Once upon a time, Tim Burton had a dream that did not star Johnny Depp nor his binders full of gothic women. The visionary director told Yahoo! Movies UK that earlier in his career he pitched a musical version of House of Wax (1953) to studio execs and was immediately shot down. The film’s leading man? That would be the late Michael Jackson (let the jokes write themselves!).
While Burton’s proposal never saw the light of day, he would go on to direct Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street and House of Wax would see a truly unfortunate remake in 2005, starring real-life wax model, Paris Hilton.
Let’s consider the ill-fated Burton-helmed House of Wax: no doubt it would’ve been weird and camp and insanely delightful; but with MJ heading the cast, might it also have veered into a creepy, art-imitates-life-imitates-art void (where no one wants to be)?
The real question is: could this still happen today (with JD replacing MJ, of course)? Yahoo! asked the producers of Frankenweenie–Allison Abbate and Don Hahn–whether they’d be keen on developing this story, to which they jokingly responded “It was too late for it but it would have been great…Wow, where’s my telephone?” Guess that’s a ‘no.’ [Indiewire]
Frankenweenie was released on Oct. 5 and as of Oct. 22 has grossed more than $40,000,000 worldwide.