Josh Brolin is determined to be a grim dramatic darling, and a mainstream genre star.

According to Heat Vision, Brolin is teaming up with none other than Tim Burton for a new version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Brolin is actually the head man on the project; Burton isn’t committed until he sees a script.

It seems like an unusual choice of project for Brolin.  But he likes to get physical with his performances.  I was one of those who got to hear him slurping through his Jonah Hex prosthesis, and while the make-up had been a practical budgetary choice,  some of it was due to Brolin really wanting to torture himself.   I imagine Hunchback is some Lon Cheneyesque extension of that.

This could be a really interesting passion project.  Hunchback is the kind of book that I’m not sure has ever been adapted well. Most versions opt for a happy ending, for one, and rarely embrace the sheer medieval horror and prejudice of the story. (The 1956 version comes the closest.)  It could be terrifying and tragic in the right hands. Burton, if in full on Edward Scissorhands or Sweeney Todd mode, could be the right fit.

But the last time an intense Method actor decided to tackle his favorite monster story and reinvent it for a modern audience, it didn’t turn out so well.     It did win an Oscar for make-up, though, so I suppose there’s nowhere to go but up!