Today is February 24. Tim Burton’s anticipated summer blockbuster adaptation of the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows” is set to hit theaters on May 11. There are 77 days between now and the release of the film. And we still don’t have a trailer — not even a teaser.
Special-effects-heavy blockbusters opening much later in the summer, including July’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” have already debuted multiple trailers to satisfy the bloodlust of fans hungry for just a taste of the movies they are counting down the days for. But we “Shadows” devotees have been kept waiting in the dark too long, not unlike Barnabas (Johnny Depp) locked up in a coffin and hidden away in the Collins family mausoleum.
But lo, what’s that in the distance I hear? Buzz that consumer surveying of two potential trailers, a shorter teaser and longer full trailer, took place earlier this week. To be fair to all involved, by “buzz” we really mean “Internet gossip,” but it’s pretty much in line with what we’ve been able to pull together about the film from interviews with Burton and Helena Bonham Carter from late last year — namely that the director is injecting the film with an undercurrent of dark comedy.
The GIF warriors over at Oh No They Didn’t got word on Tuesday from a variety of tipsters that testing on varied trailers was underway. And the buzz is … good?
We’ve long been hopeful that the film would be “vintage Burton.” By that we mean dark, weird and kind of funny, and from what the ONTD tipsters are saying, that’s exactly what we may be getting. At his best, the director was capable of a balancing act few others would dare attempt. He made us care about a very odd man who had scissors for hands, after all, and laugh at the strange and colorful suburban world around him.
Much of the comedy in the film appears to stem from Barnabas’ trouble acclimating to the modern world (well, 1972) when he is aroused from his centuries-long slumber by Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley). According to tipster Ross2287, Depp’s delivery is spot on when he hears a car for the first time and calls out, “Show yourself Satan!” Later, during a fight with Eva Green’s evil witch Angelique, Depp earned laughs from the audience when he requested she “strategically place your wonderful lips upon my posterior and kiss it repeatedly.”
More choice one-liners arise when Barnabas is introduced to his descendants. Based on these accounts of the alleged in-the-works trailers, it’s looking like the always lovable Chloe Moretz (who plays Caroline Collins) may well be a scene stealer. When Depp’s Barnabas is introduced to her and finds out she is 15, he can’t help but warn, “And no husband? You must put those birthing hips to good use at once lest your womb shrivel up and die.”
Later, in what is said to be the full-length trailer, Depp sees television for the first time and is astounded, asking, “What sorcery is this?” before he rips the back panel off and yells, “Reveal yourself, tiny songstress!” Moretz then looks to her 200-year-old vampire cousin and says, “Are you stoned or something?”
Is any of this even true? Looks like we’ll have to wait and see, though we decided to run with it because it’s all we have. Do you hear that, Tim Burton? It’s all we have. When it comes to this trailer, we can’t help but repeat one of Depp’s lines from the alleged mystery trailer: “Show yourself!”
Do you think the ONTD tipsters have it right? Is Tim Burton readying a dark comedy with his “Dark Shadows” adaptation? Sound off in the comments below and tweet me @JohnMitchell83 with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!
Check out everything we’ve got on “Dark Shadows.”
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