Monday, December 31, 2007

John August: Hinting at Unknown Future Burton Films?

On his official website, screenwriter and Burton collaborator John August wrote in his blog that, contrary to claims made on such websites as (which have now been changed), he will not be writing the screenplay for Burton's upcoming stop-motion adaptation of the director's short film, Frankenweenie. August wrote the following on his blog:

"I had a meeting with Disney Animation about a year ago, in which they pitched the idea of doing a feature version of Tim’s Frankenweenie short film. They even had production art for it. Then, separately, I had a conversation with Tim about doing another stop-motion animation project like Corpse Bride.

"But they’re not the same thing. And as far as I know, I won’t be working on either one. (That said, I didn’t think I was working on Corpse Bride until I was halfway on a plane to London, so never say never.)"

John August first worked with Tim Burton when he wrote the screenplay for 2003's Big Fish. Directly after that fanciful odyssey, August wrote the screenplay for Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the final draft for Corpse Bride, both released in 2005. August also helped composer Danny Elfman adapt and write the whimsical lyrics for both Charlie and Corpse Bride.

August's blog entry is made even more interesting in the following excerpt:

"To further confuse matters, there’s a different and as-yet-unannounced Tim Burton project (live action) which I almost certainly will be writing post-strike. And yes, I’d love to tell you what it is. But I can’t."

This project can't be Burton's upcoming Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which will also be made at Walt Disney Pictures. Linda Woolverton already has the credit of writing the screenplay for that future literary adaptation. So John August seems to be hinting at possibly two unknown future Tim Burton films, one live-action, the other in stop-motion animation. What could these films be? We'll have to wait for future articles to appear...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Burton and Depp Interview Each Other with Your Questions

The complete and unscripted video interview between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is now online. The two ask one another various questions about Sweeney Todd and more, submitted by fans, viewers, and Internet browsers to AOL Movies. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two New Pee-wee Movies?

In 1985, Paul Reubens brought his original character, the zany man-child Pee-wee Herman, to the big screen. This same film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, was also Tim Burton's directorial debut in the world of feature-length motion pictures.

It's been over twenty years since that widely acclaimed, box-office winning, and quotable cult classic came into popular culture. Now, Mr. Reubens, though a bit older (but still plenty Pee-wee) is considering making two more films featuring his infamous alter ego.

"I feel like the time is really ripe right now," Reubens said on why he's interested in making more Pee-wee movies at this point in time. "A lot of the kids who grew up with the show are young adults. The college kids are middle-aged adults. I feel like I have enough of a built-in audience to make back an investment."

Reubens reported that he has two scripts ready to go. The first concerns an extension of his multi-Emmy Award winning children's series, Pee-wee's Playhouse. This feature-length adaptation will bring the characters into a whole new realm. "We never really went out into what we call puppet land," Reubens recalled of the show. "And this [film] takes place out of the playhouse. I think there are one or two scenes in the playhouse in the beginning. Basically it's all in a fantasy land," he said. "It's like a 'Wizard of Oz,' H.R. Pufnstuf epic adventure story." The whole assemblage of characters will hopefully be there, in their live-action human and puppet forms alike.

Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman
Photo: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images

The second storyline is one that Reubens called "the dark Pee Wee movie," is "not really very dark" and certainly not intended to be an R-rated film. "It's basically the story of Pee-wee Herman becoming famous as a singer," he explained. "He has a hit single and gets brought out to Hollywood to make musical movies, kind of like they did with Elvis. It all kind of goes downhill from there for Pee-wee. He turns into a monster. He does everything wrong and becomes a big jerk." Though he described it as a movie "about fame," Reubens insisted, "It's not autobiographical."

But will audiences buy a 55-year-old man-child, even if it is Pee-wee? People have noted that Reubens still has the energy, humor, and essence of his character from over two decades ago. But if that isn't enough, Reubens has a plan: "My second option is to have Johnny Depp play Pee-wee," he said. Reubens insisted that he's even spoken to Depp about it, saying that the actor told him, "Let me think about it."

Will Tim Burton and Paul Reubens collaborate again? After Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Reubens and Burton collaborated again on Batman Returns (1992) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Reubens admitted that he talked to Burton about the possibility of bringing these new Pee-wee projects to the big screen in the future, but acknowledged his old collaborator's own busy schedule. "I have talked to Tim about one of them about a year ago. But Tim is booked. I think he would be interested in it, but he's really busy." Indeed, Burton will soon be working on a feature-length version of Frankenweenie (the original short film from 1984 was what made Reubens decide that Burton was perfect for directing the first Pee-wee Herman movie) and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Reubens is still searching, but remains optimistic. "I think it's really just a question of the right person coming along. I've had opportunities to do [the films] with people who didn't feel like the right people. It just takes one person."

