Tim Burton
Film director, producer, writer, conceptual artist
Tim Burton
Timothy Walter "Tim" Burton is an American film director, film producer, writer and artist.
Tim Burton's personal information overview.
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Ben Affleck And Antoine Fuqua Are No Longer Directing 'The Batman' And 'Scarface,' Respectively
Huffington Post - 29 days
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Two high-profile directors, Ben Affleck and Antoine Fuqua, stepped down from their high-profile reboots on Monday night, one to focus on his acting duties and the other to make a sequel instead. Hollywood roars on!  The first was Affleck, who announced in 2015 his plans to co-write and direct a standalone Batman movie. Then Fuqua said he would be abandoning a reboot of the gangster classic “Scarface.” Technically, Affleck’s vision for “The Batman” ― i ...
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Huffington Post article
Michael Keaton Reveals Why He Walked Away From 'Batman'
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Michael Keaton held the title role in Tim Burton’s “Batman,” the highest-grossing film of 1989. He also starred in the sequel, “Batman Returns,” which was the third biggest movie of 1992. And then he walked away when director Joel Schumacher took over the franchise for the third installment, “Batman Forever.”  Now, Keaton has explained why he left despite all the success, and the answer is pretty simple: He didn’t like the script for the third film.  “It sucked,” Keaton told The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast. “The script never was great. I didn’t understand why (Schumacher) wanted to do what he wanted to do.” Keaton said he attended “many meetings” over the film, and was “polite up to a point about things.”  But he didn’t like the new direction Schumacher had in mind.  “I knew it was in trouble when he said ‘Why does everything have to be so dark?’” he said.  When it came down to it, Keaton said he just couldn’t do it.  “Not like, I’m above it, ...
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Huffington Post article
Tim Burton hopes to inspire creativity with Hong Kong exhibit
Reuters.com - 4 months
HONG KONG(Reuters) - From childhood illustrations to items from movies he has directed, American filmmaker Tim Burton is bringing a touring exhibition of his works to Hong Kong through which he hopes to inspire others in their creative pursuits.
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Reuters.com article
L.A. Chamber Orchestra's impressive guest conductor leads homage to Tim Burton, 'A Freak in Burbank'
LATimes - 4 months
Facing the imminent departure of music director Jeffrey Kahane, who steps down in 2017 after his 20th season, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra has hosted a string of superb guest conductors including Matthias Pintscher, Karina Canellakis and Peter Oundjian, giving the search committee plenty to...
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LATimes article
Chasing the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow
Huffington Post - 4 months
I've been fascinated with the story of the Headless Horseman ever since I was a little girl watching the somewhat frightening animated Disney short. My young interest grew as I learned, through the Judy Blume classic Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, which takes place in Tarrytown, New York, that the location of the original story is real. But although I lived just an hour away, I never visited the area until recently. My journey to Sleepy Hollow started in the morning as my family and I drove from New Jersey across the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Hudson Valley of New York. As we came into Tarrytown, the traffic increased and the sidewalks became filled with families like ours, searching for fall fun. My husband found public parking near our planned dinner spot, Horsefeathers, and loaded our toddler son, Sam, and all our gear into the stroller. Unsure where to head to next, we walked along Broadway, the main road. Our first stop was the Sleepy Hollow sign--it's cliché, bu ...
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Huffington Post article
Here's The Spooky Poem 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' Was Based On
Huffington Post - 4 months
“It was the nightmare before Christmas / And all through the house / Not a creature was peaceful / Not even a mouse,” Tim Burton wrote in a riff on the popular holiday rhyme, “The Night Before Christmas.” His poetic parody would go on to inspire one of his most beloved films, not least because it can be enjoyed during two separate holidays. In the above 10-minute video, the late Christopher Lee reads Burton’s original poem, on which the “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is based, detailing the frustrations of Jack Skellington, the spookiness of Halloween Town, and the terror bestowed upon young children after Santa Claus is kidnapped and replaced by a bonier doppelgänger. Notably, Burton’s original 1982 story has no romantic component ― Sally, Jack’s rag doll admirer in the movie, doesn’t make an appearance. Otherwise, the movie is faithful to the original vision, a lyrically wrought first draft. “Then out from the grave with a curl and a t ...
