Thursday, June 09, 2011

"BIg Fish": The Musical

The New York Times' Art Beat reports that Big Fish will be adapted into a Broadway musical, possibly by Spring 2012.

Susan Stroman, the Tony award winning director and choreographer of "The Producers," will direct. The musical also has Andrew Lippa ("The Addams Family") writing the music and lyrics and John August is writing the book for the show. August also wrote the screenplay for the 2003 Tim Burton film.

Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who produced Burton's film adaptation of Daniel Wallace's novel, will also be producing the Broadway musical.

“John August and Andrew Lippa have taken inspiration from Daniel Wallace’s book and Tim Burton’s movie and completely re-imagined this ambitious story for the stage,” Mr. Jinks said in a statement. Added Mr. Cohen: “Susan Stroman has the artistic vision and talent to bring this tale of reconciliation between a father and son to the stage.”

Cast members and the design team will be announced later.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Video Interview: Burton on Art, "Dark Shadows," "Superman Lives"

The Wrap conducted an extensive interview with Tim Burton. The filmmaker discussed a myriad of subjects, including the origins of his artwork, why Dark Shadows will not be in 3D, and the failed Superman Lives project.

The video below features some of the interview, which was fully transcribed below:

Can you talk about the creature series, the untitled animation series, the number series; some of the more unfamiliar portions of the show?

A lot of these things came at a time when I was a student or working at Disney when I wasn’t really an animator, I just sort of had a lot of free time. There’s a period in my life when I wasn’t very social, and that’s how I spent my time, drawing and thinking of things, and it helped me. I think I was quite a depressed character at a certain point in life. This was kind of a catharsis for me, as a way to kind of explore and just get feelings out into the open nonverbally but just by doing things.

Is that something you commonly do to relax, just sit down and draw?

Yeah, it is. It’s a bit kind of like a Zen thing for me. It was a way for me to communicate with myself in a weird way, in a way to kind of explore things that I couldn’t quite intellectualize or verbalize. I found drawing was a way of finding a certain reality for me and exploring things. So yeah, it’s still important even if I’m busy doing other things.

When you were at Cal Arts, you felt you weren’t a good "life-drawer," but you had a revelation while sitting and drawing over at the Farmer’s Market.

I’ll never forget, it was like a mind-expanding moment. I was sitting at Farmer’s Market and we were there on a class trip, sketching. I was frustrated, and I just said, “Fuck it. I can’t do this so I’m just going to draw.” And at that moment, it just changed for me. Not that my drawings got any better, but it just did something that I truly felt like my mind expanded. It was like taking some kind of drug and it just did something. I’ll never forget it.

A character from “The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy,” Stain Boy is said to have come out of your experience trying to get “Superman” made at Warner Bros. How does he reflect that experience and can you talk about the struggles between Jon Peters, you and the studio?

Any filmmaker that’s had that happen will tell you, it’s kind of a scarring. You don’t forget it. It’s kind of the worst thing that can happen to you because, as an artist you get excited -- your whole energy is based on your passion for doing something. And then when you’re going on and on and on, and that’s sort of taken away, it’s quite traumatic because you put your passion into it. If you didn’t care, you’d just move on. It’s happened a couple of times. It seems to happen more and more with people. You know, it’s a lot of money; it’s a big responsibility. And movies are a gamble. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. I’m always amazed that certain studio executives don’t realize that. I guess there’s some things that are a bit more sure than others, but at the same time, you got to rely on the filmmaker. I’ve always been grateful when the studios understand, "Well, you’re the one making it, we should support you." I’ve always had this image of like, "Okay, you’re the star athlete,’ and right before the race, they beat the shit out of you then say, “Okay, now go win the race.” It doesn’t make any sense.

I know you’re in the first week of “Dark Shadows.” How do you usually ease the cast and crew into a production?

It’s been hard to kind of come here because I’m just starting, and it’s a weird tone and it’s a lot of actors and, you know, we’re not starting with the simple stuff; we're sort of getting right in there. You like to kind of sneak up on it a little bit, but this one we just kind of slammed right into it.

It’s based on a soap opera. Will it have that soapy quality?

Yes, I don’t know. I’m early into it because it’s a funny tone, and that’s part of what the vibe of the show is, and there’s something about it that we want to get. But when you look at it, it’s pretty bad. I’m hoping that it will be -- it’s early days, let’s put it -- I’m very intrigued by the tone. It’s a real ethereal tone we’re trying to go for and I don’t know yet.

