The original 1960s TV series Dark Shadows is a strange brew of soapy drama, supernatural mayhem, and often (unintentionally) campy style that inspired fervent devotion from viewers back in the day – and gave rise to a strong cult following over the decades since its final season aired.

Is it any wonder then that iconic off-beat filmmaker Tim Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), along with Burton’s reliable leading man Johnny Depp, are not only die-hard fans of the original Dark Shadows show – but have joined forces to create a cinematic adaptation/reboot that (judging by the official trailer) looks ever more bizarre and whimsical than its inspiration?

The Dark Shadows trailer arrives surprisingly close to the film’s actual release date, considering that the movie is a high-profile summer release. Going off the early footage, though, it’s all the more obvious why Warner Bros. has been taking its time trying to figure out how to properly market this thing – because, quite frankly, Burton’s film looks to be one of the more inspiredly wacky things he’s created in a long time (maybe even ever).

Just take a look at the Dark Shadows trailer – which also does a reasonable job of outlining the film’s plot – and see what we mean:

Smith wasn’t kidding before when he claimed that “there’s an absurdist element” to Dark Shadows that many people might not be expecting. Everything from Depp hamming it up as the clownishly pale vampire Barnabas Collins, as a fish-out-of-water from the late 18th century who clashes with the psychedelic 1970s counter-culture – to the overall twisted comical tone of the film’s trailer makes Burton’s film look pretty freakin’ trippy.

In other words: Dark Shadows looks like exactly the sort of darkly whimsical flick that Burton and Depp’s most loyal of fans have been anticipating.

For a better look at the film’s characters – including Eva Green as the (er… long-tongued) sorceress Angelique, Michelle Pfeiffer as the dysfunctional Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and Helena Bonham Carter as the family’s peculiar psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman – check out our Dark Shadows image gallery:

Depp and Burton have become an extremely bankable duo over the years, so there’s little reason to doubt that Dark Shadows will (at least) open strongly at the box office. Whether or not it will eventually climb to the box office heights of the pair’s previous profitable team-efforts like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – or even the billion dollar gross of Alice in Wonderland – will depend on just how receptive the moviegoing masses are to their latest dish of (quirky) colorful eye candy and zany horror-comedy.

Look for Dark Shadows to draw in (and weird out) large crowds when it opens in theaters around the U.S. on May 11th, 2012.

Source: Kino Gallery