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Huffington Post article
Pass The Popcorn: 7 Books To Read Before They Hit The Big Screen
Huffington Post - 4 months
By Julianna Haubner | Off the Shelf From children's classics to fairytale backstories, dramatic thrillers to inspiring biographies, books have always been source material for some of our greatest and most cherished films. Stories can live on the page and in our minds, but there's nothing quite like seeing them come to life before your eyes. Here are some of the titles we can't wait to see in theaters this year and beyond.   Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs After a horrific family tragedy, a young boy named Jacob is sent to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As he explores, he begins to realize that the past young residents of the home were not only strange, they may have been dangerous--and they might still be alive. We're thrilled that director Tim Burton is bringing this inventive tale to the big screen. In theaters now.   The Queen of Katwe by Tim Crother ...
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Huffington Post article
Tim Burton Narrates a Scene From ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home’
NYTimes - 5 months
The director discusses an underwater sequence from his film.
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NYTimes article
Box Office: ‘Miss Peregrine’ tops with $28.5 million, ‘Deepwater Horizon,’ ‘Masterminds’ bomb
Reuters.com - 5 months
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Tim Burton’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” topped a feeble crop of new releases to pick up first place at the weekend box office, opening to $28.5 million.
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Reuters.com article
A Strong Opening for a Film by Tim Burton, Who Needed a Win - New York Times
Google News - 5 months
New York Times A Strong Opening for a Film by Tim Burton, Who Needed a Win New York Times From left, Lauren McCrostie, Pixie Davies, Cameron King, Thomas and Joseph Odwell and Ella Purnell in “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.” Credit Jay Maidment/20th Century Fox, via Associated Press. LOS ANGELES — Had they cost half as ... Michelle Rodriguez on Being Bullied as a Child: "I Had to Learn to Fight Really Early"Hollywood Reporter 'Miss Peregrine's' school gets top grades at box officeLos Angeles Times Tim Burton is a box office winner thanks to 'Miss Peregrine'Mashable Wall Street Journal (blog) -Christian Science Monitor -ComingSoon.net -ABC News all 62 news articles »
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Google News article
Tim Burton Is Nostalgic For A Time When 'Franchise' Wasn't A Hollywood Buzzword
Huffington Post - 5 months
I met Tim Burton earlier this week at a site that feels like the setting of a Tim Burton movie. We sat in a dim room at the McKittrick Hotel, a once-abandoned tavern that used to attract Manhattan’s upper crust and now plays host to the macabre interactive-theater project “Sleep No More.” Its dim corridors could house any of the peculiarities from Burton’s 31-year career, during which he has directed such contemporary classics as “Beetlejuice,” “Batman,” “Edward Scissohrands” and “Ed Wood.”  Burton’s latest, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” opens in theaters this weekend. Based on the Ransom Riggs novel about a teenage boy (played by Asa Butterfield) who befriends a tribe of shape-shifting eccentrics at an abandoned orphanage, “Miss Peregrine” is right at home in the pastel fantasies of the Burton oeuvre. So, we talked about exactly that.  I live a few blocks over from the Tim Burton–themed bar. Oh, really? Oh, shit! I heard about it, but I’d be too scared. I’l ...
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Huffington Post article
With 'Miss Peregrine,' Tim Burton is just the latest director to shirk a responsibility to diversity
LATimes - 5 months
Apparently, director Tim Burton would be fine if you retitled his movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but Only if They’re White.” In an interview with the website Bustle, Burton was asked why, given the pervasive, ongoing discussion of diversity in Hollywood, the overwhelming majority...
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LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tim Burton
  • 2016
    Age 57
    Critical, public and commercial reception to films Burton has directed as of October 3, 2016.
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    Burton directed an adaptation of Ransom Riggs' book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which was released in September 2016, starring Asa Butterfield and Eva Green, in her second Burton film.
    More Details Hide Details In 2012, Shane Acker confirmed that Burton will work with Valve to create his next animated feature film, Deep. Like 9, the film will take place in a post-apocalyptic world (although set in a different universe). Deep will be another darker animated film, as Shane Acker has expressed his interest in creating more PG-13 animated films. As of Summer 2012, following the release of both Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it was reported that screenwriter and novelist Seth Grahame-Smith is working alongside Tim Burton on a potential Beetlejuice sequel. Actor Michael Keaton has also expressed interest in reprising his role as the title character along with Winona Ryder. On March 10, 2015, It was confirmed that Burton will direct a live-action adaptation of Disney's Dumbo.
