Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg Discuss Upcoming Projects

Not together, of course. I’m just being lazy on the number of posts I write. But apparently it was time for both directors to drop several small hints about the movies that they’re working on. First up, Tim Burton talks to MTV about his 2012 films, all of which — as one might expect — have Gothic overtones. It looks like the big one is probably going to be his adaptation of the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows. Does Johnny Depp star as vampire Barnabas Collins? Of course he does, it’s a Tim Burton film, and you can’t have that without Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Michelle Pfeiffer is also cast in the film, which makes at least three Burton alumni, as she starred in his Batman Returns — though hopefully this is better than that dreck. I have to admit, though, I’m not really the target audience for a vampire romance film anyway, so it’ll take some seriously good reviews to drag me to the theatre for that one. I do find it interesting that he’s having the movie set in 1972, the year after the series concluded in real life, and has eschewed the use of 3D because it wasn’t in vogue in 1972. So he might be treating the source material with some respect.

Burton is also adapting his short film Frankenweenie into a full-length feature; he doesn’t go into a lot of details, except to say that it’s being done in stop motion, black and white, and 3D. I have to say that intrigues me a little bit, as both stop motion and black and white films are practically a lost art nowadays, and it would be interesting to see how well they play with today’s gimmick of choice — especially the stop motion animation, which seems like it would be a great fit with 3D. The premise — turning a dog into a Frankenstein monster — sounds like it could be fun as well, so while I’m generally not a big Tim Burton fan, I’m actually kind of anticipating this a little.

Burton is producing (but not directing) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. He mentions it only in passing, and to say that gave the writer for that film, Seth Graham-Smith, the go-ahead to start working on a script for the sequel to Beetlejuice, and that he thinks Michael Keaton would be able to fit right back into the role.

Spielberg, meanwhile, was at a press conference in France for his recent film War Horse, but gave some small details about his upcoming works. Like Burton, he has a Lincoln film in the works, but his Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, is more historical and thus unlikely to feature vampires. Also like Burton, he’s being tight-lipped about his Lincoln film for now. Also on the “not saying much” front, there is a fourth Jurassic Park film in the works; Spielberg is producing, not directing.

The sequel to The Adventures of Tintin is in the script-writing stage, and is being adapted from the comic The Secret of the Unicorn (presumably continuing elements from the first film) and two other Tintin comics. Peter Jackson will begin motion-capture production on it later this year; Spielberg hopes to be able to direct the third film in the franchise himself.

He spoke briefly about Robopocalypse, his upcoming science-fiction film in which the Osage fend off a robot uprising, and while he was scant on details, he seems very enthusiastic and seems to have high expectations for it. “It’s a big crowd pleaser, I think, a big action popcorn movie with a message. The message is actually in the popcorn!” As noted previously, he’s scheduled the film for Independence Day in 2013, so he’s clearly banking on this being a big summer blockbuster.

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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4 Responses to Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg Discuss Upcoming Projects

  1. 3guys1movie says:

    Looking forward to all three of those Tim Burton projects. Will be intersting to see the different approaches to honest abe they will be taking. Enjoyed checking out your blog.

  2. Well, I know there’s an extra rooting interest for Robopocalypse, so keep us up to speed.

    I AM a Burton fan, I’m rooting for him to regain his old form, his last few efforts have been subpar.

    “Dark Shadows” might be it. I have no knowledge of, or attachment to the source material at all, so… Giddy up!!

    • Yeah, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for Robopocalypse news… still need to track down a copy of the book itself, too.

      I was aware of Dark Shadows before now, but pretty much only aware of it. I knew it was a daytime drama, that it was about a vampire, and that my mother thought it was fairly decent. That’s about it. But like I said, I’m not really the target audience for vampire romance — I’m of the “just kill the evil monster that wants to eat you” persuasion — so my bias is against it initially.

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