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. the trailer actually made it look better then i thought it was gonna be, but then, i have never seen the tv series

    • i´ve watched the first episode from the70s . but i didn´t watched everything,because there was every 5 minutes a commercial for industry-soap. but it was also a rare thing with all the old commercials. i want to see this movie,because i´m a fan of burton´s gothic-atmosphere.

    • then go rent ‘house of dark shadows’ and then watch that insulting trailer again…you’ll understand why so many DS fans are upset….another Burton butchering of a classic….his reimagining might need some meds recalibration, instead.

      • Try to hava an open mind, and you might be a bit more receptive to new experiences. I raced home every afternoon to see the original Dark Shadows, and enjoyed it. But I am a fan of Burton’s work, and this looks to be a promising film!

  2. Dan Curtis would not be proud

    • Why does every generation seem to think they are so superior to those that went before? They always make fun of entertainment from the past that was so good that it has people still watching and enjoying it to this day. That’s more than can be said for modern entertainment.

      • My problem is I have an Uncle who’s the exact opposite. He turn his nose up at everything “new” and touts everything from his generation as superior.

        My mom put it like this: “There’s plenty of stuff from my generation that’s great. There’s a lot of stuff from my generation that’s crap. You can apply this to ANY generaion.”

        Thankfully, my mom knew how to raise us culturally. We were probably the only teens in the 90s who knew what The Prisoner or Akira Kurosawa was.

        • i am over 30, i found that there are so many good classic-movies at my time, but i like the new movies more today. the only thing that i found better from my time is the music(is it rock,hip-hop,jazz)whatever you want,it had more style and a message. but i´m a big fan from the movies nowerdays.

  3. My sister and I saw this the other night and loved it. We had no idea it was an old TV series. I’m just a fan of time/culture displacement humor, and this looks right up my alley.

    • that’s the point… “dark shadows” isn’t supposed to be funny…

  4. This movie could have been make exactly the same under a different name.
    The name and characters and skeletal plot details is all of Dark Shadows used here.
    In that sense the film is appropriating a series good name for strictly promotional purposes.

    • i agree… shame

  5. Pass. :( – Stark

  6. I’ll need to know more. Camp, if done correctly, can be good, or it can completely ruin a movie.

  7. great movie for new and old generation.horror pluses comedy is good.

  8. I’m a big fan of the old series and was very anxious to see this trailer. I was dissappointed at first but I see what Burton is trying to accomplish. Still it looks a little like Austin Powers with fangs.

  9. “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”

    Yes…I could honestly say this sums it up. Despite the displeasure, the film is on its way to do well it seems. Most comments I’ve read are rather positive, But that’s from the ones who aren’t familiar with the show….

  10. Here is an original song about Barnabas Collins. I think it does capture the “spirit” of the original character. Do you agree?

  11. if this gen laffs at even one of the lame jokes shown on the trailer…then yes, my gen is greater and the world is headed straight for hades

  12. Too bad Burton and Depp, with not a brain between them, took a masterful series like the original Dark Shadows, and turned it’s memory into toilet-paper trash! I just bought the entire series of the original Dark Shadows on DVD, as well as the mini-series reboot. I also have the VHS copies of House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. I will not spend a dime to get this insulting farce, but I will watch it once on Netflix, just to see how bad every minute of it is, then I will castigate it even more on every forum such as this one that I can find. I may even contact Burton and Depp and tell them to get a job making Slurpees at 7-11, because it is all they are fit for career-wise! I hope this bombs and sinks them; I’ve had it (wrecking Planet of the Apes, wrecking Lone ranger; they can be joined at 7-11 by Seth Rogan who wrecked Green Hornet, too!).

    • this is SO on the ball: while ‘planet of the apes’ was saved only by rick baker’s great prosthetic makeup, the lame script and landscape was SO lacking….it smelt like a bad, rotten banana peel beside the heston original ’68 classic (heck the ‘hunt’ alone starts almost immediately upon walhberg’s crash landing..vs the original in which it took a considerable time before such: instead there was a huge suspenseful and psychological buildup of the cast and their ‘new home’…and the sound score: one of the best in any sci fi film, thanks to jerry goldsmith.

    • Perfect response from you. What a shame. It could have been done so well. But all was ruined. Thank you!

  13. I would argue that the only proper treatment of this classic 70′s show is a direct, serious version of a paranormal being who seduces vampy young ladies. But that’s already been done, hasn’t it…

  14. Tim Burton used to make great comedies, and Johnny Depp can be a great comedic actor, I have a feeling this movie might just pull it off, but then I thought that about Planet of The Apes, Willy Wonka, Alice In Wonderland, Corpse Bride, 9, etc., etc.,…

    Where’s the guy who made Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Ed Wood??