Can you talk about your first meeting with Johnny Depp and how your relationship has evolved over the years? I understand you used to have to fight to get him in movies, and now people are begging you to put him in movies.

It’s true, I mean I just had an immediate connection with him. I didn’t know him, but he just felt right for “Edward Scissorhands.” We’re friends and colleagues, and we’ve always taken the tack of not working together just to work together. It’s got to be the right part, the right movie, all of that sort of thing. There’s a good sort of non-communicative communication, you know. Because especially back then I was not a good verbal communicator, and he’s a bit similar, but there’s more of a psychic kind of connection, I would say, that sort of has remained. I like actors, too, that like to change, become different things. Those are the kinds of actors I find fun and exhilarating to work with.

Will “Dark Shadows” be in 3D?

I have no plans for that. I loved doing "Alice" in 3D. “Frankeweenie,” gonna do that in 3D. There’s people like, "Everything’s gonna be in 3D," or "I hate 3D!" I think people should have a choice. I don’t think it should be forced on anybody. At the same time, it’s great, some of it. It’s like "Yes or no!? 3D! Yes or no?!" It’s like, well, you know, come on, whatever, some yes, some no.

"Nightmare" in 3D on Blu-Ray this August

The 3D version of The Nightmare Before Christmas will be made viewable at home for the first time on August 30th. The new edition will be a three-disc combo pack and will include Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital versions of the film. The SRP has been set at $49.99.

The special features of the new release are identical to the 2008 home entertainment release:

* What's This? Jack's Haunted Mansion Holiday Tour – Viewers choose the way they want to tour Disneyland's Holiday Haunted Mansion. "On Track" explores a tricked-out version of the Haunted Mansion, while "Off Track" reveals what went into creating all the creepy fun.
* Tim Burton's Original poem narrated by Christopher Lee – Tim Burton's poem that inspired the creation of the movie. Now, the original verse comes to creepy life as performed by legendary actor Christopher Lee.
* Film Commentary – commentary by producer and writer Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and composer Danny Elfman.
* Introduction To Frankenweenie! – A new un-cut version of the short film with an introduction by Tim Burton.
* Vincent- Tim Burton's short film from 1982.
* The Making of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas - Go behind the scenes of the very first full-length stop motion animated movie with the filmmakers.
* The Worlds of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas – Witness the creation of the film's richly imagined dreamscapes, including Halloween Town, Christmas Town and the Real World.
* Deleted Scenes
* Storyboard to Film Comparison
* Original Theatrical Trailers and Posters

Here are the technical details of the new release:

Video codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, French, Spanish
English SDH, French, Spanish

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Digital copy (on disc)
Blu-ray 3D


Region A

The 3D version should be available for pre-order on shortly.

"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" Production Photos

The New York Times has provided two images from the 179-year-old Evergreen Plantation in Louisiana, shooting location for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The film is being directed by Timur Bekmambetov and produced by Tim Burton.

Benjamin Walker, left, with the director Timur Bekmambetov on the set of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

You can read more about the making of the film, which director Mr. Bekmambetov describes as a cross between D. W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln and F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu, in the original article.

No "Maleficent" for Burton

Back in January 2010, there was talk of the very busy Tim Burton being attached to direct a movie on the Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent with Disney. But the Hollywood Reporter provides an update on the project, saying that Burton is no longer attached to direct Maleficent.

Disney has not put the project down yet, however. There is talk of the Harry Potter director David Yates being up for consideration to helm the movie. There is also speculation that Darren Aronofsky, director of such films as The Wrestler and Black Swan, might be attached to the film.

MTV News spoke with Angelina Jolie, who is still being considered to play the leading role of Maleficent, to get an update from her. Jolie said that she was not aware of Aronofsky being attached, but she has read the script (penned by Alice in Wonderland scribe Linda Woolverton) and enjoyed it.

On Maleficent, Jolie said, "I would love to [do it]. It's all new and being discussed, but I loved [Maleficent] when I was a little girl, she was my favorite."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Interview: Burton on Art, "Dark Shadows," Spacing Out

Susan Michals of the Wall Street Journal had an interview with Tim Burton to discuss his art exhibition, which has arrived at LACMA in Los Angeles, his upcoming Dark Shadows, and the sources of his inspirations:

Speakeasy: This exhibition is great on so many levels – but one of the biggest is your work is bringing in a whole new audience to someplace like LACMA.

