SAN DIEGO — Tim Burton knows a thing or two about remakes and sequels. As he gears up for the release of “Frankenweenie,” his expanded take on a short film he made in 1984, he has some ideas for the “Beetlejuice” sequel even as someone else’s take on Batman is set to return.
MTV News caught up with the visionary filmmaker at San Diego Comic-Con, where he talked about retooling his undead-pet-dog tale as a bigger story with “Nightmare Before Christmas”-style stop-motion animation.
“I got the opportunity to do it live action, which was great for me,” he said. “I was not a very good animator, as I’ve said. But I love it. Stop-motion in particular. So it just seemed like it was the right thing to do in stop-motion, black-and-white, 3-D. I had always had some thoughts about how to expand it with other kids and monsters and things. It just felt like it was a more pure version, even though I loved doing it. It was a great start for me.”
Comic-Con was probably the best environment to ask Burton for his take on the rapid turnover of major properties, like the recent Spider-Man reboot. The man who put the “dark” in the big-screen Dark Knight with 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns” shared his thoughts.
“I think things happen more rapidly. I think people maybe have a very short attention span. It just seems like it’s happening quicker,” he noted. “The world moves at a faster pace, people maybe do have more short attention spans. The thing about comics and these kind of things, they’re like folk tales that people have been revisiting for years, so in some ways, it makes some kind of sense. It’s a bit too fast for my taste.
“When the graphic novels first started coming out back in the ’80s, you saw that there was potential to look at these things from different perspectives,” he said of his own take on the Caped Crusader, most likely referencing Frank Miller’s classic four-parter “The Dark Knight Returns.”
“I got a lot of flak at the time for it being dark; now it’s like a wild romp [by comparison]!” he laughed. “It’s so cheery.”
While Burton won’t be sticking Michael Keaton back in the cape and cowl anytime soon, he does intend to reunite with the actor for another franchise. “He would have to be in [the ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel]. He was great as that character. I think it’s a way to just kind of unleash your inner whatever.
“I betcha he’d probably get right back into it,” he teased.
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