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'Dark Shadows' trailer premieres

Johnny Depp arrives at London's Leicester Square on

Johnny Depp arrives at London's Leicester Square on June 29, 2009, to attend the British Premiere of his latest film 'Public Enemies'. People Magazine on November 18, 2009 named Depp this year's "Sexiest Man Alive." Photo Credit: Getty Images

Warner Bros. has released its first trailer for Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows," starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, a centuries-old vampire who wakes up in a strange new era: 1972.

You know what that means: Disco jokes!

Judging by the Barry White soundtrack, mirror balls and Carpenters references, it looks like "Dark Shadows" is going for all-out comedy. Depp seems to be hamming it up, Sparrow-style, and there are many shots of a modern-day family (jaded teenager included) eyeballing him oddly during dinner. Look closely and you may also detect a subplot in which Depp must "save the family business."

This may please fans of Tim Burton's cartoonish style of comedy, though less so the devoted cult that still surrounds ABC's original "Dark Shadows" series, which ran from 1966 to 1971 and never displayed a single iota of humor (intentionally, that is).

Nevertheless, what's the director of a post-"Twilight" vampire movie to do? A serious take seems out of the question, which leaves either the pulp-action route ("Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") or the campy approach that Burton appears to be taking.

"Dark Shadows" in due in theaters May 11 and also stars Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pfeiffer.


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