Tim Burton Explains Why He’ll Never Do A Marvel Movie For Disney

Tim Burton has opened up about why he won’t make a Marvel Cinematic Universe film for Disney. The MCU started with Iron Man in 2008 and has since expanded to include almost thirty films and several television series inspired by Marvel Comics characters. In 2009, the franchise was acquired by Disney, allowing for productions of a much larger budget and a greater expansion of the franchise. Since its generation-defining impact on the public and the hype the MCU continues to generate, the franchise has attracted many unique actors, writers, and directors and managed to branch out into new genres, though some criticize the formulaic style of much of its content.


Tim Burton started out as an animator and artist and also worked for Disney, creating several shorts (and the Hansel and Gretel TV movie that became an urban legend) before his big-screen debut in 1985 with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. 1988’s Beetlejuice

served to introduce Burton’s signature fantasy horror filmmaking style to audiences, and from there he branched out into different worlds, starting with Gotham City in 1989’s Batman starring Michael Keaton. The well-rounded creator has produced other successful fantasy horror films such as Edward Scissorhands, stop-motion animated movies like Corpse Bride, sci-fi films such as Planet of the Apes, musicals like Sweeney Todd, a live-action Netflix series with Wednesday, and a live-action version of Disney’s animated classic, Dumbo. Now, Burton explains why his experience with Dumbo turned him off to the MCU.

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While speaking with Deadline, Burton explained his current stance on working for Disney. After his myriad experiences with the entertainment company, particularly the most recent one with Dumbo, Burton stated that he related too much to the main character in the live-action remake. The filmmaker recalled feeling “that I was working in this horrible big circus and I needed to escape,” and cited Disney’s “homogenized” state and the MCU’s “multi-universe” as reasons he wouldn’t take an MCU project. See Burton’s full quote below:

“[Disney’s] gotten to be very homogenized, very consolidated. There’s less room for different types of things. I can only deal with one universe, l can’t deal with a multi-universe…My history is that I started out there. I was hired and fired like several times throughout my career there. The thing about Dumbo [2019], is that’s why I think my days with Disney are done, I realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this horrible big circus and I needed to escape. That movie is quite autobiographical at a certain level.”

How Tim Burton’s Batman Inspired Modern Superhero Movies

Though Burton has expressed a veiled distaste for the MCU through his criticisms of Disney, he did create a superhero franchise of his own with Batman. The film, which was a huge success with critics and financially, spawned a similarly acclaimed 1992 sequel, Batman Returns. However, Burton’s Batman 3 wasn’t green-lit by the studio, which was reportedly turned off to the dark and mature tone of his more violent superhero films due to concerns about marketing the films and merchandise to a younger audience. Based on that experience, Burton’s wariness about working with a huge, standardized entertainment conglomerate is understandable. But despite only making two Batman films, Burton made a huge impact on the superhero genre.

The darkness present in Burton’s Batman started a movement that allowed superheros to appear as more than one-note, positive influences on the youth. Keaton’s Batman racked up an impressive kill count, proving that there was room for complexity in the often simplified genre. Since Burton’s take on Batman, that particular hero’s films have grown more and more gritty, with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and the more recent Matt Reeves movie, The Batman. And despite Burton’s lack of interest in pursuing a project for Disney, in the MCU or otherwise, his Batman films influenced the franchise through their grounded and nuanced superhero story.

Next: The Tim Burton Movie Disney Only Aired Once

Source: Deadline

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