UPDATE: MTV got the following comment from Burton’s people – “There is no truth to the story. Tim has not lined up any of his upcoming projects.” That doesn’t necessarily mean shit, but you can probably calm down if The Addams Family is your thing, and Tim Burton ain’t.

If
the following piece comes across a touch cynical, just be aware that I
paid actual real dollars to see Alice In Wonderland last night, and while I saved
myself the headache and caught a 2D show, there wasn’t even a TRON
trailer attached!


Looks
like Tim Burton’s gotten a real bug to dive back into the animation
world, as he’s added a 3D stop-motion Addams Family movie to his directorial slate, to
presumably be filmed after his planned Frankenweenie remake.

The Addams
Family
is a well mined
property with the characters used in TV shows, movies, an upcoming
Broadway show, and no end of toys and such for the macabre set. Burton
will apparently be getting back to basics and basing his film on the
original one-panel strips from The New Yorker, specifically the “sharper
wit than could be be [placed] into a 60s family TV series.”
Considering how closely most
adaptations have adhered to that tone and imagery though, I’m not sure
what sort of difference that will actually result in. The satirical
backbone of the original is admittedly ripe for exploitation if Burton
wanted to, you know, try.

This
is definitely a “low hanging fruit” choice for Burton – another tick
off that list that used to have Alice In
Wonderland
at the very top
spot. An optimist could view it as a “back to roots” sort of move, but
even if Burton really hunkers down and generates a truly compelling
story with something to say, if the voice cast is the usual suspects and
the trailer is a mash of shifting grays… who’s going to
actually listen? Oh wait, probably some of the $250 million worth of
people that watched the last one.

(That’s pretty much the end of
somewhat informative Addams Family news, the rest is just ranting. Feel
free to check out and just hit the message board link below.)

Burton
is pretty harshly criticized for the increasing creative bankruptcy of
his films, but I’m beginning to feel most detractors are equally lazy in
their attacks. Much of the disregard for Burton seemingly stems from
the fact that he maintains a visual aesthetic, and reuses actors-
neither of which are inherent problems. Honestly, the look of Burton’s
films is not as consistent and obvious as is maintained – they can all
be lazily described as “kooky,” but Alice looks almost nothing like Mars Attacks,
which looks almost nothing like Charlie, which looks almost nothing like Big Fish.
Yes, people are often pale and the toys are always sold at Hot Topic,
but Burton and his people (his production designers are different for
virtually every film, by the way) do a consistently great job of
bringing a sophisticated creativity and knowledge of design to each
property. Hell, I’ll even contend that Burton’s most repetitiously used
element – Johnny Depp – is always trying to do something interesting and
attention worthy.

Unfortunately, the fundamental problem
is that Burton has seemed to lose all drive to understand the heart and
purpose of the films he makes. There’s nothing wrong with using
Caroll’s world as a playground for a more linear story, and shit, give the Mad Hatter purpose and legit
character for all I care, but if it’s in service of a rote fucking
pointless storyline… then you lose me. This is a much deeper
and unfortunate problem than “all his characters are pale, and Danny
Elfman sucks.” He’s lost his grasp on intriguing storytelling and
filmmaking craft. Whether something will energize or stimulate Burton
enough to drive a powerful story again (without Daddy issues, of
course)… we’ll just have to see. 

Source | Deadline New York

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