TIM BURTON projects that NEVER MADE it to the screen

by Eli Reyes


There is so much that goes into getting a film made... before it gets made. And there are so many projects that, for whatever reason, never materialize. From studio politics to script problems, the list of what can go wrong is endless. It really makes you wonder 'what if?' when you look at the 'almost's' in Hollywood history.

Here's an interesting list of various projects that Director Tim Burton was involved with that never made it to the screen, from Tim Burton Collective.

Batman 3

Despite the backlash against Batman Returns, Burton actually considered making the third film, until Warner Bros. gave him strong hints they no longer supported his directorial vision. We can only dream of how Burton would have closed the trilogy. One thing's for sure, there would have been no nipples!

  • Say what you will about the Burton's Batman films, the movies that followed without him at the helm were so ridiculous it hurt. But I have to say that Nolan's "Begins" and "Dark Knight" movies blow Burton's completely out of the water.


Beetlejuice 2

A sequel that was promised for years (possible subtitles: Beetlejuice Falls in Love and Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian) but never materialised. It’s probably too late now, but rumours still spring up occasionally (the last one involved Beetlejuice meeting up with an “urban” version of himself).

  • I just threw up in my mouth. If those were the ideas they were throwing out, I'm glad they never made a sequel. I don't think even Burton could make "Beetle Juice Goes Hawiian" into something even remotely watchable.





Even after he left the Batman franchise, Burton was still set to make this spin-off with Michelle Pfeiffer reprising her role. But it got stuck in development hell before finally being made with Halle Berry in that awful costume.

  • Anything Burton and Pfeiffer would have done with Catwoman would have been Oscar worthy compared to the 2004 Catwoman. That movie killed Halle Berry's career. Or perhaps just opened up everybody's eyes to the fact that she CAN'T act.


Conversations With Vincent

Burton filmed interviews with his idol between the making of Edward Scissorhands and Price’s death in 1993. Tragically, the incomplete film is unlikely to ever see the light of day.

  • This would have been really cool. But I don't see why they can't make some use of the footage they do have. Maybe do an "American Splendor" style biopic where you use an actor, as well as real footage of Price.


Dinosaurs Attack!

Another Topps trading cards property, Burton considered making this but decided to go for Mars Attacks! to avoid any comparisons with Jurassic Park. But then Independence Day came out of
course . . .

  • For every Coke there's a Pepsi. Similar movies come out all the time! Deep Impact/Armageddon, March of the Penguins/Happy Feet. We could go on forever. But it would have been damn near impossible to match the quality of the effects in Jurassic Park.


The Fall of the House of Usher

Mars Attacks! screenwriter Jonathan Gems reportedly wrote a script for this for Burton. It was to be a remake of the 1960 horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price. However, it never got as far as the pre-production stage.

  • This is my favorite story by Edgar Alan Poe. It used to give me nightmares! Burton would have done a great job with this.




Geek Love

Burton supposedly bought the rights to the book by Katherine Dunn some years ago. The story, about a traveling circus that uses chemicals to create genuine freaks, seems perfect for Burton, but there has been no word about it since.

  • He's got the rights. That's half the battle right there. Though it no longer seems like something he'd do. It's a little too horror for him now in my opinion. Though I would love to see this film get made.


Go Baby Go

This variation on the B-movie The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was said to be inspired by cult filmmaker Russ Meyer. Jonathan Gems helped develop it, but the idea was scrapped when HBO remade the 50 Foot Woman.

  • Is nothing sacred HBO? Just kidding, no loss here. Monsters Vs Aliens filled my appetite for freakishly tall women already. I'm stuffed.




Hawkline Monster

This sounds like it could have been a very interesting film. Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson would have played aging cowboys hired by twin sisters to kill a monster in the basement. Apparently, both stars dropped out before it got anywhere near production.

  • Just add a chubby asian kid and you've got yourself a movie! What?! It worked for "Up".


Lost In Oz

Burton signed on to executive produce this series based on The Wizard of Oz, but he left the project when it failed to get a commitment for a full series.

  • I'd like to see him direct an OZ movie. But I don't know if I'd be that interested in TV Series about OZ that he just produced. I can tell you though, I can't wait for Alice In Wonderland.


Mai the Psychic Girl

This project was rumoured for Burton to direct back in the early 90s, with Winona Ryder possibly starring as the Manga title character.

  • I just can't really see his style meshing well with something like this. It'd be like putting ground beef in ice cream. Maybe not that weird, but still weird.


Mary Reilly

Burton was ready to make this with Winona Ryder in the lead, but jumped ship when Sony refused to finance his black and white Ed Wood. It was made instead with Julia Roberts (shudder).

  • One for me, one for you. That's how it's played, and when you don't follow that rule, movies don't get made.




Superman Lives

This came closer to actually going into production than any of Burton’s other unrealised projects. Nicolas Cage was cast as the Man of Steel and almost a year of pre-production was undertaken. But when Burton asked for rewrites to Kevin Smith’s script it led to delays that the film never recovered from.

  • Hallelujah! Here's one that I couldn't be more happy about. If this got made, it would have been a DISASTER!!! I'm so glad this fell through. I don't like seeing Nic Cage as any kind of man, let alone Superman! And I like most Kevin Smith movies, but I sure as hell don't need to hear dick jokes in a Superman film.


X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes

Burton briefly toyed with remaking this bizarre sci-fi film about a man who finds x-ray vision soon becomes a curse when he starts seeing through more and more things.

  • There's just not enough there for me to pass judgement on this one. What is he seeing more and more of?

So there you have it. What do you think of those films that never were? Do you know any other crazy stories about films that were almost made?

Source: Tim Burton Collective

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