Tim Burton is on board to direct his next film, “Big Eyes,” which will star Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams as Margaret and Walter Keane, whose paintings of big-eyed children were a mass-market phenomenon in the 1950s and ’60s. Burton himself uses a similar big, dark-eyed aesthetic in both his animated films and the makeup design in his live-action films.
One real-life movie moment sure to be included in the film is the Keanes’ dramatic showdown in divorce court, when the meek Margaret Keane beat Walter in a judge-ordered paint-off, after being challenged to prove who of the two had the artistic talent (Margaret was the gifted artist, while Walter the outspoken marketing genius).
The film is co-penned by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (who excel at stranger-than-fiction biopics such as “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Man on the Moon,” as well as Burton’s “Ed Wood”), and per Deadline, the Weinsteins are currently closing a deal to fund and distribute the project. Production is set to start this summer.
Burton is at a strange point in his career, having neither connected with audiences with 70s retread “Dark Shadows” nor his labor of love “Frankenweenie” in 2012, which was passed over for the animated Oscar for Pixar’s “Brave.” This could prove the perfect marriage of artist and subject.