Tim Burton ‘Never’ Considered ‘Dark Shadows’ A Comedy

Director also opens up on 'Beetlejuice' sequel and whether he'd return to 'Batman.'
By John Mitchell, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Johnny Depp in "Dark Shadows"
Photo: Warner Bros

Fans of the classic late-'60s soap "Dark Shadows" were surprised when the trailer for the film made it seem like director Tim Burton had reimagined his subject matter as a farcical comedy rather than the dark, Gothic soap opera fans remembered. Since then, there have been whispers that the film is far darker than it is being marketed, so we went straight to the source to find out what is really up with the buzzed-about film.

At CinemaCon 2012, MTV News asked Burton if he felt the trailer is reflective of his film, which hits theaters May 11, and while he admits there are humorous elements to the film, he said he doesn't believe it can be classified as a comedy.

"Everything that's in [the trailer] is in the movie," Burton told MTV News. "It's a funny film for me, because I never considered it a comedy. I was always trying to capture the weird vibe of 'Dark Shadows,' which is a weird thing to try to capture. It was a weird daytime soap opera."

Burton, a longtime "Shadows" fan who said he "recalls the show affectionately," said that whatever humor is in the film is there because the situation Barnabas is in when he is unearthed 200 years after being buried is innately humorous.

"It's not like I'm being campy with it or anything," Burton said. "The guy's been locked in a box for 200 years, and [when] he comes out ... something weird is going to happen."

As for comparisons to his previous films, most notably "Edward Scissorhands," Burton said he can see the link, but confessed that there are many subtle differences between Barnabas Collins and any other character he's put onscreen.

"Edward Scissorhands was more of a naive character. Barnabas has been around the block a few times," Burton told MTV News with a laugh. "There is something about a character who doesn't quite fit into the world, which is similar, just in this case, he's been around a long time."

Burton also gave us up-to-date news on one project many of his biggest fans are very excited for: "Beetlejuice 2." The film is being written by "Shadows" scribe Seth Grahame-Smith, and for Burton, that's as far as things have gotten.

"He's working away on it," the director said of Grahame-Smith, "so I'm just waiting to see what he does."

As for whether we can expect him to make a return to "Batman," the film franchise he started with the original 1989 blockbuster, he was straight to the point, saying, "I think I have enough on my plate."

Check out everything we've got on "Dark Shadows."

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