Deadline.com states that Tim Burton has reunited with Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski -- who wrote the screenplay for Burton's acclaimed 1994 biographical film, Ed Wood -- for two new projects: a stop-motion animated The Addams Family (which has been in the news for the last few months), and a new project, a biography on cult artist Margaret Keane, called Big Eyes.
"Both of these projects are based on artwork that Tim absolutely loves," Karasewski said. "The retrospective in New York of Tim's own artwork showed how much of an influence Charles Addams was to him. We want the tone to be as darkly funny and subversive as the Addams drawings, and we've come up with an approach that nobody has ever done before."
It should be noted that Burton is just attached by the companies, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, to direct The Addams Family, but that this new article states that he will be producing the film with Chris Meledandri. It is not confirmed whether Burton will direct this movie yet.
Alexander said that while they are discussing the Addams Family project with Burton, an early draft of the Big Eyes script has already been presented to Burton. The film will focus on the life of Margaret Keane, who is best known for her haunting, kitsch paintings of drippy-eyed children.
"It turns out he's a big fan of Margaret and has commissioned artwork from her," Alexander said. "We thought the movie would have been made by now, but just when we were ready to go 18 months ago, the indie market fell apart. We'd pulled it together in that equity/presale/rebate game, but the smartest thing we did was to hang on to the script and not sell it. That has allowed us to set the reset button with Tim, and having him helps a tremendous amount with the way the independent film world is right now."
Deadline.com provides a summary of the life of Margaret Keane:
"Walter Keane became a national celebrity and talk show fixture in the 1950s after he pioneered the mass production of prints of big-eyed kids, and used his marketing savvy to sell them cheaply in hardware stores and gas stations across the country. Unfortunately, he claimed to be the artist. That role was played by Margaret, his shy wife. She generated the paintings from their basement and Walter's contribution was adding his signature to the bottom. The ruse broke up their marriage, and when she tried to make it known that she authored the paintings, they ended up in a court battle after Walter called her crazy. The case culminated in a dramatic courtroom showdown. The judge put up two easels, side by side, and challenged each of them to start painting. He begged off, blaming a shoulder injury, while she dashed off her familiar big-eyed creation."
"I am excited to be working with Scott and Larry again," Burton said in a statement. "I've always been a great admirer of Margaret Keane's work and find her story intriguing."
Burton will produce Big Eyes with Lynette Howell's Silverwood Films banner. Alexander and Karaszewski intend to direct the low-budget, independent film.