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Trailer Watch: Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' Offers Kooky, Soapy '70s Fun

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 16, 2012 at 3:16PM

Less than two months before its May 11 release date, Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" finally has its first official trailer.
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Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows"
Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows"

Less than two months before its May 11 release date, Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" finally has its first official trailer. While diehard Burton fans are surely licking their chops at this delightfully absurdist sneak peak, this movie's mainstream cred remains questionable.

Based on the cult supernatural soap opera from the 1970s, the trailer shows off an impressive ensemble cast headed by Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, Eva Green and, of course, Burton's favorite chameleon Johnny Depp as 18th-century-transplant-in-the-disco-era vampire Barnabas Collins. Green especially is in fine form as scorned witch Angelique Bouchard, who pounces, air-kisses and licks her way through the trailer with campy femme fatale aplomb. 

So far the movie has kept promo PR to a minimum, with the exception of various early photos. Burton's "Frankenweenie," which doesn't release until October, has already had a trailer circulating online for a couple of weeks. It remains to be seen whether "Dark Shadows" has enough name-brand recognition to be a hit, or whether the combination of Depp and Burton's signature kooky-Goth style will entice audiences to a niche film with far less popular appeal than "Alice in Wonderland." It's a strange if intriguing choice for a big-screen studio reboot.

This article is related to: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.