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Sweeney Todd" Gets Four Golden Globe Nominations Including Best Picture

The nominees for the 2008 Golden Globe Awards have been announced. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has earned four nominations:

- Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy:
Sweeney Todd (Parkes/MacDonald and Zanuck Company; DreamWorks/Paramount Distribution / Warner Bros. Pictures)

-Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy:
Helena Bonham Carter

-Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy:
Johnny Depp

-Best Director - Motion Picture:
Tim Burton

The 65th Golden Globe Awards will be broadcast on January 13th, 2008.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's a Girl!

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter's second child was born last night in London.

"They are absolutely delighted they have a daughter," Bonham Carter's representative, Karon Maskill, said. "It's a lovely Christmas present for the family."

There is no official word on the baby girl's name as of yet.

(E! Online)

UPDATE: A few sources have said that the baby will be named Indiana Rose Burton. Confusion about the validity of the name is understandable, as it has been reported that Burton and Bonham Carter did not want to know the gender of the child until it was born.

Burton and Depp 'Like Immature Brothers'

Helena Bonham Carter reports how the long-time collaborators Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are "like immature brothers."

"They have a great synergy. They are very like each other. Chosen brothers elected by each other. They have the same sense of humour and share a deep respect. They have grown up together.

"Working on Edward Scissorhands joined them. They are both introverts, but very flamboyant when it comes to their work. That is their release. They are rebels, anti-authoritarian. They are very age seven in their sense of humour."

Burton added that he and Depp have "been lucky to usually be on the same wavelength and like similar kinds of things."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Helena Prepares for Baby

Helena Bonham Carter and family are preparing for her second child with Tim Burton. The baby is due this month, most have reported, and the actress remarked that, at the moment, she looks like a "huge globe." In anticipation of the new arrival, Bonham Carter has given her son, Billy Ray Burton, a doll so he too can prepare for taking care of the newest addition to the family.

"He just turned four, is in preschool, and we've gotten him a baby doll so he can get used to the idea of having a sibling," she says. "He's already teaching the 'baby' that he shouldn't swallow marbles."

Regarding Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Helena recalled (eventually) getting the role of Mrs. Lovett.

"Tim was the most professional, professional. He wouldn't even tell me how auditions were going," said the actress. She also said that her singing coach was "brilliant," and that said that when she was told she would play Mrs. Lovett was: "Probably the best day of my life."

Sweeney Todd will be released this coming Friday in U.S. cinemas.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Burton on "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" reports that, in an interview, Burton wanted to maintain the essence of Lewis Carroll's original with his upcoming adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. "It's just such a classic, and the imagery is so surreal," said the director. "I don't know; I've never seen a version where I feel like they got it all. It's a series of weird adventures, and to try to do it where it works as a movie will be interesting."

Burton will also produce the film, which will be released by the Walt Disney Co. It will reportedly be a hybrid of live-action and performance-capture animation.

"The stories are like drugs for children, you know?" Burton said. "It's like, 'Whoa, man.' The imagery, they've never quite nailed making it compelling as a full story. So I think it's an interesting challenge to direct.

Filming on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland will commence in early 2008.

Burton on New "Frankenweenie" had some quotes from Tim Burton on his upcoming, stop-motion version of Frankenweenie. The film, based on Burton's live-action short of the same name from 1984, will now be a feature-length movie, which is what Burton had originally wanted to do. "We're going to do that real low-budget," the filmmaker said. Burton assured that this will not be the exact same movie as his original. "The thing that excites me about it and that will make it different is that when I look at my original drawings, there are certain things that are in those that I couldn't get in the live action when I made the film. So I'm quite excited to try to get a certain emotion and other characters in the new version, and I want to make it a slightly bigger story."

"I'm such a fan of old movies, and I think that just stays with you," Burton added. "It doesn't leave you. Those kinds of things, whether you think about them or not, they just are in your DNA, and they stay with you. Even if I was doing a romantic comedy I would probably stick a bunch of shadows in there or whatever."

One piece of artwork by Tim Burton for his 1984 Frankenweenie.

Frankenweenie will be shown in 3-D in participating theaters, and released by Walt Disney Pictures, in 2009. This may seem like a short time, but stop-motion features, though tedious to make, are considerably less expensive than CGI movies (usually only a third of the expense), and, with enough diligent, talented animators working on many scenes simultaneously, the film can be pulled off in a few years. Tim Burton's Corpse Bride from 2005 was also accomplished in this amount of time, having been done so with new technology that exceeded the abilities and time spent on animating from the days of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Helena's Changing Curves

Helena Bonham Carter claims that her chest changes sizes dramatically throughout Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street -- and not because of her outfits. Helena was pregnant throughout shooting of the film. As a result, the actress claims, her curves kept changing during each scene, which was shot out of sequence.

The child she was pregnant with is due any day now.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Photos From Paramount Screening of "Sweeney Todd"

Pictures taken prior to a special screening of Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, December 5, 2007.

Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton.
Reuters/Fred Prouser (United States)

Tim Burton.
AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
Reuters/Fred Prouser (United States)

Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Richard D. Zanuck, and Stephen Sondheim.

Manson Denies Burton Movie Rumors

Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has denied Internet rumors of him collaborating with Tim Burton on a biopic on Lewis Carroll. Manson will soon be shooting his own movie on the novelist, entitled Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, and stated that people likely became confused with Burton's separate film, his upcoming adaptation of Carroll's novel, Alice in Wonderland.

Manson said: "I've read that he's making Alice in Wonderland, but my film isn't Alice in Wonderland. It's about the period in which Lewis Carroll was writing it. I've based it all around his diaries."

This is not the first time that rumors of a Manson-Burton collaboration have come up. Back in 2004, rumors developed on the Internet that Manson would play Willy Wonka or even the villainous Slugworth in Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Slugworth was not even featured in the film. (He was mentioned briefly, as he was in Roald Dahl's original book). Manson, however, did do a cover of the song "This is Halloween" for the special-edition soundtrack from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas last year.

Burton's Alice in Wonderland is being produced by the Walt Disney Co. It is likely to be released in 2010 (but no official word has come up yet).

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

NBR: "Sweeney Todd" Among 10 Best Films of 2007; Burton Wins Best Director

Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has been named among the top ten films of the year by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

"2007 was an extremely exciting and challenging year for the NBR in determining the winners in the various categories," said NBR president Annie Schulhof in a release. "We screened 282 films and the diversity of these narratives is reflected in our 2007 Ten Best Films."

Eventually, No Country For Old Men by the Coen brothers won Best Film of 2007. But Sweeney Todd was recognized as one of the ten best of the year, and Burton took home the prize for Best Director.

Sweeney Todd will be released in U.S. theaters on December 21st, 2007.

A Very Burton Christmas

Tim Burton's Christmas tree this year will be adorned in a macabre fashion appropriate for the director -- "dead babies and slime." Helena Bonham Carter, Burton's long-time partner, revealed that Burton shuns tradition for a different version of holiday cheer. "Tim decorates the Christmas tree with dead babies and slime balls and things. It looks lovely and glittery from afar, and then as you get closer, you realize it's rather gory," the actress, now pregnant with their second child, said. The couple's first child was Billy Ray Burton, now four years old. The second child is due this December.

Bonham Carter described her tree as looking quite different from her boyfriend's. "Mine looks like Beatrix Potter. He has dead Oompa-Loompas around and multicoloured fiberglass alien lamps. But then he has some nice red-button sofas from Sleepy Hollow. So it's a funny and good mix." But despite the morbid appearance, Bonham Carter assured that they're not sick in the head in a bad way. Helena told Playboy magazine: "We're not that dark. What I love about Tim is that he retains a certain innocence and a childlike quality. He sort of forgot to grow up. I think I've definitely forgotten to grow up, which is great."

Helena jokingly said that their childish outlook on life (and death) might make them odd parents. "At some point, Billy will probably want parents. He'll have to look elsewhere."

Burton and Depp Will Be Taking YOUR Questions

Tonight (that is Wednesday, December 5th) will be hosting an interview with both Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. The visionary duo will be taking your questions, in part of Cinematical's "Celebrity Interviews: Unscripted." Check back the week of December 17th to see if your question was answered in the video interview!

Tim Burton Film Festival in London This December

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that a festival of all of Tim Burton's films will go on in London from December 7th until December 30th, 2007. The films of Mr. Burton, who has been described by the BFI Southbank website as "One of modern cinema's great visionaries," will be shown as well as other films that inspired Burton's work: Glen or Glenda?, the quasi-documentary/autobiography about transvestites by Ed Wood (Starring Bela Lugosi), the B-movie filmmaker Burton made a biopic on, and House of Wax in 3D starring horror film legend and Burton's idol Vincent Price.

In addition to the film screenings, two talks with two of Burton's associates will be featured. The first talk will be with Mark Salisbury, who wrote the book Burton on Burton and recently the companion book to the film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His talk will occur on Thursday, December 13th (click the link for more details).

The second talk will be with Academy Award-winning costume designer and long-time Burton collaborator Colleen Atwood, who will be discussing her work with the imaginative director. Atwood began working with Burton in 1990, on Edward Scissorhands, and will have more of his creations feature as the wardrobes in Burton's Sweeney Todd. The renowned costume designer has so far worked with Mr. Burton on seven feature films. Atwood will speak on Saturday, December 15th (click the link for more information). Costumes from Sweeney Todd will also be on display.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas will be just one of all of Burton's feature films that will be shown at the festival this month.

There will also be fun activities, like a "Corpse Bride Animation Workshop" and a "Nightmare Before Christmas Light, Sound & Animation Workshop."

A few additional surprises will be at this exciting event. Search the website for details, showtimes, and more!