Seth Grahame-Smith is pretty deep in the Tim Burton game; the director is producing Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, based on Grahame-Smith's novel, the writer is penning an animated movie for Burton, and they're working together on the upcoming Dark Shadows.
Dark Shadows has been something of a mystery; the original show is a flat out weird cult phenomenon, and the images we've seen from set so far have been hard to gauge. Just what is the tone that Burton is going for? What the hell kind of movie IS this?
"The tone of the movie is soap operatic," Grahame-Smith told me last night at an Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter event at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. "It's heightened. Everything is heightened and grand. Johnny is just dug in and big. [Starts hamming it up] 'Didn't you see? How... could you? My god, woman!'
"There's an absurdist element to it. It's very funny. I don't think people are expecting it to be as funny as it is."
But not everything is fun and games. The guy who has our 16th president decapitating vampires with a silver axe says there are horror elements in this absurdist gothic soap.
"It's PG-13, so there's not gore, there are no hardcore scares, but there's some crazy Barnabas vampire shit in this movie that will surprise people in terms of its ferocity."
The film will be out in May. We haven't seen very much from it at all, and I wonder if that's because Warner Bros simply has no idea how to sell these strange and disparate tonal elements. But the weirder this movie sounds the more excited I get for it.