A movie that has gone down in film history as one of the most beloved of its era, Edwards Scissorhands is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts. Revealing how fantastical a film could be while also managing to be immensely relatable, by the time the end credits begin there may not be a dry eye in the house. Memorable for allowing Johnny Depp to fully transition into the film world after previously being best known for his TV work, it also marked his first collaboration with Tim Burton. As such, not only is this movie important in its own right but it is also extremely influential on what we’ve seen in our movie theatres in the years since.
A film that is multilayered and is very worthy of many viewings in order to appreciate how nuanced the story is, no matter how many times you watch it you are still missing out. In fact, even though we think it is hard to question if Edward Scissorhands is a marvelous film, we also learned that some of the most interesting things about it took place off camera. Coming to that conclusion inspired us to bring you this list of fifteen mind-blowing things you didn’t know about Edward Scissorhands.
15 Running and Eating Scenes Made Johnny Depp Ill
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably seen Edward Scissorhands many times and found yourself swept away by its beauty each time. As a result of that, you never put any thought into what kind of ordeal it might have been for Johnny Depp while making the movie. Shot in Burbank, California during a summer that is said to have been brutally hot, everyone on set was overheating. On top of that, it was much worse for Depp because of Edward’s outfit that was made out of a material that would cause him to sweat even more. This came to a head when they shot a scene of him running which caused him to be sick after multiple takes. If that weren’t bad enough, he also lost his lunch after shooting several takes of scenes where he had to stuff his face.
14 Edward’s Sculptures Were Displayed by a Restaurant for Years
A visual that has been emblazoned in our brains ever since we first saw it, the things Edward carves throughout this movie are simply gorgeous. For instance, we always enjoyed his haircuts and love his ice sculptures, especially the one he made as Winona’s character danced in the resulting snow. That said, the art he made out of trees and bushes stood out. Turns out the movie tricked us as these pieces were actually created out of steel and chicken wire with artificial greens pushed into them. Sad on the one hand, the beauty of that is it meant they never became overgrown or died. This allowed a Central Park restaurant named Tavern on the Green to acquire and then showcase them up until the business closed in 2009.
13 It Was the Final Movie Vincent Price Filmed
An absolute movie legend, according to IMDB Vincent Price took on just over two hundred roles throughout his career. Best known for a voice that could cause a shiver to run down people’s backs and appearing in a litany of horror films, he made his mark on many film fans including Tim Burton. Able to become friends when Vincent provided narration for a short Tim made about a kid obsessed with himself, that was just the beginning of their relationship. Able to cast Mr. Price in this movie as the inventor that created Edward, he played a pivotal role in the film’s story even though his scenes were brief. Older when he played his Edward Scissorhands' character, Vincent was filmed giving his last performance for a film directed by a longtime friend and protégé.
12 Winona Ryder’s Character Was a Joke on Her
An actor that worked with Tim Burton twice in the late eighties and early nineties, Winona Ryder appeared in both Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice. Interestingly enough, those two movies have a lot in common stylistically and tonally, but you could get whiplash comparing the two characters Winona played. Turns out that was very intentional on the behalf of Tim who not only directed both films but also had a major hand in their creative direction.
Well aware of who Winona was at the time he created her Edward Scissorhands' character, he intentionally had her play against type as it amused him. In fact, he wrote in his book Burton on Burton that he “thought the idea of her as a cheerleader, wearing a blonde wig was very funny” in reference to Winona.
11 It Was Shot in a Real Neighborhood
A movie that is largely focused on the many colorful and delightful characters it creates, that can make it easy to look past Edward Scissorhands’ other elements. However, that would be a gigantic disservice as its visual style has to be among the most interesting we’ve ever seen on screen. For instance, we’ve already touched on the many incredible sculptures and, of course, Edward looks amazing, but we also love the level of detail that went into the neighborhood.
Featuring rows of homes that are all awesome in their own funhouse mirror manner, we always assumed they were expressly made for the movie. However, that was not the case as those scenes were shot in a recently built neighborhood they could alter for their purposes and the homes still stand to this day.
10 The Studio Worried A Lot About Edward’s Look
A piece of information that could cause longtime fans of Edward Scissorhands to gasp in surprise, prior to the release of the movie the studio was worried about the look of the titular character. Looking at that fact now that can seem incredible given that we’ve seen him recreated in many forms including art and toys like Pop Vinyls. However, when you look at an image of Edward out of context and reflect on whether he’d make you want to see a film, you may understand their position. That said, we still find it silly that the way they dealt with this potential problem was to not allow images of the character’s full outfit to be released. It feel ridiculous, as his pale scarred face alone is not going to bring people in either, it does reveal just how momentous the studio thought their problem was.
9 Backstreet Boy Nick Carter Appears in it for a Moment
One of the most successful boy bands from the nineties and early two thousands, no matter how you feel about the Backstreet Boys, they accomplished a lot. However, the fact that one of their members is linked to this fantasy film we love so much was a real surprise. Only ten years old when Edward Scissorhands came out, according to the film rating system it may have been a bad idea for Nick Carter to even see this PG-13 movie. However, there are no rules against him appearing in it for the briefest moment. Shown during an establishing shot as Edward and Peg Boggs drive down the street, Nick was an extra whose back we saw as he used a Slip 'N Slide in a front yard.
