Tim Burton on his latest offering and his fresh approach to Ransom Riggs’ fantasy novel
While the mayor of Austin, Texas has named a holiday (“Keep Austin Peculiar Day,”) to honour Hollywood director Tim Burton, his latest offering has already made news for its stellar star cast (which includes Samuel L Jackson, Eva Green, Dame Judi Dench) and killer cinematography. The much-awaited fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, based on a book of the same name by Ransom Riggs,will hit theatres next week. The Edward Scissorhands director speaks to us on his first encounter with the book and working with Eva Green:
When did you first become familiar with the book?
It was a couple of years ago. I didn’t really know that much about it, and it was good in a way because you get something fresh where you don’t have any preconceptions about it. There were no outside influences that way, you could just respond to the book purely.
Some have pointed out the similar premise to the X-Men film. How does Miss Peregrine fit into the landscape
of superhero films?
I always saw it as less of a superpower and more of an affliction. Each kid had their own peculiarity, that’s what I was interested in. It wasn’t, ‘we’re going to save the world.’ It was, ‘we are who we are and this is our thing, and maybe we can help to get out of a problem, or deal with an issue.’
How dark is Miss Peregrine going to be?
Well, I mean I’m the
worst person to ask, because since the beginning of my career, everything I did was too dark (laughs). Batman was too dark, and now it looks like an ice skating show. Nightmare Before Christmas was too dark, but three year-old kids are singing it and their dogs like it, too. You’d have to ask somebody else.
Why did you choose to work with Eva Green, who plays Miss Peregrine, for a second time on this?
I always just have this strange thing, with Eva – and that’s why I felt she was really right for this – and it’s that she’s just got an old movie star mystery about her. And she’s got great ideas, and she also looks like she could turn into a bird (laughs), which was a big thing! She’s got that quality to her.
The movie releases on October 7