What spooky classic won't Tim Burton desecrate? The once great director is dragging his favorite actor, Johnny Depp, along as they lay waste to iconic '60 supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows, starring Jonathan Frid as the original lady-killer vampire Barnabas Collins of Collinwood.
Warner Bros. released the trailer via Apple's iTunes on March 15 at 5 p.m. PST, though bootleg versions of the video leaked earlier. The same day WB released stills from the movie and the launching of the official website. The photos have been posted over at Collider.com, featuring nearly all of cast members, including Jonathan Frid, who played the vampire in the original series and will have a cameo in the new film.
The trailer is barely recognizable to fans of the original series, which ran from 1966 to 1971, with five episodes aired per week, and starred Frid as a morally conflicted vampire. Burton's version is more comedic by nature, spinning the vampires, monsters and witches plotline to be funny with whimsical 1970's music and comical rhetoric.
The original series ripped off pretty much every classic supernatural story, from Frankenstein to The Picture of Dorian Gray, while also exploring time travel, alternate dimensions and gypsy curses. The new movie is based on the plot of the original cult classic novel, written by Dan Curtis in the 1960s and quickly adapted to the silver screen. The plot focuses on the Collins family and the century old family curse that brings them daily doses of supernatural activity and run-ins with vampires witches and werewolves, and follows protagonist Barnabas Collins, an aristocrat turned vampire by his vindictive ex, a beautiful witch named Angelique Bouchard (played by Eva Green in the new film and originally by Lara Parker).
The film also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Moretz, and Gulliver McGrath and is directed by Burton.
The official film synopsis from Warner Bros. Pictures reads:
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England, to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet -- or at least 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). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying 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 has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Check out the five best clips of Jonathan Frid available on YouTube below before comparing his epic performance to Johnny Depp's take on the role.
1) Barnabas and the ‘dream curse:’
2) Barnabus Bites Victoria:
3) A vampire walks into a bar:
4) Laura tries to kill Barnabas
5) Barnabas arrives at Colin Wood:
For comparison, here’s the trailer for Time Burton's Dark Shadows starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins: