Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from the Tim Burton Collective News blog!

Video from KJ92508.

Friday, October 28, 2011

No "Beetlejuice 2" Without Burton's Blessing

Entertainment Weekly spoke with David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, the heads of KatzSmith productions, to learn more about their various upcoming plans and projects. Included in were two possible projects that may involve Tim Burton -- emphasis on "possible" and "may." The first was a possible sequel to Beetlejuice.

David Katzenberg: We’re not remaking Beetlejuice. People have been very angry about that.

Seth Grahame-Smith: When Warner Bros. came to us about it, we said the only way we’d do it if we got Tim [Burton’s] blessing and involvement, and we got that, and the star of the movie has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, and it’s a true continuation 26 years later. Not just throwing him in as a cameo going, “Hey, it’s me. I endorse this movie.” We’re not there yet [with Keaton] because we don’t have a film to present to him.

The second film discussed was a possible stop-motion animated feature, Night of the Living. The idea is still only a concept, but the duo are considering pitching it to Tim Burton. The story concerns a community of monsters whose peaceful lives are turned around when they are invaded by humans.

Seth Grahame-Smith: Night of the Living is all of the topes of horror movies, but turned on their head from the monster’s point-of-view.

Again, however, Night of the Living does not yet have Burton attached to it.

Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplays for two future Burton films, Dark Shadows and the Burton-produced Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. David Katzenberg is the son of Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder and head of DreamWorks Animation.

Image Credit: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Alice Cooper's "Dark Shadows" Cameo Confirmed

Alice Cooper poses in his "Welcome to My Nightmare" maze at Universal Studios Hollywood's annual Halloween Horror Nights attraction in Los Angeles. (David Sprague / Universal Studios Hollywood)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Alice Cooper has confirmed that he will have a cameo in the forthcoming Dark Shadows movie.

In an article by the Los Angeles Times, Cooper described his experience on the set and told the writer about his role in the film. “They should take that set and make it a haunted house next year,” Cooper said of the Pinewood Studios constructs that include a sprawling gothic mansion and a harbor city complete with pier and boats floating in an artificial ocean.

Cooper plays himself in the film, which is set in 1972 – Johnny Depp’s character, the recently revived vampire Barnabas Collins, hires the rock star to play a private ball at his seaside home in Maine.

“He’s a guy you have to watch when he’s up on the stage and the songs are just classic,” Depp said last month about Cooper, who, wearing his trademark makeup, plays “No More Mr. Nice Guy” in the film. (His collaboration with Depp went beyond the confine of Pinewood — the actor brought his guitar along to perform with the rock star and his band during a London gig.)

Cooper said he also found in Burton a simpatico soul.

“Rock and horror and comedy work together, that’s something I’ve known a long time and people like Rob Zombie know, and Burton knows that too,” Cooper said. “Sometimes the comedy is disguised a little bit, it’s dark, but it is there. You can’t do horror and rock with a punchline in a way. There’s the absurd stuff and there’s just that delivery of the ’Oh!’ moment that is like a punchline. I just saw Final Destination 5 and I was laughing so hard. I mean, it was Wile E. Coyote, all these elaborate things leading up to this moment of impact... there’s something like that in our shows, too. Hitchcock would do it too. There’s the setup, the misdirect and then the delivery. Tim Burton knows it so well. He’s one of a kind. He’s a kindred spirit.”

Video: Danny Elfman on "Dark Shadows" Score

In the last few weeks, while the film has been shooting in the UK, Danny Elfman has been experimenting with some of the musical elements for his score for the adaptation of Dark Shadows.

MTV News asked the composer about his work so far on the project.

"It’s still very early, they’re not even done shooting. I just sent them some stuff so they can play with it while they’re editing," Elfman said about his progress on Shadows at the premiere of Real Steel, the score for which he also composed. "I think it’s just going to be fun. You can tell from Johnny Depp’s hairstyle right off the bat, it’s like, ‘Oh wow, that’s different.’ It’s [set in] the ‘70s, it’s going to be fun."

"I think this will be a little wilder than 'Edward Scissorhands,' but I don’t know. I really don’t know what to expect until it’s done."

Elfman also said that he and Burton had discussed the use of a smaller-scale orchestra, perhaps to emulate the music for the original TV series and classic motion pictures involving vampires and other gothic monsters. Elfman did something similar for his iconic music for The Nightmare Before Christmas. But Elfman stated that nothing has been set in stone yet.

"I think we might keep it small. That was Tim’s first thought to make it very small, but having said that maybe we’ll make it big. Things can change between now and then."

FearNet also asked Elfman if the film's score would include the theme from the original television series.

"We had this discussion with Batman," said Elfman, "[about] whether we wanted to incorporate the TV theme. And Tim said, ‘No, don't do that.' And on Planet of the Apes, once again, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; that was a big one – "Do we incorporate it in?" "No." So I'm just guessing that he's gonna say no again, that he's gonna want to develop his own language and dialogue for this."