Tim Burton:
The biggest compliment I’ve gotten so far is from people that don’t usually go to museums. It makes people realize that anything is possible. I think that one the things that made it acceptable is it’s not something that was ever meant to really be…but I think the curators did a good job in sort of not making it to like it’s great artwork but this is somebody’s process. It’s great to me to inspire people – to keep drawing, even if they think they can’t do it – to show that you don’t have to be the greatest artist in the world – if you like it, that’s the important thing.

I enjoyed seeing the timeline of your life and career …starting from your school days at Cal Arts and then moving from room to room into your films.

I don’t know where they found all this stuff. [laughs] It makes it seem like I’m one of the most organized, archivists – but it’s like it’s really just stuffed into drawers. I didn’t even know that 90% of it existed.

Considering you’re a local boy (Burton was born and raised in Burbank) what’s it feel like to have this exhibition here?

It’s special – it also it helps that I don’t live here because otherwise I would’ve been much more freaked out probably. But I’m here for one day so it’s okay.

Seeing the work in its entirety – how does that feel?

I haven’t been in there today – I think I need to go in when no one’s around because I would feel extremely vulnerable. It was stuff for the most part that was private – it was only for studio people or projects but never meant for that kind of thing.

There’s always an element of comedy in the macabre in your work. Is that to make it less scary?

No I think it’s just the way I feel. I always found life to be a combination of funny and scary. I grew up watching horror movies and I never found them scary; I actually found them quite funny and beautiful. So for me, it’s capturing a certain emotional state that encapsulates all of that.

I can only imagine what your house looks like.

It’s filled with a bunch of junk, but it’s probably pretty close to what you’d imagine. [laughs] I’ll give you a quick story. When they closed down the Movieland Wax Museum I bought a couple of wax figures, including one of Sammy Davis, Jr. And one of my kids friends – we got a call from one of the parents, alarmed, saying that the kid had come home and said we had a dead black man on our sofa.

I take it he was reclining at that moment.

He was just lying on the sofa – I hadn’t put him up yet. And we have a lot of Oompa Loompa’s around; that scares a lot of the kids.

What’s your take on life after death?

Growing up in a middle class, suburban environment like Burbank it was sort of a taboo subject. One of the things growing up in Los Angeles, you’re quite ingrained in the Hispanic community where they have the Day of Dead ceremonies. I’ve always appreciated that approach – where it’s a much more positive attitude. All those folktales there’s a great spiritual aspect to them; I think that’s what great about those stories – it’s great to just emotionally explore those things. You know, it’s a part of life. Everybody’s gonna go – at least have some positive imagery.

Let’s talk eyeballs. There’s a lot of them in this exhibition.

I don’t know, Jack Skellington doesn’t have any eyeballs. That was a big sell job trying to pitch a movie where a character has no eyes. [laughs] Eyes are important, or…eye sockets.

Okay, now I have your token “Dark Shadows” question.

You mean, why? [laughs hysterically]

No. When?

Sometime next year. Just starting shooting a few days ago.

So what do you do with your free time?

I’m always tinkering. But I also think it’s really important to just space out and look at trees or clouds – even if you’re busy…that’s why I’m kind of have a fear of technology – it’s nice to not be reached at every moment of the day. I don’t even know my home phone number – I like having space. My mind races all the time but you gotta try to create that moment otherwise you’ll burn out.

Tim Burton Comes to LACMA

The massive art retrospective "Tim Burton," showcasing artwork and artifacts from the prolific filmmaker, is making its fourth and final appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition will run at the museum until October 31st.

Tickets are on sale at LACMA's official website.

You can also view a couple of videos of Tim Burton's high school art teacher, Doris Adams, who he spoke fondly of and encouraged him to make his artwork and visions.

In conjunction with the visiting exhibition, the filmmaker also selected 50 pieces from LACMA's permanent collection. The artworks will be on display in LACMA's Ahmanson Building, Level 2, until November 13, 2011, in an exhibit called, "Burton Selects: From LACMA's Collection." Here are a few of the pieces Burton chose:

Odilon Redon, À Edgar Poe (L'oeil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers l'infini), 1882, lithograph, Wallis Foundation Fund in memory of Hal B. Wallis (AC1997.14.1.1)

Otto Dix, Illusion Art, 1922, The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, © Otto Dix Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Hokkyo Sessai, Skeleton, mid- to late 19th century Netsuke, Stag antler with staining; sashi type, Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection (M.87.263.11)

Hugo Steiner-Prag, The way to horror, 1915-1916 Print, Lithograph on handmade paper, Image: 7 1/8 x 4 13/16 in. The Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies (M.82.287.68L)