There are but a few idiots who wouldn’t describe director Tim Burton as a unique visionary. Whether applying himself to the gaudy kitsch of Mars Attacks, or the dark gothic of Batman and Sleepy Hollow, there’s no denying that Burton movies don’t look like other people’s movies.

Recently, his name was attached to the  Superman Lives project, but he seemed a bizarre choice for director. Presumably, Warner Bros. remembered the way he kick-started the Batman franchise and felt he could do the same thing for Mr C.Kent. But Batman and Superman are very different vehicles. When it leaked out that Burton intended his version of Superman to wear a black costume, it was clear that the movie would adhere to his vision, and not that of the Superman comics. How we breathed a theatrical sigh of relief when Superman Lives went tits-up. Better no Superman movie than one played with its tongue in its cheek, and Superman darting around like some super-strong creature of the night.

And now Burton is set to remake Planet Of The Apes. Much as we here at Bubblegun love the man, we can’t help but feel that his unique vision isn’t suited to the Apes franchise (let alone the fact that Planet Of The Apes is a classic as it stands, and doesn’t need to be remade…). There’s little doubting that Burton will do more than merely remake the 1960s sci-fi classic, but is his distinct black and grey palette really right? We say no. We say stop. We say there are other potential movies crawling naked and cold along Hollywood’s highways that would be more deserving of a meal and a hot bath at Chez Burton. And we name them below.


Already in the first stages of pre-production, with the feller who directed Pleasantville reportedly pegged to helm, surely Burton would be the ideal choice to remake Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Charlie And The Chocolate Factory? He’s done kids films before – see Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice – and the original Wonka movie had a distinct edge of Burtonesque darkness about it.

Remember the boat ride sequence, how it started all sweet and lovely, and turned into some insane LSD trip? Remember the alternating nice/psychotic Wonka? The gothic architecture of the Wonka factory, with its surreal candy cane forests, and corridors that lead to nowhere? Burton must make this movie. And we’re staying topless until he does.


For some reason, Mars Attacks didn’t do too well at the box office. Despite being something of a special effects tour-de-force, audiences didn’t know whether to laugh or scream, and ended up confused and distressed. For the money, it’s Bubblegun’s favourite Burton movie. Given the disappointing box office receipts of the original, a sequel is unlikely to ever happen, but should Burton put his mind to it there’s no reason why Dinosaurs Attack – like, Mars Attacks, based upon the trading cards series of the same name – couldn’t happen.

Providing it kept the same tongue in its cheek (and with Burton, there’s no chance that it wouldn’t), Dinosaurs Attack could be a considerably more commercial proposition – everyone loves dinosaurs, see – while simultaneously kicking a spear of hot irony into the arse of every Jurassic Park or Godzilla .


A movie based upon Patrick McGoohan’s cult 1960s TV series has been talked about for years. However, it’d be nigh on impossible to retain the quirky, otherworld surrealism of the show while still keeping the thing relatively audience-friendly. Unless, perhaps, Burton was in control. The Prisoner had that half-funny/half-terrifying tone that Burton has mastered, and Burton’s version of The Village, with its odd inhabitants, giant chess pieces, and big, floating ball things, could be magnificent. And he’s got to get McGoohan onboard. That guy’s a fruitcake!


Before it was axed Doctor Who may have become an absurd pantomine, lit with all the drama of your average Woolworths, but people forget that when it began the series had one of the maddest, most Burtonesque premises ever.

You see, there’s this old man, who doesn’t have a name, and he travels through time in a spaceship that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and on the outside it looks like a police emergency telephone box. What rampant psychotic came up with that one? It wasn’t Burton, but if anyone is to re-establish the errant Time Lord in the hearts of fandom it’ll be our boy Tim. 

He has his finger on the gothic quirkiness that made the classic Tom Baker incarnation of the character so compelling. He may not be “English”, but erstwhile Burton cohort Johnny Depp would make a fine Doctor. Witness his performance in Sleepy Hollow if you have doubts. And heck – can you imagine a Burton Dalek? Oh, daddy!


Writer Neil Gaiman has struggled to get his Sandman comics character onto the big screen for years. His epic DC Comics tale of Moebius, Lord Of Dreams, boasts strange characters, a very dark depiction of the Afterlife and the most bizarre of dreamscapes. Mix this in with a touch of real human drama, and you have the perfect Burton movie. And while he’s at it, he can make a movie of Grant Morrison’s Invisibles too, and spit some fragrant curses in the direction of the Wachowski Brother’s so-called “The Matrix”.


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