It’s no secret Tim Burton‘s been plotting a sequel to his Beetlejuice; he’s been talking it up at various press events for two years now since Deadline’s Mike Fleming first reported Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg would be producing the pic for their KatzSmith Productions. So who’s shocked that Burton’s mulling an offer to direct the ghost-with-the-most follow-up for Warner Bros? I’m told even though he’s in very early negotiations on the Grahame-Smith-penned sequel, it won’t be his next film. He’s got Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children set for summer 2015 and is finishing Big Eyes for next August.
The Weinstein Company announced today that Terence Stamp has joined Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Danny Huston, Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman in Big Eyes. The actor will play John Canaday, the elitist and exasperated senior art critic for the New York Times in the Tim Burton-directed film based on the life of painter Margaret Keane and her husband Walter, played by Adams and Waltz. Walter took credit for his wife’s work while she remained in the background. Burton is producing the film with Lynette Howell for Electric City Entertainment, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Alexander and Karaszewski wrote the screenplay for the project, on which they also are producers. Currently seen in Unfinished Song, Stamp is repped by Untitled Entertainment.
Fox Slates ‘Independence Day 2′ And Tim Burton’s ‘Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ For July 2015
Who knows how long two Earth decades is to those creepy invading aliens, but it might as well be a millennium in show business. But Fox today secured a July 3, 2015, release date for Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day 2 – 19 years and one day after the original opened en route to becoming the biggest movie of 1996 and making Will Smith a bona fide movie star. Also slated for Fourth of July weekend a couple of years hence is Universal’s Untitled Illumination Entertainment Project, which is being kept under wraps. Fox also said today that Tim Burton’s adaptation Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children will bow four weeks after ID2 on July 31, 2015. As of now, the pic appears to have that weekend to itself.
The Weinstein Company has set Danny Huston to join Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman in Big Eyes, the Tim Burton-directed film based on the true story of painter Margaret Keane and her manipulative husband Walter, who took credit for her artwork. Huston will play the part of gossip journalist Dick Nolan. Burton is producing the film with Lynette Howell for Electric City Entertainment, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. Alexander and Karaszewski wrote the screenplay for the project, which they are also producers on. ICM Partners, Julian Belfrage Associates and attorney David Fox rep Huston.
EXCLUSIVE: Krysten Ritter has joined Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in Big Eyes. The Tim Burton-directed film is about Margaret and Walter Keane, the married couple whose paintings of large-eyed children became one of the first mass-marketed art sensations of the 1950s and ’60s. Adams plays the San Francisco housewife who actually generated the paintings. Her husband (Waltz) was a charismatic marketing wiz who went on talk shows claiming he was also responsible for the brush strokes. The movie is about how Margaret came out of her shell to try and claim the credit she deserved, after they split up. Ritter, most recently seen as the title character in Don’t Trust The B____ In Apt. 23 and in Breaking Bad, will play DeeAnn, the free-spirited confidante to Margaret who tries to coax her friend to come out of her shy shell. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote the script and The Weinstein Company is financing and distributing. Alexander, Karaszewski, Burton and Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell are producing the film, which begins production this summer. Ritter is repped by WME, is co-managed by The Group Entertainment and Sanders Armstrong Caserta, and lawyered by Dave Feldman.
The sun finally came back to a windy and rainy Cannes but the weather clearly couldn’t slow the nonstop parties, premieres, deals and hype for which this festival is famous. And despite the rain on Saturday the turnout for Lionsgate’s big Catching Fire bash was wall-to-wall at Baoli Beach, with everyone including star Jennifer Lawrence crowded into the large tent. One exec there actually was happy with the monsoon-like conditions. “The rain probably kept 30% of our RSVPs away which is probably good because i don’t know how we could have squeezed them in,” he said.
With everyone drying out Sunday there seemed to be even more party-hopping than usual. At the crowded Participant Films party at the Carlton, Focus Features CEO James Schamus was accepting congratulations on his re-upping at the company. I have rarely heard him wax more eloquently about a film than Focus’ recent pickup of The Dallas Buyers Club, the movie where Matthew McConaughey lost about 50 pounds to play an early AIDS victim. It’s not dated yet according to Schamus but is planned for fall sometime. “It’s just a bloodbath trying to pick the right date in that period but this movie is extraordinary. I just so admire what Matthew has been doing with his career in the last couple of years between Magic Mike, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Mud and now this. You know me, I don’t rave like this a lot, but he really knocks this one out of the park. It is the performance of a lifetime,” he says of the actor in a film that is sure to be a main focus of Focus’ awards-season plans.
EXCLUSIVE: A few weeks ago, I reported that The Weinstein Co. would screen footage of its upcoming fall films at a special event in Cannes. Further ramping up the company’s use of the festival and market as a platform, I’ve learned it will also roll out a red carpet for a project that’s in pre-production: the Tim Burton-directed Big Eyes. Burton will come to town and be joined by star Christoph Waltz – a Cannes jury member this year – for a round-table brunch to discuss the film that starts shooting in two months. International interest is high and I hear multiple offers are pending. Waltz and Amy Adams star in the Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted story of Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of large eyed children were one of the first mass-marketed art sensations in the 50s and 60s. Walter became a full-fledged celebrity, but his shy wife was the actual artist. When they split, she tried to get her due and a long legal battle ensued until they were ordered to a courtroom paint-off.
