Timothy William Burton (ur. 25 sierpnia, 1958 in Burbank w stanie Kalifornia) amerykański reżyser filmowy, scenarzysta i producent znany ze swojej ekscentrycznej twórczości i nadawania swoim postaciom nietypowych cech. Popularnosć zdobył, jako reżyser filmu z wytwórni Warner Brothers Sok z żuka. Jego następne dzieła miały silny, gotycki charakter.
Urodził się w Burbank, jako pierwszy z dwóch synów Billa Burton i Jean Erickson. Burton w dzieciństwie był (jak sam twierdzi) dziwny, pochłonięty sobą i pełny wyobraźni. Lubił uciekać z rzeczywistości do filmów, szczególnie horrorów i twórczości niskobudżetowej. Zainteresował się postacią Ed'a Wooda, o której w przyszłości miał nakręcić film.
Choć nie uczęszczał do szkoły wyższej (High School odpowiednik liceum), wygrał naukę w Kalifornijskim Instytucie Artystycznym w Valencii. Studiował animację przez trzy lata iz został zatrudniony przez Walt Disney'a jako uczeń animacyjny.
W 1982, Burton stworzył pierwszy, sześciominutowy film (Stop Motion) pt. Vincent, opowiadający historię o młodym chłopcu i jego idolu (a także Tima Burtona) Vincencie Price. Następnie nakręcił film z żywymi aktorami Frankenweenie, w którym występowali m. in. Barret Oliver, Daniel Stern, and Shelley Duvall (wczesny pomocnik Burtona). Czarno-biały film wzorowany na klasyku Frankenstein, w którym chłopiec którego pies zostaje potrącony przez samochód, postanawia przywrócić go do życia za pomocą prądu. Pomimo, że uzyskał kilka nagród na festwalach, Disney uznał go za zbyt straszny dla dzieci i wycofał.
Niedługo później, aktor Paul Reubens zobaczył Frankenweenie i wybrał Burtona do wyreżyserowania the cinematic spinoff of his popular character Pee-wee Herman, who had gained popularity with a successful stage show at the Roxy, which had been turned into an HBO special. The film, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985), was made on a budget of $7 million and grossed more than $40 million at the box office. Burton, a fan of the eccentric musical group Oingo Boingo, asked vocalist/songwriter Danny Elfman to provide the music for the film. Since then, Elfman has provided the score for all but one Burton film, Ed Wood.
After directing episodes for the revitalized TV series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre, Burton received his next big project. Beetlejuice (1988), a supernatural comedy about a young couple forced to cope with life after death, as well as a family of pretentious yuppies invading their treasured New England home. Starring Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and featuring Michael Keaton as the famously repulsive demon Betelgeuse, the film grossed about $80 million on a relatively low budget. The film also snagged a Best Makeup Design Oscar.
Burton's ability to produce hits with low budgets impressed studio executives and he received his first big budget film Batman (1989). The mega-budget production, based in London, was plagued with problems. Burton repeatedly clashed with the film's producers, Jon Peters and Peter Guber, but the most notable debacle involved casting. Burton wanted to cast Michael Keaton from his previous film as Batman, regardless of Keaton's average physique, inexperience with action films, and reputation as a comic actor. Although Burton won out in the end, the furor over the casting provoked enormous fan animosity, to the extent where Warner Bros. share price slumped. Burton claimed that he thought it was ridiculous to cast a bulked-up he-man as Batman, insisting that the Caped Crusader should be an ordinary (albeit fabulously wealthy) man who dressed up in an elaborate bat costume to frighten criminals. Burton cast Jack Nicholson as the Joker (Tim Curry was his second choice) in a move that helped assuage fans' fears, as well as attracting older audiences not as interested in a superhero film. When the film opened in June of 1989, it was backed by the biggest marketing and merchandising campaign in film history at the time, and Batman became one of the biggest box office hits of all time, grossing well over $400 million worldwide and $250 million in the U.S. alone. The film proved to be a huge influence on future superhero films, which eschewed the bright, all-American heroism of Superman for a grimmer look and characters with more psychological depth.
In 1990, Burton co-wrote (with Caroline Thompson) and directed Edward Scissorhands, which started his collaboration with Johnny Depp. Depp, a teen idol at the end of the 80s due primarily to his work on the hit TV series 21 Jump Street, was cast in the title role of Edward, who was the creation of an eccentric and old fashioned inventor (played by Vincent Price, in his last appearance on screen before his death). Edward looked human, but was left with scissors in the place of hands due to the untimely death of his creator. Set in suburbia (the film was shot in Florida), the film is largely seen as Burton's autobiography of his own childhood in the suburb of Burbank. Price at one point said, "Tim is Edward." Johnny Depp has also made a similar comment in the foreword to Mark Salisbury's book, Burton on Burton, regarding his first meeting with Burton over the casting of the film.
