Tim Burton has the distinction of being in the $1 billion director’s club: “Alice in Wonderland” cracked that mark in 2010 on the back of 3D, when it was still a craze following “Avatar.” But the ensuing years haven’t been great. “Dark Shadows” did make nearly $80 million domestic after a weak start, but the critically reviled film cost $150 million. His animated “Frankenweenie” failed to do more than $35 million domestically, and his last film “Big Eyes,” a would-be awards contender, couldn’t connect with the Academy at all and turned out to be the second lowest grossing film of his career ($14.4 million total in North America).
In short, Burton needs a hit, and right on schedule he’s back with a new film: “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” Written by Jane Goldman (“Kick Ass,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service”) and based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs, ‘Miss Peregrine’ centers on a teenager who accidentally works himself onto a mysterious island where he helps a group of peculiar orphaned children, protecting them and leading them away from horrible creatures who are out to destroy them.
The movie stars Asa Butterfield as the main boy and Eva Green as Miss Peregrine, who is also a shapeshifter. “She’s like a scary Mary Poppins, and she can turn into a bird,” Burton told EW this week. The film also co-stars Ella Purnell, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Terence Stamp, Kim Dickens, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.
And the whole affair sounds very much within the familiar Tim Burton wheelhouse of oddities and strange characters. “Weird kids: It’s something that I’ve dealt with and been interested in for a while,” Burton said. “It’s a weird family.” Due in theaters on September 30th, you can check out the first images from the movie below.