Throughout his now lengthy career director Tim Burton has always had an attraction to darkness, to the macabre, to using his unique visual style to bring to life the peculiar. So it doesn’t come as much surprise to hear Deadline Burbank reporting that he’s negotiating to direct a movie about a dilapidated orphanage that once housed strange children with mystical powers. The project is an adaptation of a novel by Ransom Riggs called Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
The book is a mixture of both prose and vintage photography that it uses as illustration, so a peek inside its covers should give a good clue as to how Burton would be approaching this material visually should he end up taking on the project. Well, and a peek at Burton’s past films should be a good indication of how he would approach it visually as well; this guy kind of has a wheelhouse that he stays in. As far as the story goes, the book’s Amazon description says, “ … As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.”
So that takes care of one of my suspicions, this movie appears to be in no way related to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.
If Burton does sign on to direct, it would come after he finishes up work on Dark Shadows and the upcoming Frankenweenie. Burton would have some say in who gets hired to adapt the novel into a screenplay, but there isn’t yet any word as to what roles in which he plans to cast Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.