yourself another smoothie. I’m making myself one later :)

      I mean, my mother compared this movie to the Dan Aykroyd Dragnet movie of the 80s in the way it’s taking something serious but making something goofy and comical out of it. So I can very much see WHY people are upset, even though I haven’t seen the original.

      Vampires, nor soap operas, are my cup of tea, so I probably won’t see the original. Although thanks for pointing out the 90s version, I completely missed that, my bad. I am still interested in catching this movie with an unbiased view and see how it stands up on its own. Maybe not in theaters, but catch it at some point for sure.

      • With all due respect… being a fan for a few episodes is not really the same thing as being a fan for over 40 years. There’s a HUGE difference.

        So I’m now a “hipster” who doesn’t like anything “mainstream?” Wow! Really? It’s fascinating how you seem to think you have me all summed up based on a few posts about Dark Shadows on a website. Oh well. Think whatever makes you happy.

        In any case, the issue here has nothing to do with me, or hipsters, or disliking (or liking) whatever people choose to classify as “mainstream” these days. Tim Burton would hardly qualify as mainstream anyway. In fact, he’s exactly the kind of thing real hipsters go for.

        The issue here is that Tim Burton likes to take characters and stories that are beloved by many for decades and force them to fit within his narrow-minded vision in an effort to claim them as his own and make them his next Edward Scissorhands. He’s not creative enough to step outside of his own little world and come up with many original ideas, so he rips them off of other people and repackages them with his same, old, tired, recycled style and pretends like he’s doing something innovative. His sick fascination with seeing Johnny Depp’s face painted white is getting as hackneyed as the style and casting of his films.

        There’s nothing wrong with trying to reinvent something. Who knew Joss Whedon could revive Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wind up with a really good musical episode out of it? Totally unexpected. But Joss Whedon has a skill that Tim Burton doesn’t… his reinvention actually makes things better. Not worse.

  2. Well I finally watched the Dark Shadows movie and I loved it! This coming from a die-hard, running home from school to watch the original series when I was 10 years old!I think it did a great job at the beginning to set the stage for people who never saw Dan Cutis’ original series and to refresh the memories of 40 years ago. About 15 years ago the re-ran the whole TV series and I Taped many of the episodes. Seeing the Movie has got my “blood-up” to dig out the VHS tapes and watch them all over again. I’ll comment again in about2 years after I watch them all!