Dark Shadows spots call the horses around

Posted by CB Droege

Warner Bros. recently released three television spots for its upcoming vampire comedy Dark Shadows.

Jonny Depp takes on the role of Barnabas Collins, a vampire who has been trapped in a box underground for two centuries. The film combines man-out-of-time humor with Addams Family sensibilities.

The first two spots, released earlier this week, are typical 30-second trailers, each with a bit of footage we haven’t seen before.

This 60-second trailer was released today, and mostly just combines the other two, along with some footage from the theatrical trailer.

and here’s the theatrical trailer in case you missed it a couple weeks back:

Interestingly enough, Warner Bros. isn’t playing up the origins of this Depp vehicle. Dark Shadows was originally an evening dramatic television series which depicted the Collins - a dysfunctional, cursed family of some wealth in Collinsport, Maine, a small town named for their ancestors who settled the town.

During each episode, the family was forced to deal with some storied supernatural threat - werewolves, mummies, etc., sort of like The CW’s Supernatural, but stationary. 

There were series arc plots as well, including the introduction of Barnabas who was made a vampire in the 1790’s and locked away by his family, who couldn’t bring themselves to kill him. While from the previews, it seems the film version of Barnabas makes no secret that he’s a vampire, the Barnabas on the show disguised himself as a Collins cousin from England, and moved in with the family under that pretense.

Early in the series, he kidnaps a young woman who reminds him of his one-time lover from two hundred years ago, and carelessly causes her to go insane. The investigation and redemption of that event take up a lot of that character’s development through the series, which ran for four years ending in 1971.

It seems that the Tim Burton version has reimagined the tale nearly from scratch. Here is the long-form synopsis for the film:

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.

Dark Shadows descends on theaters May 11, 2012.