Johnny Depp & Tim Burton's Dark Shadows Trailer Is Garishly Familiar & Uninviting

Do you remember when the Tim Burton name meant something more than just a commercial brand entity?

Do you remember when the Tim Burton name meant something more than just a commercial brand entity? Do you remember the time, long ago as it may seem now, when Burton's name being attached to a movie brought with it a sense of real anticipation that you were in the hands of a macabre genius who had big ideas, big imagination and the talent and vision to back up the uniquely weird & wonderful stories he wanted to tell? And back then when he had a leading man in a still hungry Johnny Depp who still cared about his filmography? Those days ended a long, long, long time ago. Depp and Burton firmly checked into the comfort zone of their careers just after the turn of the millennium, when studios would offer multi-million deals to get 'The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp package' and boy have they duly delivered for the execs in the past ten years. Warner Bros decided to leave it very late to emerge the Dark Shadows trailer out of the darkness and into the light of day less than two months before release. It was spotlighted on "Ellen" of all places yesterday and now the full-length trailer is online for the world to see. You can watch it below; The trailer hints at a clear bastardisation of the soap opera of yesteryear (so much so that you wonder why it wasn't instead conceived as an original piece) and is a 'fish out of water' 70's period piece (seriously... how obvious are the gags and music selection? Is anyone even trying here?), which has Burton's Johnny Depp playing Burton's wacko Johnny Depp (a cousin to Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and The Mad Hatter, et all) in a post-Twilight world where scarily this could end up passing $500 million worldwide and maybe even beyond. Who knows? This is a very, very broad Tim Burton comedy and one that will please a large crowd. But if audiences actually sat back and watched what was being served to them they would be able to tell that this is garishly familiar of the other Burton branding of other properties in the past decade and there's very little here of the early genius Depp/Burton delivered in 'Edward Scissorhands'. 1990 was twenty two years ago now and boy does it show. Set for release May 11th, Dark Shadows centers on Barnabas Collins, a playboy who breaks the heart of a witch (Eva Green) in 1752, and in proof that you should never scorn a woman, she turns him into a vampire and buries him alive. He wakes in 1972 and returns to his estate tortured and searching for his long lost love. He is owner of a large estate€ but our lead character and entry vehicle into this weird world is Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters, the young lady who becomes the Governess of the Collins household because she resemblances the vampire€™s long lost love. Michelle Pfeiffer (the matriarch of the estate in Collins€™ absence), Jackie Earle Haley (as a con artist), Chloe Moretz, Thomas McDonnell, Johnny Lee Miller, Helena Bonham Carter and David Selby also feature. Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the final draft of the screenplay, the same guy who is currently working on a Beetlejuice sequel that Burton will likely direct with Michael Keaton and Johnny Depp after this. So more of the same to look forward to, basically.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.