  • 2014
    Age 55
    "Tim Burton and His World" was exhibited at the Stone Bell House from March 3 to August 8, 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic.
    More Details Hide Details The exhibition later premiered at the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo, Brazil, on February 4, 2016, and lasted until June 5. Emmy Award Academy Awards BAFTA Awards Golden Globe Awards Cannes Film Festival Saturn Awards National Board of Review Awards Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Producers Guild of America Awards 64th Venice International Film Festival Lacanian Psychoanalysis Prize The Order of the Arts and Letters Moscow International Film Festival
  • 2012
    Age 53
    "Tim Burton at Seoul Museum of Art" was exhibited as a promotion of Hyundai Card at Seoul Museum of Art from December 12, 2012 to April 15, 2013 in Seoul, South Korea.
    More Details Hide Details This exhibition featured 862 of his works including drawings, paintings, short films, sculptures, music and costumes that have been used in the making of his feature-length movies. The exhibition was divided into three parts: the first part, "Surviving Burbank", covered his younger years, from 1958 to 1976. The second, "Beautifying Burbank", covers 1977 to 1984, including his time with CalArts and Walt Disney. The last segment, "Beyond Burbank", covers 1985 onward.
    "Tim Burton, the exhibition/Tim Burton, l'exposition" was exhibited at the Cinémathèque Française from March 7 to August 5, 2012 in Paris, France.
    More Details Hide Details All Tim Burton's movies are programmed during the exhibition.
  • 2011
    Age 52
    "The Art of Tim Burton" was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from May 29 to October 31, 2011 in the Museum's Resnick Pavilion.
    More Details Hide Details LACMA also featured six films of Tim Burton's idol, Vincent Price, for the anniversary of the what would have been the actor's 100th birthday during the closing weekend of the Exhibit.
  • 2010
    Age 51
    On July 19, 2010, he was announced as the director of the upcoming film adaptation of Monsterpocalypse.
    More Details Hide Details Tim Burton was reported to film a movie for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in 2011, which was supposed to feature and be co-produced by Josh Brolin but has been scrapped.
    Burton was the President of the Jury for the 63rd annual Cannes Film Festival, held from May 12 to 24, 2010 in Cannes, France.
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    From MoMA the "Tim Burton" exhibition traveled directly to Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Running from June 24 to October 10, 2010, the ACMI exhibition incorporated additional material from Burton's Alice in Wonderland, which was released in March 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The exhibition was displayed at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from November 26, 2010 to April 17, 2011. It was accompanied by several personal appearances by Burton as well as a retrospective of his films.
    On March 15, 2010, Burton received the insignia of Chevalier of Arts and Letters from then-Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand.
    More Details Hide Details Burton has stated that his favorite films are Dracula A.D. 1972, The Wicker Man, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The War of the Gargantuas and The Omega Man. Burton often casts certain actors in multiple directing projects. From November 22, 2009 to April 26, 2010, Burton had a retrospective at the MoMA in New York with over 700 "drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes and cinematic ephemera", including many from the filmmaker's personal collection. The show also included his amateur and student films, music videos, commercials and digital slide shows, as well as a complete set of features and shorts.
    However, on November 23, 2010, in an interview with MTV, Burton confirmed that he was indeed putting together a script for Maleficent.
    More Details Hide Details It was announced by The Hollywood Reporter on May 16, 2011 that Burton was no longer attached to Maleficent. It was reported that Burton would direct a 3D stop motion animation adaptation of The Addams Family, which was confirmed by Christopher Meledandri, but the project was scrapped on July 17, 2013.
    In an interview with Fandango published February 23, 2010, however, he denied he was directing any upcoming Sleeping Beauty film.
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    On January 19, 2010, it was announced that after Dark Shadows, Burton's next project would be Maleficent, a Wicked-like film that showed the origin and the past of Sleeping Beautys antagonist Maleficent.
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  • 2009
    Age 50
    Tim Burton appeared at the 2009 Comic-Con in San Diego, California, to promote both 9 and Alice in Wonderland.