8 Tim Burton Hadn’t Seen Much of Johnny Depp When He Was Cast
When many people are asked about actor and director teams that work together over and over again, one of the first duos they think of is Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. A pair of real-life friends that have enjoyed working together many times, Tim seems to consistently create characters with Johnny in mind. However, when it came time to make their first film as a pair, Edward Scissorhands, Tim revealed during the DVD commentary for the movie that he knew little about his new star.
Someone that was known for his starring role in the show 21 Jump Street as well as appearing in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street at the time, Johnny was on the rise. Still, Tim says he’d “never seen 21 Jump Street” and he cast the young man based off qualities he saw in him during their first meeting.
7 Other A-Listers Were in the Running for Edward
At its best, this is an industry that relies on casting actors in roles that fit their abilities, so each year filmgoers see some truly impressive performances on the big screen. Still, when it comes to the vast majority of roles, it isn’t too difficult to picture another actor playing the part. However, when watching Edward Scissorhands, we find it entirely impossible to imagine anyone other than Johnny Depp doing the titular role justice.
That in no way means he was the only actor considered for the part and you’ll be amazed to find out about some of the people that were in the running at one time. Included among them were the hilarious Jim Carrey, respected actors like Robert Downey Jr. and William Hurt, and action star Tom Cruise. Four men that are all very talented, though they still can’t fill out Edward’s scissorhands in our view.
6 Edward Spoke Even Less than You Think
A character that you come to completely empathize with by the end of the film, when the credits roll we feel like we understand Edward well. It's impressive, as he never really tells us how he is feeling, even as he discovers a whole new world, and he doesn’t speak up often at all. Instead, the character’s emotions are relayed to the audience by his facial expressions and the works of art he creates.
Able to speak in the movie, Edward still chooses to largely stay quiet which inspired someone to keep a tally of the words he utters. We didn’t expect it to be a large number, but when we found out that he only says one hundred sixty-nine words in the movie, we were still surprised and we’re guessing you are too.
5 It Was Inspired by a Dog and Drawing
A fantastical film that creates a world that we’ve never seen before, we always thought Edwards Scissorhands would have originated in a lucid dream or something like that. Sadly, in reality, it was inspired by some pretty mundane things.
First existing in any form when a teenaged Tim Burton drew a character with scissors for hands during his high school days, he did nothing with that for years. Thankfully, his agents had no work for him so they had him meet with screenwriter Caroline Thompson who he told about the drawing and they created a character partially inspired by it. Running with that visual and combining it with the idea she had of a beloved dog that had died years earlier, she saw Edwards as “so present and so eager and so smart” just like her pooch.
4 Johnny Depp Played Edward Again
An actor that tended to make original films throughout the majority of his career, up until Johnny Depp took on the role of Jack Sparrow he had steered clear of sequels. That has changed in a big way over the last several years with the Pirates films and the movies he’s made with Kevin Smith.
On top of those films, many of his biggest fans likely have no idea that he actually returned to the role of Edward Scissorhands in the 2010s. This time around playing the character in an episode of Family Guy, he voiced Edward in a quick throwaway gag that quickly became grisly. Appearing after someone brings up the idea of Edward as a night nurse in a 2012 episode of the show, let's just say things go really wrong off screen for the baby he is taking care of.
3 The Story is Told Through Edward’s Eyes
Earlier in this list we touched on some of the most visually interesting aspects of Edwards Scissorhand,s like the character himself, his sculptures and the homes. A fantasy film, that genre of movies is no stranger to including images that we’d likely never see in real life so we’re not surprised by what we see in this film. On the other hand, considering the film is about an outsider entering a world the people find boring it may have made a lot more sense if things were more mundane.However, once you find out that the movie is meant to be told from the point of view of Edward’s character, everything changes. Someone that is entering a world he has no understanding of, realizing that we’re looking at it through his eyes puts the whole experience in a new light.
2 It Didn’t Fare Well at the Box Office Initially
Considered by many people to be one of the best and most influential films made in the early nineties, on the face of things it seems like Edward Scissorhands should have been a blockbuster. Don’t get us wrong, the movie was reported to have been made for a budget of twenty million dollars and made more than four times that at the worldwide box office. A solid set of numbers to be sure, that doesn’t even take into account the fortune the film has made in licensing, homed media sales, and royalties from television broadcasts. Extremely fiscally rewarding for the studio at this point, when this film opened the picture was far less rosy. Making less than two hundred thousand dollars on its opening, it took a strong word of mouth and time for audiences to warm up to it.
1 It Almost Was a Musical
One of many films that have been adapted into Broadway-style musicals, a “contemporary dance” version of Edward Scissorhands was created in 1990. Hard to imagine for many of the movie’s biggest fans, if things hadn’t changed we would have seen Edward dancing on the big screen. Originally intended to be a full-fledged movie musical by its director Tim Burton, when Caroline Thompson wrote a treatment for him she followed that instruction. Including several musical interludes, one of which featured an original song titled “I Can’t Handle It”, had this gone through there is no telling how well or poorly the movie would work. Fortunately for fans of the movie as it exists, Tim read the script, decided to drop the tunes and made movie history.
Which of these facts surprised you most? Let us know!
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