John August To Write Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:21 am,

frankenweenie image John August To Write Tim Burtons FrankenweenieIt’s been confirmed that John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish) is going to write the screenplay for the upcoming Tim Burton produced Frankenweenie. The film is based on Burton’s 1984 live-action short film that he made while he was a film school student.

Surprisingly, this version will not be live-action but done in the Burton-favored style of stop-motion animation AND will be filmed in 3D. But what’s most surprising is that it will be in black and white, like the original.

A modern black and white, stop-motion, 3D film? Sounds interesting. In case you haven’t heard of Frankenweenie before, the basic plot is the story of a man who brings his dog back to life after it is killed by a car.

The project will be produced by Burton himself, although he won’t be directing – no word as of yet who will direct the film. There’s also no word on who will voice the film but I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that it will feature at least a couple of Burton regulars (Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, perhaps?).

Although I welcome any project that Burton is attached to (the upcoming 9 is an example) I can’t help but notice that there are a heck of a lot of 3D movies coming out in the near future – far too many if you ask me. 3D technology is nothing but a gimmick that resurfaces when people have almost forgotten about it so that the studios can make more money – and then leaves again when the market gets saturated and people become bored.

I grant that animated films lend themselves to the 3D technology better than live-action stuff – you can get away with a lot more ridiculous things that way. But even so the studios seem to be banking on the fact that the public wants tons of 3D films thrown at them and I fear that after a few of them people will get bored with it, wishing they could go back to not wearing those glasses in order to enjoy a movie.

As far as John August goes I think he’s an incredibly original writer – he’s most famous for his work with Burton on stuff like Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I personally associate him with the little known/seen indie flick The Nines. That’s where August took the directing reins as well and although his ambition is what hindered him it still showed he has a hell of an imagination… and it reaffirmed his penchant for creating interesting characters and events.

News has also come out that August is going to write the adaptation of Preacher which is based on a DC/Vertigo comic series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. The adaptation has Sam Mendes attached to direct and will be the film August works on first before moving onto the mentioned Frankenweenie.

Preacher tells the story:

“…of a down-and-out Texas preacher, given immense powers, who teams up with a former girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and sets out on a journey across America to find God — who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven — and hold him accountable for his negligence.”

So are you looking forward to yet another 3D animated movie in the form of Frankenweenie? And is August the right man to pen the script?

Frankenweenie is tapped for a 2011 release.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter and

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  1. I’m with Aaron. I don’t think this will be a short lived gimmick like it’s been in that past. Sure, initially movies will be “gimmicky” about its use, but I think as time goes on that aspect will not be as prevalent and it will just add to the movie theater experience.

    Now if they can get rid of those damned glasses…


  2. @Aaron,

    I didn’t say I despise the 3D glasses or technology – I just think it’s a gimmick. Could you really imagine something like Revolutionary Road or Frost/Nixon in 3D? That’s one of the reasons why I don’t think it’s going to be as dominating as the studios think – not all movies are suited to the technology. And the one’s that are suited it’s cool for the first few but it gets tiresome after that; it’s cool to start with but after 15 minutes you just wish you could take the glasses off and watch the thing normally.

  3. Nah, 3D is here to stay. With TV’s, PC’s, and Consoles all making the jump, it won’t be long before we find a (more) stable method of displaying 3D *without* those glasses you despise so much.

  4. Ah I remember Frankenweenie! I thought it was very strange but interesting as well. Wonder how this version is going to work out

  5. I hope that voices won’t be Depp and Carter again, that is becoming boring… As for the style, this is very exciting. After seeing the trailer for Coraline in 3D, I can see how 3D works so well with the technique of stop-motion animation. Because stop-motion uses real/organic objects, seeing them in 3D really gives this impression to see real objects floating – a great match! I also disagree that 3D is a gimmick: now that 3D has become digital, I think it is here to stay in some genres like animation. Plus, there is no need to complain anyway, since most 3D movies like Bolt or Coraline can be watched in 2D in most theaters anyway if you prefer.

  6. I strongly disagree with the statement that 3-D is a gimmick. After seeing Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline in “Real D 3-D”, I wish every movie would be in 3-D. 3-D has advanced far beyond that head-ache inducing “Red and Cyan 3-D”. It’s not a gimmick in which visuals pop out of the screen, but a more engaging viewing experience.