    More Details Hide Details When asked about the filmmaking process by an attendee, he mentioned his "imaginary friend" who helps him out, prompting Johnny Depp to walk on stage to the applause of the audience. The film won two Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. Burton's film Dark Shadows once again starred Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in leading roles. The film was based on the original Dark Shadows gothic soap opera, which aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. Other members of the cast included Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath and Chloë Grace Moretz. Filming began in April 2011, with the film released on May 11, 2012. Danny Elfman once again composed and conducted the score and soundtrack for the film, and Colleen Atwood was the costume designer. It has received mixed reviews from critics, some of whom think it is a tongue-in-cheek gothic comedy, visually appealing and fitting as an adaptation of the melodramatic soap opera, whereas others think the film has a very loose plot, is not particularly humorous, and that Burton and Depp's collaborative efforts have worn thin.
  • 2005
    Age 46
    In 2005, filmmaker Shane Acker released his short film 9, a story about a sentient rag doll living in a post-apocalyptic world who tries to stop machines from destroying the rest of his eight fellow rag dolls.
    More Details Hide Details The film won numerous awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. After seeing the short film, Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov, director of Wanted, showed interest in producing a feature-length adaptation of the film. Directed by Acker, the full-length film was produced by Burton, written by Acker (story) and Pamela Pettler (screenplay, co-writer of Corpse Bride) and featured the voice work of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau and Crispin Glover, among others. In Burton's version, the story is set 13 years after the original Lewis Carroll tales. Mia Wasikowska, who featured in the HBO series In Treatment and Defiance, was cast as Alice. The original start date was May 2008. Torpoint and Plymouth were the locations used for filming from September 1 – October 14, and the film remains set in the Victorian era. During this time, filming took place in Antony House in Torpoint. 250 local extras were chosen in early August. Other production work took place in London. The film was originally to be released in 2009, but was pushed to March 5, 2010. Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter, while Matt Lucas, star of Little Britain, is both Tweedledee and Tweedledum; Helena Bonham Carter portrays the Red Queen; Stephen Fry is the Cheshire Cat; Anne Hathaway stars as the The White Queen; Alan Rickman voices Absolem the Caterpillar, Michael Sheen voices McTwisp the White Rabbit and Crispin Glover's head and voice were added onto a CGI body to play the Knave of Hearts.
  • 2003
    Age 44
    In 2003, Burton directed Big Fish, based on the novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Daniel Wallace.
    More Details Hide Details The film is about a father telling the story of his life to his son using exaggeration and color. Starring Ewan McGregor as young Edward Bloom and Albert Finney as an older Edward Bloom, the film also stars Jessica Lange, Billy Crudup, Danny DeVito, Alison Lohman and Marion Cotillard. Big Fish is also notable as Miley Cyrus' first film—she plays "Young Ruthie" credited under her birth name, Destiny Hope Cyrus. Big Fish received four Golden Globe nominations as well as an Academy Award nomination for Elfman's score. Big Fish was also the second collaboration between Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, who played the characters of Jenny and the Witch. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Roald Dahl. Starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket and Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop, the film generally took a more faithful approach to the source material than the 1971 adaptation, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, although some liberties were taken, such as adding Wonka's issue with his father (played by Christopher Lee). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The film made over $207 million domestically. Filming proved difficult as Burton, Depp, and Danny Elfman had to work on this and Burton's Corpse Bride at the same time.
  • 1998
    Age 39
    After Kevin Smith had been hired to write a new Superman film, he suggested Burton to direct. Burton came on and Warner Bros. set a theatrical release date for the summer of 1998, the 60th anniversary of the character's debut in Action Comics.
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  • 1997
    Age 38
    Nicolas Cage was signed on to play Superman, Burton hired Wesley Strick to rewrite Smith's script and the film entered pre-production in June 1997.
    More Details Hide Details For budgetary reasons, Warner Bros. ordered another rewrite from Dan Gilroy, delayed the film and ultimately put it on hold in April 1998. Burton then left to direct Sleepy Hollow. Burton has depicted the experience as a difficult one, citing differences with producer Jon Peters and the studio, stating, "I basically wasted a year. A year is a long time to be working with somebody that you don't really want to be working with." Sleepy Hollow, released in late 1999, had a supernatural setting and contained another offbeat performance by Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, now a detective with an interest in forensic science rather than the schoolteacher of Washington Irving's original tale. With Hollow, Burton paid homage to the horror films of the English company Hammer Films. Christopher Lee, one of Hammer's stars, was given a cameo role. A host of Burton regulars appeared in supporting roles (Michael Gough, Jeffrey Jones and Christopher Walken, among others) and Christina Ricci was cast as Katrina van Tassel. A well-regarded supporting cast was headed by Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Richard Griffiths and Ian McDiarmid. Mostly well received by critics, and with a special mention to Elfman's gothic score, the film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, as well as two BAFTAs for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. A box office success, Sleepy Hollow was also a turning point for Burton.
