Tim Burton Dares to Direct a Movie Without Johnny Depp, Signs Up for ‘Big Eyes’

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton

Johnny Depp’s wig collection is going to stay under lock and key for awhile, it seems. For the first time since 2003 he will not star in a live-action film directed by best bud Tim Burton.

After the bomb that was Dark Shadows, and a string of similar pop-Goth fantasies like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocalate Factory, Burton is returning to reality with Big Eyes, a drama for the Weinstein Company, reports THR. Written by his Ed Wood scribes Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander, Big Eyes is about the tumultuous relationship between artists Walter and Margaret Keane, who rose to international fame in the ‘60s and ‘70s with their paintings of big-eyed children.

Sequel to Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Happening

Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams are currently in talks to portray the couple, whose marriage fell apart in 1965, precipitating a decades-long fight over who exactly painted what paintings. (Ryan Reynolds and Reese Witherspoon had originally been attached but left the project before Burton jumped onboard.) The authorship dispute was eventually settled in court following an epic “paint off” between the ex-spouses to prove before a judge who was most capable of painting the portraits that had made them successful. SPOILER ALERT! Margaret won the paint off, and the judge declared that she must have been responsible for the majority of their work, forcing her ex-husband to pay through the nose.

It’s the kind of story about the intersection of art and personality that arguably made Ed Wood one of Burton’s most satisfying achievements. Think it has promise?

Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt

[Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/AP Photo] 

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