“Let’s not be afraid to be funny”–an interview with DARK SHADOWS writer Seth Grahame-Smith

Dark Shadows screenplay writer Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the wildly successful novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, spoke recently with Collider’s Christina Radish about the many projects on his extremely busy schedule. Here’s a bit of what he had to say about his approach to adapting Dark Shadows for Tim Burton:

Q: Was there anything specific that you wanted to bring to Dark Shadows, both from your own sensibility and so that you made it familiar to fans?

GRAHAME-SMITH: My job on Dark Shadows was to make it fun and funny, first and foremost. It can still be dark and it can still even be gory and gothic at times, but it also needed to be fun and it needed to be an experience that people would enjoy having. I came at it from, “Let’s not be afraid to be funny. Let’s make Barnabas funny. Let’s see this movie through his eyes and really see a man who is trying to come to terms with what he is, where he is and when he is.” I think we really got there with the script. We’re still making some tweaks, and there are rehearsals coming up in a couple weeks and there will be some tweaks after that, but I think everybody is really excited, me included, about where we got. They’re [. . .] going to be filming Dark Shadows in May, which is also really exciting. It’s hard to believe. For me, thinking that [Dark Shadows is . . .] going to be in theaters in a year or so, it’s just astonishing.

Q: What’s it been like to collaborate with someone like Tim Burton, who is such a visual filmmaker?

GRAHAME-SMITH: It’s just another amazing experience, and a learning experience for me. Honestly, the last couple of years have been like going to film school all over again, times 100. It’s been amazing to watch the way that his mind works, and how he collaborates with Johnny, and how Johnny’s mind works. Also, getting to work with a producer like Richard Zanuck, who did Jaws, Planet of the Apes and The Sound of Music, is just incredible. It’s having living legends, all around you.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD for sharing the Seth Grahame-Smith interview; you can read much more about Dark Shadows on the Zone’s News & Views forum. You can read the full interview HERE.

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