"Having said that," Elfman laughed, "who knows? You may just hear a theramin!"

First Look at "Frankenweenie"

Entertainment Weekly provides the very first official look at Frankenweenie, in glorious black and white!

In the article, Tim Burton also spoke fondly of a childhood dog, and how it might have influenced his original short film and its new feature-length update.

“It’s such an unconditional relationship,” Burton recalls. “A lot of kids have that experience – I certainly had that experience with a first pet. You’ll probably never have it again in your life in that way, it’s so pure and memorable.”

“His name was Pepe — we lived in a Spanish neighborhood,” Burton recalls. “Our dog had this thing called distemper, and wasn’t supposed to live more than a couple of years. He lived much longer than that, which kind of fed into this Frankenstein mythology as well.”

What kind of dog was Pepe? “It was a mix, kind of a mutt, with a bit of terrier, and a bit of something else,” Burton says. “I don’t know what it was. It was kind of a mixture.”

Sparky, the main character of the film, may look a bit freakish once he gets his stitches, but the story is more simple and heartfelt than outlandishly macabre. “It just tries to keep that idea of a very, simple pure relationship,” Burton says. What’s more pure than the story of a kid and his first pet?

“Mix that with the Frankenstein myth,” Burton adds with a chuckle, “and it causes problems.” But the big beating heart in the story (apart from the re-animated one inside Frankenweenie’s chest) is the sad fact that we all outlive those four-legged pals from our childhood, and goodbye can be a painful thing. The idea of bringing a lost friend back to life? “It has its good side and repercussions,” Burton says. “Ultimately, we try to go with the slightly more positive aspects of keeping that [boy-and-his-dog] relationship going.”

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Parade to Feature Burton Balloon

Next month, on November 24th, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City will feature a specially commissioned balloon designed by Tim Burton, writes Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times.

“It’s such a surprise to be asked, and it was great,” Mr. Burton said in a telephone interview from London. “It’s such a surreal thing that you don’t even believe what you’re hearing. Somebody’s trying to play a joke on you or something. It had that kind of feeling.”

Burton even wrote an origin for this character, named B. Boy. B. was created, Frankenstein’s monster-style, from the leftover balloons used in children’s parties at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. Forbidden from playing with other children because of his jagged teeth and crazy-quilt stitching, B. retreated to a basement lair, where he obsesses over Albert Lamorisse’s film “The Red Balloon” and dreams that he, too, will be able to fly someday.

“There’s always been something about balloons,” Mr. Burton said, by way of explaining his B. Boy character. “You see them deflated and you see them floating. There’s something quite beautiful and tragic and sad and buoyant and happy, all at the same time.”

Mr. Burton’s sketches of his B. Boy character, as seen from various angles.

“Maybe we’re stepping into the dark side here,” said Amy Kule, the parade’s executive producer, “but Tim’s balloon, although gothic, is really fun in spirit, and nobody should be worried that it’s going to be scary or should be part of a nighttime parade rather than a daytime parade. We’re pretty cognizant about what we put in the air, and this balloon deserves to be up there with all the others.”

Burton didn't think his style was particularly transgressive, either. “I’ve always felt like my stuff was never that weird or subversive, but that’s just me thinking that,” he said. “For me, it’s pretty natural. Maybe for others, it might not be so much.”

But will Burton appear at the parade itself on November 24th?

“I’ll probably be hiding somewhere, in a building,” he said. “That’s why I’m not an actor – I’m more a stay-behind-the-camera kind of a person. My marching-band days are over. I did that way back when, and I was pretty bad at it then, so leave it to the experts.”

You can read a bit more about the making of the balloon at the original article.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Video: Depp on Vampire Inspirations

During an interview with MTV News to promote The Rum Diary, Johnny Depp talked about his inspirations from classic vampire films that he used to craft his version of the character Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows.

"The memory that I have of watching the show as a kid, Jonathan Frid and what he did with that character was the main inspiration, for sure," he said of the actor who originated the role of Barnabas. "But also the idea of, over the years, these vampire movies have come out and vampire TV shows and stuff like that, and you go, 'Well, nobody looks like a vampire, man. What happened?'

"I adored Dracula, still do. I adored [everyone] from Bela Lugosi to Christopher Lee. I adore Nosferatu, [played by] Max Schreck. I adore all those wonderful sort-of horror films. And it was an opportunity really, an opportunity to sort of go into what really doesn't exist [onscreen] so much anymore, which is classic monster makeup and a classic monster character," Depp explained. "So that was really the inspiration Tim and I talked about."

Christopher Lee will reportedly appear in Dark Shadows, which will be released May 11, 2012.