Tim Burton To Direct ‘Big Eyes’; The Weinstein Company Putting Finishing Brush Strokes On Deal For Painting Saga
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Burton will direct Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in Big Eyes, the film that Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted. At the same time, The Weinstein Company is closing a deal to fund and distribute. This is a major development on a project that has followed a long development track. Of all the development projects I’ve written about over the years, this is my favorite that has not yet gotten made. And the casting seems so promising. The film will be produced by Alexander and Karaszewski and Burton, with Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell. This will be Burton’s next film, and production will begin this summer.
Waltz, who’s coming off another Oscar turn in Django Unchained, and Adams, nominated for The Master, will play Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of large eyed children became one of the first mass marketed art sensations in the 50s and 60s. Those prints sold in gas stations and every five and dime store across the country. While Walter was the marketing genius, he also took the bows for doing the brush work. He was a full fledged celebrity, a regular on the TV talk show circuit. His shy wife was the actual artist in the family. When they split and she tried to get …
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine
In the final stretch before the Oscar ballot deadline, there’s still hope that voters remain undecided in the animation category. Though Disney has cornered the Oscar slot with three titles, its Frankenweenie, directed by Tim Burton, stands as an island against the epic Brave and the existential crisis comedy of Wreck-It Ralph. The film is an auteur’s youthful dream short, once buried by the studio that has resuscitated it as a 3D stopmotion feature — the first in black and white. This Frankenstein homage about a boy who brings his dead dog back to life is signature Tim Burton. Many will argue Burton is overdue for an Oscar. He was nominated in the animated category for 2005’s Corpse Bride. His 1994 absurdist biopic Ed Wood garnered a supporting actor win for Martin Landau (as Bela Lugosi) and best makeup, while 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street won best art direction and earned noms for Johnny Depp as best actor and for Colleen Atwood’s costumes. Another appealing Burton attribute for Oscar voters is that he remains an iconoclast among big-studio directors working today — he’s a visual artist with a spooky canon that appears alienating with its deep subtext but lures the masses with its fanciful spins on children’s tales such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland. AwardsLine recently spoke to Burton about his career and Frankenweenie’s place in it.
AwardsLine: Why was this the best time to make Frankenweenie as a stopmotion feature. You could have conceivably made it in 1993 instead of Nightmare Before Christmas.
Tim Burton: All these projects take a long time. I remember when I first designed Nightmare, it took about 10 years to get that in place because nobody really wanted to do stopmotion, and in a way, there weren’t a lot of facilities that were doing it. We did the Frankenweenie short many years ago, and I never really planned on it being anything else. Over the years, I just kept kind of thinking about the relationship with my dog, but also other monster movies, the kids and teachers from my school, and even the downtown places in Burbank. A lot more thoughts came into Frankenweenie,
EXCLUSIVE: Tim Burton received his second animated feature nomination for Frankenweenie, perhaps his most personal movie yet. His first nom came for 2005′s Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Both are products of the art of Stop Motion animation, a technique that fell on hard times after CGI took over for most animated films. But thanks to Burton and others it is back with a vengeance. Three of the Animated Feature nominees this year (ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band Of Misfits are the others) and two of the Animated Short nominees (Head Over Heels and Fresh Guacamole) are all done with Stop Motion technique. In this exclusive featurette a visit to the “puppet hospital” shows some of the magic behind Frankenweenie.
In the race for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar, Disney is hoping to pull off a rare feat and grab 3 of the 5 nominations: for their summer Pixar hit Brave, the upcoming holiday release Wreck-It Ralph (November 2) and Tim Burton‘s Frankenweenie. But will the disappointing box office for the latter hurt its chances at landing a nomination for Burton in the category? Grossing only $24 million since its domestic release October 5th, Frankenweenie’s tepid box office receipts are a head-scratcher. It’s the leading animated film in terms of critical reviews at Rotten Tomatoes this year with an 88% Fresh rating. Oversaturation of other horror-themed animated features like Focus Features’ ParaNorman and Sony’s hit Hotel Transylvania could be a factor in the under-performance for Frankenweenie. For Burton it may be his most personal project as he told me on the phone from London this morning so its particularly frustrating that it is not clicking in a bigger way at the box office.
