Why Tim Burton said the original Dark Shadows series was 'awful'

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Dec 16, 2012

Considering the time he's put in to reboot and reimagine the cult fave 1960s ABC series Dark Shadows, one might think director Tim Burton is a big fan of the old vampire soap opera. It turns out, not so much.

In an interview with The L.A. Times, Burton mused about his take on the iconic franchise and said it was the concept—not the name—that attracted him to the project.

"I think you could say it was actually awful. It's a different animal. If I go back and watch something like Star Trek, it's not that hard to analyze what the appeal was, and even if the show is dated you identify what it was that made it work. The Dark Shadows appeal was a little more abstract," he said. "What I loved about it was the fact that it was a melodramatic soap opera, and, well, that flies in the face of any modern studio's interests as far as moviemaking. But what we've gone for is a mixture, and that's always what I've been interested in; I think most of my movies are mixtures of light and dark and serious things and things that have humor in them."

Judging by the first trailer, Burton seems to be telling the truth. The vibe is definitely heavy on the humor, and the fish-out-of-water angle with a gothic vamp trapped in a 1970s world.
There may be no love lost from Burton, but Johnny Depp—who is starring as main vamp Barnabas Collins—said he's loved the original show ever since he was a kid growing up in Florida.

"It was a real thing for me, I had to watch it, and it was tough, because you'd miss the beginning—it started at like 3 p.m., but that's when we got out of school," he said. "And then it moved later because all the kids wrote in letters. When you met someone who knew the show and loved it, there was an instant connection."

Sound off: Are you a fan of the original series, or does your interest in Dark Shadows begin and end with Burton and Depp's involvement?

(via The LA Times' Hero Complex)