The LA Times’ Hero Complex paid a visit to the set of Dark Shadows during production and had the opportunity to speak with director Tim Burton. What follows is an excerpt from that interview: “The setup and characters are taken from the truly weird TV series also called Dark Shadows, an ABC soap opera that logged 1,225 episodes before it went off the air in 1971. Created by Dan Curtis, who later did the landmark The Winds of War miniseries, the show starred Jonathan Frid as tortured Barnabas and brought ghosts and ghouls to the afternoon hours that usually belonged to handsome surgeons and conniving heiresses.
“Unlike The Addams Family and The Munsters, this monster-mash of a show was a fringe taste, which is why it attracted the young outsiders who would be called goths today. Three of them were Burton, Depp and Pfeiffer, and they have nearly identical memories about racing home from school to catch the same strange transmission. ‘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,’ said Depp, who grew up in the sunbaked suburb of Miramar, Fla. ‘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.’
“That connection doesn’t exist with young moviegoers today, however, and the producers of the new movie aren’t going to encourage anyone to check out the originals because, well, it wasn’t, technically speaking, a great show. ‘I think,’ Burton said evenly, ‘you could say it was actually awful.’
“So what exactly was its appeal? The London-based filmmaker searched for the right words. ‘It’s a different animal,’ Burton said. ‘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. 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.’” For the full report, click HERE.