Although Warner Bros. had declined to make the more personal Scissorhands even after the success of Batman (1989 movie), Burton finally agreed to direct a sequel on the condition that he would be granted total control. The result was Batman Returns, which featured Keaton returning as the Dark Knight, and a new triad of villains: Danny De Vito (as the Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman), and Christopher Walken. Darker and considerably more personal than its predecessor, concerns were raised that the film was too scary for children. Audiences were even more uncomfortable at the film's overt sexuality, personified by the sleek, fetish-inspired styling of Catwoman's costume. One critic described the film as "too many villains spoiled the Batman", highlighting Burton's decision to focus the storyline more on the villains instead of Batman (though this was also somewhat true of the previous film). Batman Returns grossed $160 million, which, while still a big success, was much less than expected. Burton left the Batman franchise from this point on (though he returned as a producer for Batman Forever (1995), a movie which he said had a title "like a tattoo you get when you're on drugs"). Next, Burton wrote and produced (but did not direct, due to schedule constraints) The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), originally meant to be a children's book in rhyme. The film was directed by Henry Selick and written by Michael McDowell and Caroline Thompson, based on Burton's original story, world and characters. Burton collaborated with Selick again for James and the Giant Peach (1996), which Burton co-produced.
His next film, Ed Wood (1994), was of a much smaller scale, depicting the life of Ed Wood Jr., a filmmaker sometimes called "the worst director of all time". Again starring Depp in the title role, the film is an homage to the low-budget sci-fi and horror films of Burton's childhood, and handles its comical protagonist and his motley band of collaborators with surprising fondness and sensitivity, culminating in Ed leaving the preview of his latest movie believing that he has succeeded in his goal to make great movies (though the real Ed Wood died a lonely alcoholic death, having never achieved success in his lifetime). Due to creative squabbles during the making of "The Nightmare Before Christmas", Danny Elfman declined to score Ed Wood, and the assignment went to Howard Shore. While a commercial failure at the time of its release, Ed Wood was well received by critics and has since gathered a considerable fanbase, as well as helped revive the public interest for the films of Ed Wood Jr.
Elfman and Burton reunited for Mars Attacks! (1996). Based on a popular science fiction trading card series, the film was a spoof of blockbusters such as Independence Day as well as being another affectionate homage to 1950s sci-fi films. Although the film boasted an all-star cast, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Rod Steiger, among others, the film was panned by American critics and mostly ignored by domestic audiences. It was however more successful abroad, and it later managed to gather a domestic fan base from its TV runs and DVD exploitations.
Sleepy Hollow released in the autumn of 1999, was a return to vintage Burton, with a supernatural setting, unique sets, and another offbeat performance by Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, now a detective with an interest in forensic science rather than the schoolteacher of Washington Irving's original tale. A host of Burton regulars appeared in supporting roles (Michael Gough, Jeffrey Jones and Christopher Walken, among others) and Christina Ricci was cast as Katrina van Tassel. Mostly well received by critics, and with a special mention to Elfman's especially Gothic score, the film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, as well as two BAFTAs for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. A box office success, Sleepy Hollow was also a turning point for Burton. Along with change in his personal life (separation from Lisa Marie), Burton changed radically in style for his next project, leaving the haunted forests and colorful outcasts behind to go on to directing a remake of Planet of the Apes.
Among the projects Burton was attached to during the 90's were an adaptation of the manga Mai, the Psychic Girl, which was to have starred Winona Ryder as the titular character, Mary Reilly, which Stephen Frears ended up directing, the Superman film that never was with Nicolas Cage playing the title character, Dick Tracy which he turned down to do Edward Scissorhands and The Hawkline Monster, based on the Richard Brautigan novella, which would have featured Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson.
Planeta Małp była komercyjnym sukcesem, zarobiła 68 milionów dolarów w pierwszy tydzień. Została jednak uznana za dzieło gorsze w porównaniu z pierwowzorem. Szczególnie, że stanowił całkowitą rozbieżność od standardowego stylu Burtona. Powstała nawet dyskusja, czy film rzeczywiście był jego.