“I don’t really know why. I can never predict from the beginning of my career. Any of them can go one way or the other. When people see it they seem to like it and Disney has been supportive of it so I can’t really fault anything. I don’t really know,” he said. “The Nightmare Before Christmas in a weird way was similar. It didn’t really do anything (at the box office) but it sort of stayed around,” he said of …
The 56th BFI London Film Festival, which kicks off tonight in the British capital, is set to honor Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton with the BFI Fellowship. The highest award bestowed by the British Film Institute goes to individuals in “recognition of their outstanding contribution to film or television culture.” Burton’s Frankenweenie is the opening-night film at the fest. The BFI also announced the juries for this year’s festival, which runs through October 21. Director David Hare is president of the Best Film jury, with producer Nansun Shi, director Pablo Trapero, producer Victoria Pearman and actress Romola Garai also on the panel. The jury for the Sutherland Award, which recognizes new talent, will be overseen by former director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival Hannah McGill and fellow jurors Harry Potter director David Yates, novelist Sebastian Faulks, producer Robin Gutch, and actress Louise Brealey. The Best British Newcomer Award jury will be headed by Harry Potter producer David Heyman with actors Tom Hiddleston and Olivia Colman, author Kazuo Ishiguru and director Eran Creevy in support.
The European premiere of Frankenweenie will officially be held at London’s Leicester Square Odeon cinema. But, in a first-of-its-kind move for the BFI London Film Festival, the premiere screening will be simultaneously transmitted to 30 moviehouses around the UK when it kicks off the event on Oct 10. Tim Burton’s 3D stop-motion animation about a boy and his dog is the feature adaptation of his own 1984 short and was produced in London at 3 Mills Studios. The voice cast includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau and Winona Ryder. Disney will release it in the UK a week after the premiere, on Oct 17. The festival has also just announced it will host The Art of Frankenweenie exhibition from Oct 17-21 at the BFI’s Southbank Centre Festival Village. The exhibition will be a look inside Burton’s stop-motion animation process replete with sketches, props, sets and puppets. The 56th edition of the London Film Festival runs from Oct 10-21.
With Dick Zanuck’s sudden passing today at the age of 77 one of the last direct links of a still-active bigtime Hollywood player to the beginnings of the major studios is also gone. When he was hired in 1962 by his father, the legendary Darryl F. Zanuck (who, coincidentally also died at the age of 77 in 1979), to head production at Fox after the bloated production of Cleopatra nearly shut the place down, Dick Zanuck was only 28 years old, the youngest to have such a job since the earliest days of the studios . 8 years later financial troubles at the studio forced his father to fire him, but the makings of one of the producing greats was quite apparent.
My all-time favorite book about Hollywood, John Gregory Dunne’s The Studio published in 1968, had extraordinary access in chronicling the year 1967 in the life of 20th Century Fox and really gives you a warts-and-all understanding of who Dick Zanuck was personally and professionally, in success and failure, even then at such a young age. You can see how he was shaped as it was happening, and it’s a fascinating read or a must re-read for those thinking about Zanuck and his legacy today.
Near the end of the book Darryl Zanuck explains why he hired his son and the trust he put in him. As Dunne describes the conversation he writes you could hear the paternal pride. “I was put under terrific criticism when I sent Dick out to head …
I’m in shock and heartbroken at the news of Richard Zanuck’s passing. He was like family to me – a mentor, friend and father figure. Richard was a completely unique and amazing individual and there will never be anyone else like him. I’m too sad to speak more about it right now and need some time to mourn.
Related: R.I.P. Dick Zanuck
Others in Hollywood also are weighing in.
Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Con.
The Disney panel at Comic-Con offered the first trailers for Sam Raimi’s Oz The Great And Powerful and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger. Raimi’s Oz impressed and revealed plot details. New trailer for Burton’s Frankenweenie looks pretty much as expected amd Wreck-It Ralph shows 10 minutes of videogame crossover fun.
Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick introduced the latest Frankenweenie trailer in 3D (the one that’s been everywhere online, but its mix of retro-Universal monster-style narration and black-and-white stop motion looked great on the big screen). When Tim Burton, who was on hand, was asked what informs his sense of comedy, he replied “Growing up in Burbank.” Here’s the Frankenweenie trailer:
There was also a funny clip was shown in which a foreign-accented, Vincent Price-like science teacher becomes, shall we say, excessively enthusiastic about describing the science behind a man being struck by lightning. This leads to all the kids in the classroom speculating about why the town is cursed with so much lightning: is it the creepy windmill? The souls of dead miners? Funny stuff, and stays securely in the ’50s B mold.
The second clip included a very cool 3D moment of stop-motion fish in a giant tank, as the Igor-like kid blackmails Victor into trying to revive a dead fish for him. They succeed, but it turns out to be invisible except for the skeleton. Igor promises not to …
Disney’s stop-motion animated Tim Burton movie Frankenweenie has been set to world premiere as the opening-night film at Fantastic Fest on September 20, organizers said this morning. The studio opens the movie wide domestically on October 5. The black-and-white 3D pic, written by John August, is about a boy who brings his beloved dog back to life — with just a few minor adjustments. Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, Conchata Ferrell and Winona Ryder are among the voice cast. The genre festival runs through September 27 in Austin. UPDATE: As part of Disney’s promotion of the pic, it has released a cool 360-degree tour video of the set with interactive elements to click into. It’s certainly a different way to tell a behind-the-scenes story. Here it is:
Disney has posted the second full trailer for Tim Burton’s feature-length stop-motion animated movie based on his short. Frankenweenie‘s voice cast includes Winona Ryder, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Landau. It hits theatres October 5th: