Back in March, a representative for Tim Burton denied that he would be directing a 3-D stop-motion version of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, saying “There is no truth to the story. Tim has not lined up any of his upcoming projects.” However, that second sentence seemed to leave the door open to the possibility that the project might be lined up sometime in the future, and now Mike Fleming at Deadline.com is reporting that Burton co-produce and direct the film, based on a screenplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (who scripted Burton’s ED WOOD). The ADDAMS FAMILY film will be made for Illumination Entertainment, the family-oriented division of Universal Pictures, which created this summer’s hit DESPICABLE ME. Burton will also be producing the non-genre BIG EYES, a docu-drama about artist Margaret Keane.
Fleming quotes Karaszewski:
“Both of these projects are based on artwork that Tim absolutely loves,” Karasewski told me. “The retrospective in New York of Tim’s own artwork showed how much of an influence Charles Addams was to him. We want the tone to be as darkly funny and subversive as the Addams drawings, and we’ve come up with an approach that nobody has ever done before.”
The cartoons by artist Charles Addams have previously inspired a 1960s television show, starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones; two theatrical films in the early 1990s, starring Raul Julia and Angelica Huston; a 1998 DTV movie, starring Tim Curry and Daryl Hannah; and another series that ran during 1998-1999 season. All subsequent adaptations have been largely influenced by the first television series, which was notable for the passionate relationship between Morticia and Gomez, at a time when most television husband-and-wife relationships were conspicuously sexless. It will be interesting to see whether the script by Karaszewski and Alexander really does take a the adaptation in a new direction.