Plany na przyszłość
W 2007 roku ma się ukazać nowy film Tima Burtona pt. Believe It or Not z Jimem Carreyem w roli głównej. Johnny Depp, który początkowo miał w nim wziąć udział, musiał zrezygnować dla innych zobowiązań. Zaprzeczył również plotkom, jakoby miała powstać kontynuacja kilku jego dzieł m. in. Soku z żuka 2, oraz tworzeniu dla studia Pixar.
Jego znaki szczegółowe:
- Często używa imienia Edward.
- Bardzo często wspołpracuje z Johnnym Deppem. Obaj pracowali razem przy filmach; Edward Nożycoręki, Ed Wood, Jeździec bez głowy, Charlie i fabryka czekolady, oraz Gnijąca panna młoda (udzielał głosu bohaterowi). Tim chciał, aby Depp wystąpił w Mars atakuje! (miał to zrobić w razie rezygnacji Michaela J Fox'a)
- W swoich filmach często pokazuje śmierć psów, clowny, owce, poskręcane drzewa, dynie, kruki i motyle.
- Akcja niektórych filmów, jak Powrót Batmana, czy Edward Nożycoręki, toczy się w Boże Narodzenie i ukazują motyw wręczania prezentów.
- Jego filmy mają często gotyckie podteksty.
- W czasie początku filmu pokazuje się jego osobiste logo.
- Długo współpracuje z Dannym Elfmanem. Trwa ona od Wielkiej przygody Pee Wee Hermana, do dzisiaj (za wyjątkiem filmu Ed Wood)
- Często używa cieni do wywołania atmosfery strachu i napięcia.
- Jego główni bohaterowie zwykle mają bladą cerę, czarne włosy i są nieśmiali, oraz zamknięci w sobie.
- Hansel i Gretel (1982) (TV)
- Vincent (1982)
- Frankenweenie (1984)
- Wielka przygoda Pee Wee Hermana (1985)
- "Faerie Tale Theatre" - Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp (1986) (TV)
- "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" - The Jar (1986) (TV work)
- Beetlejuice (1988)
- Batman (1989)
- Edward Scissorhands (1990)
- Batman Returns (1992)
- Ed Wood (1994)
- Mars Attacks! (1996)
- Sleepy Hollow (1999)
- Planet of the Apes (2001)
- Big Fish (2003)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
- Corpse Bride (2005)
- Sweeney Todd (expected in late 2007)
- Believe It or Not (2009)
Production credits include:
- Fox and the Hound (1981)
- Tron (1982)
- The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
- Cabin Boy (1994)
- Batman Forever (1995)
- James and the Giant Peach (1996)
- Corpse Bride (2005)
- His film Beetlejuice prominently featured Harry Belafonte's hit "Banana Boat Song" which was co-written by Alan Arkin. Arkin plays Bill Boggs in Edward Scissorhands.
- Worked on The Muppet Movie (1979) as an Additional Muppet performer. He also performed a cameo in Singles (1992) from director Cameron Crowe and Hoffa which reunited him with Batman actors Danny DeVito (who directed) and Jack Nicholson, as a corpse.
- His fiancee, Helena Bonham Carter, was quoted as saying that the reason for his unique vision and style of directing was because she believed him to have Asperger Syndrome, a mild form of autism. She said that it helped to inspire his creative fuel, and was in no way a hindrance, but in fact was a great asset.
- Uncredited, but involved in the production of The Black Cauldron, The Fox and the Hound (as a Disney animator doing in-between work on the character Vixey), and Tron.
- In 2006, Burton was nominated for an Academy Award for the film Corpse Bride.
- The Boston-based magazine Phoenix gave Burton the title of "26th unsexiest male celebrity".
- When he was a child growing up in Burbank, he staged an axe murder with his brother to scare the neighbors, prompting them to call the police. He repeated the prank again with similar results.
- His year of birth is sometimes mistakenly given as 1960, most notably in his own books, "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy" and the picture book of "The Nightmare Before Christmas".
- Many costumes designs in his film feature pinstripes. Burton wears a pair of pinstripe socks as a lucky charm at every premiere and special occasion.
- Often rumored to have performed with the Ska band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Although there is a Tim Burton in the band, it is not the same Tim Burton.
- Both Tim Burton and Danny DeVito have directed film adaptations of Roald Dahl's books. DeVito directed and starred in the film Matilda and Tim Burton directed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(He produced the movie James and the Giant Peach, which is also by Roald Dahl.). Coincidentally, DeVito starred as the Penguin in Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton.
- Shares a birthday with Sean Connery.