In a few short months the world will get to see what Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have done to my beloved Dark Shadows, as their big-screen adaption of the 60s TV soap is released to what will likely be a mostly confused-to-bored public.
Not helping matters is director Burton, who attempted to explain the film to MTV, only to sort of verbally collapse under the strain of conveying his desire to replicate the strange, often silly tone of the TV show:
It's got such a strange vibe. And it's not something that a lot of people necessarily know. You're trying to do a weird soap opera. I felt really lucky, because the cast is really good. People like Michelle [Pfeiffer] grew up watching it. Some of the cast knew about it. Some didn't, but they were all game for it — getting into the weird spirit of what "Dark Shadows" was. It has a weird sense of heightened melodrama...It was hard to put into words the tone it was. It had a weird seriousness, but it was funny in a way that wasn't really funny. We just had to feel our way through it to find the tone.
He also name-drops Grey Gardens, which is kind of encouraging if you know the show at all. As I've told you a zillion times, I'm all for going after the weird, cheap, over-the-top vibe of the series, but it's nice to finally (sort of) hear it from Burton. Strangers to the show seem to think that, based on the stills we've seen, that this will have a gothic, "Hammer horror feel, but if this latest shot (a scan from the upcoming EW, featured on an Italian Johnny Depp fansite) isn't a still from a straight-up comedy, I'll eat my hat.
On the heels of Helena Bonham Carter's delightful recent comment that the movie "is going to be impossible to sell", Burton's comments are likely helping Warner Brothers realize this isn't going to be some Pirates of the Caribbean-level franchise right about now. I'll be there opening day, Tim!