The first trailer for Tim Burton’s feature film version of the cult TV series Dark Shadows has finally arrived. After seeing a bevy of images over the past few months (including some hi-res ones today), we finally get a look at this thing in motion. The plot centers on a vampire (Johnny Depp) who awakens after having been buried for 200 years and tries to reconnect with his descendants. The beginning of the trailer is played straight, and we’re lead to believe that we’re in for another nightmarish tale from Burton, but when Depp wakes up in 1972 things kick into gear. This is very much a comedy, and there are more than a few laughs on display in the trailer. Burton and Depp have a lot of fun with the 1970s setting, and Depp’s reaction to modern technology is amusing. It’s got a goofy tone in the vein of Beetlejuice or Mars Attacks!, and I’m eager to see if the whole film plays like a return to comedic form for Burton.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Gulliver McGrath, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote, Ray Shirley, and Jonny Lee Miller. Dark Shadows opens May 11th. [Update: We’ve updated the article with a high quality trailer and the film’s poster.]
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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 (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles.
Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.