Amongst all the hype regarding next week’s release of the eagerly anticipated The Hunger Games (read our review here), Tim Burton and co. have revealed the first trailer for latest film Dark Shadows (2012), starring – naturally – Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Lee Miller, Helena Bonham Carter and Eva Green. There’s a great deal of humour to the new trailer (a common feature of Burton’s work), and if you can imagine a heady blend of Dracula-meets-Austin Powers, you probably wouldn’t be far off.
The original cult TV show, which aired on the American television network ABC between 1966 and 1971, was a Gothic soap opera following the intertwined lives of various members of the Collins family who lived in a creepy hilltop mansion called Collinwood in Collinsport, Maine. Throughout the five year run of the series every imaginable ghost and ghoulie passed through the house including vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies and man-made monsters (along with some time travel and parallel universe hokum thrown in for good measure).
Burton’s last outing, the vaguely disappointing big screen return of Alice in Wonderland (2010), took a far more reverent approach to its source material, and it looks at this early stage that Dark Shadows will be one of the director’s broadest, most accessible (to a mass market) film in years. The Gothic tropes and neurotic characters still seem to be there, but alongside a stylish take on 1970s American suburbia. Kitsch or crass, with Depp once again taking a starring role and Burton’s stock still high despite the odd big budget flop, Dark Shadows could well prove a light-hearted, reference-strewn return to form.
Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is released in UK cinemas on 11 May, 2012.