  15. I will not spend one dime to see this garbage! The original story was not meant to be funny, but was a dark story meant to engage the audience in the mystery, fear and uncertainty of the characters as they struggled with their dark past! Burton and his crew have lost any respect I had for them up to this point! If he wanted to do a vampire spoof, fine, just don’t rip off the names from a great classic TV show (and also movie The House of Dark Shadows). Call it something else! Very disappointed and would encourage others to don’t waste money. I hope the movie flops and maybe he Burton will get the point!

  16. There goes hollywood again ruin a classic

  17. I’m tending to agree now. Looking back on ALL of those remake ‘flops’ it just shows how shallow the whole process really is. The best way to ‘vote’ is not to spend any time, money or energy on it. Just ignore the remakes that ‘smell’ and maybe, just maybe, someone will start to get the hint! ~ Stark

  18. what a dumbass writer: was surprised there’d be such a reaction…obviously he isn’t ‘clued in’ to the DS franchise/fan club….what else to expect with trash like ‘abraham lincoln: vampire hunter’…gimme a flippin’ break at such nonsense.

  19. Like Johnny Depp, this was also my favorite show as a child. I would have liked it to remain true to the tv show, HOWEVER, I don’t have as much problem with this as I did with Starsky and Hutch.

    If this “campy” version brings more fans to the Dark Shadows show, then I’m happy.

    Maybe we can get another, better, remake of the original if this has success as a movie!

  20. So Mr. macbrooks and myself got hit by this trailer while watching tv the other day. The Mr. is an original fan of DS, watched it as a young teenager when it first aired; he was not only not impressed but sincerely disappointed (we’re both big vintage Burton fans).

    As for this so-called screenwriter – Dude, really? Why don’t you just admit you hated whatever of the original series you were forced to watch? /shake head

    mac :]

  21. I WAS really looking forward to this movie… I don’t know why I thought that being a DS fan would mean Depp would try to do it justice, in the spirit of the orginal. Boy, the joke’s on me! And this trailer is a JOKE. Barnabas is the FIRST vampire who doesn’t loose touch with his humanity… A tortured soul who still loves. NOT an effing BU”FFOON!!! NO WAY will I support this at the box office.

  22. Hi, Weell I am still going to see it. You gotta know I am a fan of the original show, hated the original movies(my man wore fangs, and was a bad guy) ( they even killed him in one of them—Not}. Did not care for the second tv bloody remake,taped and erased them. I loved the camp—but seeing the fangs all the time? The awful white makeup—Tim, it was pale not white. I love Johnny, and I enjoy Tim’s other movie. Alot. Maybe We can make this movie work well. All of us go. buy the movie too. Then my Barnabus can ditch the white face and put the fangs away for special occasions, Yum. And I can see that Tim really will keep his promise of doing a job we all can love. Guess I wont see the odd camera man where he should not be—that for all of you who ran home and Never missed the show. So I am going to see it—Lets make it work.

  23. I am Barnabas Collins. I refuse to be associated with this film and will go back into my coffin for another 200 years. Please get things right next time, would you.

    • Hey Barnabas, BITE ME!

      I’m going to see this movie. You can’t tell how it’ll be from a 2 minutes trailer. I also can’t wait until they fully restore Night of Dark Shadows. I’ll be right out front to buy that also.

  24. “…[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….”

    I think that’s just BS! Can you imagine if longtime readers of the Harry Potter books, or the Lord of the Ring readers were long awaiting for someone to make a movie and then were treated with 1st a sexed up version that was just horrible and then years later Johnny Depp & Tim Burton team up for a comedian take on it. That is what Dark Shadow fans have had to put up with!

    Now I never read the Harry Potter books and a lot of people that loved the movies didn’t know the stories and same for the Lord of the Rings movies… they seemed to do just fine sticking with the original feelings of the the original material, and betcha they’ll go way past this debacle’s money making.

    i’m a purist DS fan and this is a craptastic update… very disappointed but truly not surprised given it’s a depp;/ burton pairing. I liked Sleepy Hollow, except for the moments — could have done without those silliness / cartoony burton moments, it would have been a much better film. hated the 90′s sexed up “remake” of Dark Shadows — if you could call it a remake!

    I want dark, moody seriousness, mature actors, waves crashing against the rocks, fog, dark secretive relatives… no sex, no happiness, no kiss my ass, no superfly music… The original dark music was one of the main characters of the original series. If this is a ploy to get purist fans to run to the store to buy DVDs for the original series, than it’s working!

    I sometimes like Johnny Depp but know from other movies of the Burton/Depp marriage that those 2 haven’t grown up – they love to go overboard, more blood splurting, more makeup, more overacting, silly eyeballs jumping out…. they think it’s funny.

    If I’m going to spend (what are movie prices now?) what $10 to see one of favorites I spent years glued to, it better be as good as the original!

