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Tim Burton to Return to Stop-Motion for Original Monster Movie

Tim Burton
Warner Bros.

Tim Burton isn’t quite ready to chuck Johnny Depp to the curb, but the ‘Beetlejuice’ director has found a new muse on novelist/screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith. The ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ author penned Burton’s ‘Dark Shadows’ screenplay, while the award-winning filmmaker returned the favor by producing the feature-film adaptation of Grahame-Smith’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.’ And now they’ve got something else planned.

The Hollywood Reporter has a snippet of conversation from Grahame-Smith saying he and Burton are planning a stop-motion animated movie titled ‘Night of the Living,’ which he’s in the middle of writing as we speak.

Night of the Living is an idea I have had around for years that I’m doing with Tim Burton,” he explained. “When we were shooting ‘Dark Shadows’ last year I worked up the nerve to tell Tim about it because I always thought it would make a good movie. When I saw what he had done with ‘Frankenweenie’ and ‘Corpse Bride,’ it always struck me as a great idea for that form. I’m writing it at Warner’s Bros. for him (as a stop-motion monster movie). As soon I’m done with that draft, I’ll move into ‘Unholy Night,’ probably in a matter of weeks.”

Stop-motion has been a passion of Burton’s for years. As Grahame-Smith mentioned, he got his start with ‘Frankenweenie’ (which he plans to bring back to theaters in IMAX 3D later this year). And he collaborated with the great Henry Selick on such films as ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ a personal favorite.

This is great if Burton has found a new collaborator on which to bounce gothic ideas. THR didn’t have very many other details, unfortunately, and knowing how long it can take to make a stop-motion feature, we might not see ‘Living’ for years to come. But for the moment, it sounds like Burton and Grahame-Smith have plenty of dark irons in the fire.

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