For his upcoming stop-motion animated revival of The Addams Family (which appears to have moved to the top of his ever-growing queue), Tim Burton will reteam with the writers of Ed Wood, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. As we reported earlier, this new take on The Addams Family will hew closer to, in the words of Karaszewski, the “darkly funny and subversive” tone of the original Charles Addams cartoons, as opposed to the macabre camp of the ’60s TV show or self-aware (though still mordantly funny, don’t get us wrong) satire of the ’90s live-action films. Karaszewski also promises that they’ve “come up with an approach that nobody has ever done before,” which we’ll go ahead and assume means it will be a mockumentary, because we’re loose cannons like that.
While hashing out The Addams Family, Burton also took an interest in one of Alexander and Karaszewski’s other pet projects: Big Eyes, a “fact-based drama” based on artist Margaret Keane and her creepy-sad paintings of goggle-eyed waifs that adorned nearly every suburban rec room in the ‘50s and ‘60s, before Thomas Kinkade was invented. The film will tell the story of how Keane allowed her paintings to be sold by her ex-husband Walter, then fought to reclaim the credit during their dramatic divorce proceedings—culminating in a made-for-the-movies climactic scene where the judge presented two easels and asked that both of the Keanes produce a painting, whereupon Walter begged off with a “shoulder injury,” and Margaret triumphantly dashed one off. Burton, unsurprisingly, is an avowed fan of Keane’s work, having once commissioned her to paint his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Marie. So far he’s only signed on to produce, as Alexander and Karaszewski wrote Big Eyes as a directing vehicle for themselves. Here’s hoping they manage to keep it that way, lest it be lost amid all the other scripts Burton supposedly plans to helm someday.