    Superfly music? yuk! Depp’s got way more makeup on than he should, not a surprise. Sure it was his idea. A TV? I don’t remember there ever being a TV at Collinswood… where’s the fog? where’s the waves crashing against the rocks? where’s the serious actors? where’s the dark spooky house filled with moody relatives and a time travel room downstairs.

    People love dark creepy movies, whether they’ve seen the original series or not, vampire or gothic movies are something people enjoy seeing. Look how successful the Twilight movies have been… I didn’t see those as they were still not the old kind of gothic I prefer. I did kinda like that vampire movie – think it was in Alaska in the winter? Dark and scary. Even watching Salem’s Lot (original) was good.

    I think the Burton take is a copout that people wouldn’t like it if it wasn’t funny. He should have just written his own story and left our Dark Shadows back at Collinwood… awaiting someone who could do it justice!

  25. “…[wanted to] 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..”

    well all that must be a lie – this is not respectful! not to the show, the stories, the characters, the actors and certainly not to the fans of the series… and how they could ever think this would make Dan Curtis proud is beyond me!

  26. I remember seeing the poster for Dark Shadows… all b/w, Depp in the iconic wool cape/coat that barnabas always wore, skin and nails all normal, and he’s got thee cane… collinswood is seen in the background and it was all foggy and looked oh so promising and I was in anticipation that finally, my dark shadows would come back to the big screen

    (**insert record scratching) the preview complete ruined all that!

  27. Obviously Burton and Depp didn’t have the stomach or confidence to create a respectful gothic romance based upon the orignal “Dark Shadows” in which hours of DS footage was at their disposal to build upon. The excuse that former “serious” DS remakes were not successful is no excuse. Face it folks, the orignal “Dark Shadows”, at its best, was a spellbinding allegory, deeply charming with touches of moody brilliance. Problem is that no-one so far has been able to recapture the magic, or any magic really. I thought if anyone could bring Barnabas back to life it would be Depp. Seems with his success Depp’s given up working for a living. And how could anyone who directed Edward Scissorhands now be a cowardly hack.

  28. To the people who didn’t know this was a tv series or ever get to watch it…please for the love of Barnabas watch some of the old episodes on Netflix. Then and only then can you really know how fans of the old show feel about this abomination of a new Dark Shadows movie.

  29. I think this is great! Seeing what Tim Burton has done with Dark Shadows in this trailer means there is now one less movie I have to see this year and I can take that money and go buy a large Mango Crusher at the Smoothie King.

    I have hated just about every one of Tim Burton’s films… from Batman to that awful claymation thing, the name of which I can’t even remember. I thought casting Michelle Phiffer as Catwoman was the absolute worst he could do, but he has proven me wrong film after film. Beetlejuice was the first movie I ever went to that put me to sleep halfway through the film. Knocked me right out in the theater. I woke up and the credits were rolling. If you’ve seen one awful Tim Burton film, you’ve seen them all because it’s all the same, boring, goth stupidity with the same tired cast of goofballs.

    I never got to see the original Dark Shadows, but I knew about it and respected what it accomplished. I was a huge fan of the Ben Cross remake in the 90s. I was thrilled when it got huge ratings and was devastated when constant pre-emptions caused it to lose its following and get cancelled.

    When I heard Johnny Depp was cast in a new one, I was initially skeptical… especially after I saw his silly makeup. Though I don’t care for his movies, I know Depp is a great actor who can pull off a lot of different roles. But I saw this trailer for the first time while watching Wrath of the Titans and I almost had to get up and walk out of the theater. I have never seen a remake so unfaithful and offensive to the fans of a series. This is just as bad as that Kathy Lee Crosby take on Wonder Woman back in the 70s. It’s Dark Shadows in name only because it takes everything that was great about the series and discards it in favor of pandering to a mindless, low-brow audience looking to spend $10 to yuck it up at more of Tim Burton’s trite and predictable nonsense.

    I truly do appreciate Hollywood being so bad at all these remakes. It’s giving me so much more time to exercise. With movies like this trashing up the spring and summer and giving me no reason to go to the theater, I’ll have my beach body ready in no time.

    • Wow DUDE Your movie taste is so HARDCOREZ. Get over yourself, no girls on the beach are going to go for such an annoying hipster. ;)

      I can understand and respect fans of the original who are upset. I asked my Mom about it and she was familiar with the original show. She watched it and enjoyed the first few episodes but she said it was still a pretty corny soap opera like the rest of them and grew tired of it. She compared the fans to Justin Bieber and Twilight fans XD. I guess that explains the butthurt.

      I still want to watch it though. Maybe not in theaters, but I do want to see it. At least I’m not too high and mighty to enjoy a laugh or two regardless of the source. I think there’s far worse “low brow” entertainment out there.