It’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