  • 1996
    Age 37
    In 1996, Burton and Selick reunited for the musical fantasy James and the Giant Peach, based on the book by Roald Dahl.
    More Details Hide Details The film, a combination of live action and stop motion footage, starred Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, David Thewlis, Simon Callow and Jane Leeves among others, with Burton producing and Selick directing. The film was mostly praised by critics, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score (by Randy Newman). Elfman and Burton reunited for Mars Attacks! (1996). Based on a popular science fiction trading card series, the film was a hybrid of 1950s science fiction and 1970s all-star disaster films. Coincidence made it an inadvertent spoof of the blockbuster Independence Day, which had been released five months earlier. The film boasted an all-star cast, including Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Lukas Haas, Martin Short, Rod Steiger, Christina Applegate and Jack Black.
  • 1995
    Age 36
    Chris Elliott won a 1995 Razzie Award for "Worst New Star" with his performance.
    More Details Hide Details On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 21 out of 100, but has a 45% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating more mixed contemporary reviews. His next film, Ed Wood (1994), was of a much smaller scale, depicting the life of Ed Wood, a filmmaker sometimes called "the worst director of all time". Starring Johnny Depp in the title role, the film is an homage to the low-budget science fiction and horror films of Burton's childhood, and handles its comical protagonist and his motley band of collaborators with surprising fondness and sensitivity. Owing to creative squabbles during the making of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Danny Elfman declined to score Ed Wood, and the assignment went to Howard Shore. While a commercial failure at the time of its release, Ed Wood was well received by critics. Martin Landau received an Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi, and the film received the award for Best Makeup.
  • 1994
    Age 35
    In 1994, Burton and frequent co-producer Denise Di Novi produced the 1994 fantasy-comedy Cabin Boy, starring comedian Chris Elliott and directed/written by Adam Resnick.
    More Details Hide Details Burton was originally supposed to direct the film after seeing Elliott perform on Get a Life, but handed the directing responsibility to Resnick once he was offered Ed Wood. The reception to the film was mixed.
  • 1992
    Age 33
    He went on to live with model and actress Lisa Marie; she acted in the films he made during their relationship from 1992 to 2001, most notably in Ed Wood and Mars Attacks!
    More Details Hide Details Burton developed a romantic relationship with English actress Helena Bonham Carter, whom he met while filming Planet of the Apes. Marie responded in 2005 by holding an auction of personal belongings that Burton had left behind, much to his dismay. Burton and Bonham Carter have two children: a son, Billy Raymond, named after his and Bonham Carter's fathers, born in 2003; and a daughter, Nell, born in 2007. Close friend Johnny Depp is a godfather of both of Burton's children. In Depp's introduction to Burton on Burton, he writes, "What more can I say about him? He is a brother, a friend, my godson's father. He is a unique and brave soul, someone that I would go to the ends of the earth for, and I know, full and well, he would do the same for me." Bonham Carter's representative said in December 2014 that Bonham Carter and Burton had broken up amicably earlier that year.
  • 1991
    Age 32
    Burton was married to Lena Gieseke, a German-born artist. Their marriage ended in 1991 after four years.
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  • 1990
    Age 31
    In 1990, Burton co-wrote (with Caroline Thompson) and directed Edward Scissorhands, re-uniting with Winona Ryder from Beetlejuice.
    More Details Hide Details His friend Johnny Depp, a teen idol at the end of the 1980s due primarily to his work on the hit TV series 21 Jump Street, was cast in the title role of Edward, who was the creation of an eccentric and old-fashioned inventor (played by Vincent Price in one of his last screen appearances). Edward looked human, but was left with scissors in the place of hands due to the untimely death of his creator. Set in suburbia (and shot in Lakeland, Florida), the film is largely seen as Burton's autobiography of his childhood in Burbank. Depp wrote a similar comment in the foreword to Mark Salisbury's book, Burton on Burton, regarding his first meeting with Burton over the casting of the film. Edward is considered one of Burton's best movies by some critics. Following this collaboration with Burton, Depp starred in Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Alice in Wonderland, and Dark Shadows.
