Dark Shadows Gets Two New TV Spots; Screenwriter Discusses Movie's Comedic Tone
03.28.12 by Ryan
Fans of the late 1960s/early '70s Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows had to wait until this month to see the first trailer for Tim Burton's big-screen adaptation, despite the movie opening in May. Reaction was mixed, as the trailer seemed to be edging closer to comedy than the melodrama of the TV show, a decision that some fans appreciated and some didn't. In a recent interview with SlashFilm, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) didn't shy away from calling Dark Shadows a "funny" movie, while also explaining that Burton's version is also a "Gothic, dark movie" with "a lot of soap opera in it."
I mean the movie is a lot of different things, just like the soap opera was a lot of different things. I think that we weren't afraid to let Johnny [Depp] invent this character and be funny. I think if you were just going to do a straight forward soap opera for two hours, I think people would get bored. I think people want to be entertained. So I think we've found a great way to entertain people but also stay true to some of the origins of the series.
While talking to Collider, Grahame-Smith admitted that the trailer's humor has "kind of confused a couple people," again promising that the movie is "a very funny movie which has some very dark, gothic elements in it" and compared it to Burton's other movies.
To me it’s more of a harkening back to the Sleepy Hollow or Beetlejuice Tim movies. It’s not as broadly family as Alice in Wonderland is, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it’s a little darker than that. It’s very different, and it’s epic.
To see if Grahame-Smith is right, more footage is needed. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has responded by releasing two new Dark Shadows TV spots. The first, which runs over a minute long, starts off with the grim history of Barnabas Collins (Depp) and his vampire curse set by the jealous witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), but quickly returns to the movie's more comedic moments.
The second spot, clocking in at the more common 30 seconds, takes the same tact, starting with Barnabas being unearthed and having his first vampire meal in 200 years before being struck by his new world of the 1970s and the, ahem, "happy meals" that await.
While Grahame-Smith promises a more grim version, Dark Shadows still looks like a comedy to us... And we're not sure that's a bad thing. Express your pleasure/displeasure with a comment below.