Freaky-haired director Tim Burton has long reveled in crafting kid flicks that are at least bizarre if not completely nightmare-inducing. Often these features are inspired by admittedly weird children’s tales, whose heroes Burton gives his grey-cheeked/raven-haired makeover and whose world he cloaks in black stripes, spirals, and Danny Elfman music. (At this point, Burton’s strange aesthetic is so familiar, it’s become a bit of a joke.)
It’s little wonder then that after wrapping production on his adaptation of Dark Shadows (which stars Burton’s recurring muses Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), and beginning production on a feature film-length version of his short Frankenweenie, he’s already rumored to be pursuing another odd-child tale. According to /Film, Burton is currently in talks to develop and/or direct the adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ YA novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which was snatched up by Fox and Chernin Entertainment shortly after it hit shelves last summer.
I happened to have read this novel, which was inspired by a series of strange found photos (on display in the book’s promotional video below). It centers on Jacob, a teen boy who, after the untimely and violent death of his beloved grandfather, discovers a secret world of monsters and “peculiar children” who posses strange powers. From these elements alone, I’m sure you agree this seems well-suited to Burton’s sensibilities. Personally, I found the novel interesting in concept, but lazy in storytelling. Riggs offered a curious world, but his protagonist was often frustratingly dim-witted and the narrative stumbled throughout. These elements could be easily adjusted and smoothed out in a film adaptation. But sadly, latterday Burton doesn’t seem to care much for story, favoring spectacle over substance. Still, as someone who has counted many Burton films among my childhood favorites, I must admit a morbid curiosity as to his version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Do you think Burton would be a good fit for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?
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