  • 1989
    Age 30
    When the film opened in June 1989, it was backed by the biggest marketing and merchandising campaign in film history at the time, and became one of the biggest box office hits of all time, grossing well over US$250 million in the US alone and $400 million worldwide (numbers not adjusted for inflation) and earning critical acclaim for the performances of both Keaton and Nicholson, as well as the film's production aspects, which won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.
    More Details Hide Details The success of the film helped establish Burton as a profitable director, and it also proved to be a huge influence on future superhero films, which eschewed the bright, all-American heroism of Richard Donner's Superman for a grimmer, more realistic look and characters with more psychological depth. It also became a major inspiration for the successful 1990s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series, in as much as the darkness of the picture and its sequel allowed for a darker Batman on television. Burton claimed that the graphic novel The Killing Joke was a major influence on his film adaptation of Batman: "I was never a giant comic book fan, but I've always loved the image of Batman and the Joker. The reason I've never been a comic book fan – and I think it started when I was a child – is because I could never tell which box I was supposed to read. I don't know if it was dyslexia or whatever, but that's why I loved The Killing Joke, because for the first time I could tell which one to read. It's my favorite. It's the first comic I've ever loved. And the success of those graphic novels made our ideas more acceptable."
  • 1984
    Age 25
    Burton's next live-action short, Frankenweenie, was released in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details It tells the story of a young boy who tries to revive his dog after it is run over by a car. Filmed in black-and-white, it stars Barret Oliver, Shelley Duvall (with whom he would work again in 1986, directing an episode of her Faerie Tale Theatre) and Daniel Stern. After Frankenweenie was completed, Disney fired Burton, under the pretext of him spending the company's resources on doing a film that would be too dark and scary for children to see. Pursuing then an opportunity to make a full-length film, he was approached by Griffin Dunne to direct the black comedy film After Hours. However, after Martin Scorsese's project The Last Temptation of Christ was cancelled (though later completed and released in 1988), Scorsese showed an interest in directing After Hours. Respectfully, Burton bowed out. Not long after, actor Paul Reubens saw Vincent and Frankenweenie and chose Burton to direct the cinematic spin-off of his popular character Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee Herman gained mainstream popularity with a successful stage show at The Groundlings and then the Roxy which was later turned into an HBO special. The film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, was made on a budget of $8 million and grossed more than $40 million at the North American box office. Burton, a fan of the eccentric musical group Oingo Boingo, asked songwriter Danny Elfman to provide the music for the film. Since then, Elfman has scored every film that Tim Burton has directed except for Ed Wood (because of a falling out that they had) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street because the music was based on Stephen Sondheim's musical.
  • 1982
    Age 23
    While at Disney in 1982, Burton made his first short, Vincent, a six-minute black-and-white stop motion film based on a poem written by the filmmaker, and depicting a young boy who fantasizes that he is his hero Vincent Price, with Price himself providing narration.
    More Details Hide Details The film was produced by Rick Heinrichs, whom Burton had befriended while working in the concept art department at Disney. The film was shown at the Chicago Film Festival and released, alongside the teen drama Tex, for two weeks in one Los Angeles cinema. This was followed by Burton's first live-action production Hansel and Gretel, a Japanese-themed adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale for the Disney Channel, which climaxes in a kung fu fight between Hansel and Gretel and the witch. Having aired once in 1983 at 10:30 pm on Halloween and promptly shelved, prints of the film are extremely difficult to locate, fueling rumors that the project did not exist. The short would finally go on public display in 2009 at the Museum of Modern Art, and again in 2011 as part of the Tim Burton art exhibit at LACMA.
  • 1958
    Burton was born in 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Burton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat-themed gift shop, and Bill Burton, a former minor league baseball player who would later work for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department.
    More Details Hide Details As a preteen, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old). Burton studied at Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in painting, drawing and watching films. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. After graduating from Burbank High School with Jeff Riekenberg, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, to study character animation. As a student at CalArts, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus.
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