Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows is due out May 11, and last week I speculated that if we didn’t see a trailer by now, we would surely hear about a release date change. Well, the trailer’s here. It also partly explains why we haven’t been bombarded with high gloss adverts already: it’s counter-programming. Johnny Depp stars alongside Eva Green and Michelle Pfieffer in this comic take on the gothic soap opera. Check it out…

The tone is set right away, and this plays to one of Burton’s great strengths, which is mixing the macabre with the ordinary world. We now also have a better handle on the premise of the film and it’s tone, which appears to be more old-school Burton, in line with something like Beetlejuice. That is exciting.

Here we see Depp’s vampire awoken in the 1970′s, only to find that the witch who cursed him is still around, and that he must not only fight her off but also adapt to the-then modern times. It’s possible some of the fish out of water schtick could wear out its welcome, but everything that’s meant to be funny in the trailer plays funny. This looks like a lot of fun.

This also explains why Warner Bros. isn’t going after a big push even with Depp’s last big movie with Burton grossing over a billion dollars worldwide. They’re not going for the standard summer blockbuster appeal – there’s no superheroes, and this isn’t a tent-pole release. It looks like they’re just having a good goof. Of course Burton has whiffed on fun before, but this is already way more appealing as a concept than – say – his takes on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland.

Does this get you excited for Dark Shadows?