When I first heard about Dark Shadows, the Tim Burton film based on the [amazon_link id=”B006Z7Z3KY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]1960s TV series[/amazon_link], my initial thought was the same as everyone else: Way cool.
And when I learned that Johnny Depp would be playing Barnabas Collins, again I thought, way cool. But my hopes dimmed after seeing the trailer below and realizing that they’re turning the soapy cult classic into a comedy. I’m just not sure that’s the right way to go.
Here’s the story: In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England, to start a new life in America and escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Depp) is living in the town of Collinsport, Maine.
The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy … until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). Wrong move. She turns out to be a witch who dooms him to a fate worse than death. She turns him into a vampire and buries him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Maybe my fears are unfounded. Maybe Dark Shadows, which creeps into theaters on May 11, 2012 (not yet rated), will be a great movie and a slam-dunk at the box office. After all, this is Tim’s Burton‘s eighth collaboration with Johnny Depp, his seventh collaboration with Helena Bonham Carter, and his fifth collaboration with Christopher Lee, who plays Bill Malloy. These people all know each other and have a good track record of working together.
I certainly can’t argue with Depp as Barnabas Collins, and modernizing the story by dropping him into 1972 with lava lamps and VW buses does look pretty funny. The movie also has that creepy Tim Burton feel to it. Another bonus is that they’re bringing some of the original players back for cameos: Jonathan Frid (Barnabas Collins), Lara Parker (Angelique), David Selby (Quentin Collins) and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans) will appear in the ball at Collinwood.
Watch the trailer and see what you think. Are you psyched for Dark Shadows? Did you watch the original TV series? And do you think Tim Burton and Johnny Depp will do justice to the story?