Out of this summer’s crop of films, Dark Shadows is undeniably the odd bird. The material the feature film is based on – in this case a murky, gothic television soap opera – doesn’t exactly scream summer fare, however, with Johnny Depp front a center, surrounded by an excellent cast, perhaps audiences will gravitate to the latest film from Tim Burton.
The director spoke to MTV about a slew of projects, including Dark Shadows. He told the outlet that he’s currently editing and overseeing the effects, all in preparation for a May 12 release date from Warner. In the interview, he said most of the film is set in 1972, with flashbacks to the 1700s. So, it’s a period film on top of being a gothic soap opera. Inside, he describes the film he’s creating.
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. There was a generation of us who would run home from school to watch it. That’s probably why we were such bad students. We should have been doing homework; we were watching “Dark Shadows” instead. 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. We didn’t do any real rehearsals, because the cast all came in at different times. But there was an old photo of the [original] cast which I always remembered, so a couple days before shooting, we got the whole cast together to take a similar shot so everyone could see each other and get that vibe from doing a group photo. That helped set the tone more than anything.
What do you think, gang? Is Dark Shadows going to work?