We’ll have plenty of unabashedly strange Gothic horror cinema playing in theaters this summer, culminating with the release of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Getting the jump on that faux history/horror mashup is another film penned by author-turned-screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith: Dark Shadows, a movie adaptation of the cult 1960s supernatural TV soap opera that once again reunites actor Johnny Depp with director Tim Burton.

You can check out the latest promotional artwork and production stills released from Dark Shadows, in the gallery above. Be sure to continue reading for higher-definition versions of those images, along with some additional insight concerning the tone and atmosphere of the latest Burton/Depp “joint,” as provided by Smith.

Burton’s Dark Shadows movie begins in late 18th century Liverpool, England, where wealthy playboy Barnabas Collins (Depp) inadvertently ruins his hedonistic lifestyle by breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), a powerful sorceress who transforms Barnabas into a vampire and buries him alive. The film thereafter jumps ahead to the 1970s, when Barnabas finally emerges from his tomb, only to discover his once magnificent estate is now run down and decaying, due to the dysfunctional and erratic behavior of his living relatives and descendants.

Check out the centuries-old sparring lovers that are Barnabas and Angelique, in the Dark Shadows still below:

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The Tim Burton Exhibit has recently travelled overseas to London, where it is being marketed via a promotional poster featuring an artist’s rendition of Depp as the pallid, sunken-eyed vampire Barnabas – wearing the same Georgian-era getup that the A-lister had on in the Dark Shadows set photos, which leaked online last year (to much publicity).

Have a look at that Dark Shadows-oriented piece of artwork, below:

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All you newcomers to the Dark Shadows property, who are reading this: you are probably starting to realize just how odd this particular mix of supernatural horror, soapy drama, and campy comedy elements is. Fans of the original TV series should therefore be pleased to learn that Burton will (not surprisingly) maintain the kooky design of that cult title in his big screen adaptation; not only in terms of the director’s customary off-kilter visual style, but also with regards to narrative tone and the film’s overall atmosphere, according to Smith.

Here is what Smith had to offer Badass Digest, on what to expect from Dark Shadows:

“The tone of the movie is soap operatic. It’s heightened. Everything is heightened and grand. Johnny [Depp] is just dug in and big. [Starts hamming it up] ‘Didn’t you see? How… could you? My god, woman!’… There’s an absurdist element to it. It’s very funny. I don’t think people are expecting it to be as funny as it is… It’s PG-13, so there’s not gore, there are no hardcore scares, but there’s some crazy Barnabas vampire s**t in this movie that will surprise people in terms of its ferocity.”

Seeing how Dark Shadows is slated to hit U.S. theaters on May 11th, 2012, we should soon be getting a trailer for the film – which will offer an even better taste of this new weird Burton-and-Depp-flavored dish.

Source: Luces Carmara Blog, La Cinematheque Francaise, Badass Digest