When did Tim Burton last make a Tim Burton film? His version of Alice in Wonderland appeared to be overwhelmed by the vast array of digital effects, while Dark Shadows was limp and barely engaged viewers. But the filmmaker who gave us the distinctive aesthetic and offbeat worldview of Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow is getting back to basics with Big Eyes, a comparatively low-budget story of creative expression and personal vindication that will recreate the marriage and work of Margaret and Walter Keane, who became celebrities in 1950s America with their mass-produced prints of children with big eyes, which sold in service stations and hardware stores.
Walter publicly took the credit, but the pieces were actually created by the initially shy Margaret, and when conflict arising from the ruse broke them up their divorce turned into a public battle to claim authorship of the works. Burton has cast everyone's new favourite Austrian actor, Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) as Walter, with Amy Adams (The Master, the forthcoming Man of Steel) as Margaret, with the screwball comic presence Krysten Ritter (Confessions of a Shopaholic) just added as Margaret's best friend. If the scale and the themes suggest one of Burton's best films, 1994's Ed Wood, it's not coincidental – screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski wrote both scripts.
Takashi Miike nabs Tom Hardy for next
This year has already seen the likes of South Korea's Park Chan-wook make his English-language debut, with August's Nicole Kidman thriller Stoker, and now another leading Asian filmmaker, the prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike (pictured) is making the same move. The Outsider is the story of an American soldier who becomes a member of a Japanese Yakuza crime family in the years after World War II. Miike, who makes everything from samurai dramas to teen musicals, has cast imposing English actor Tom Hardy (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Dark Knight Rises) as his leading man.
Australian Mia Wasikowska, who is almost in everything due for the next two years, has found time to replace Emma Stone in Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming horror film, Crimson Peaks, alongside Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness); Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) may play the harridan Mrs. Hannigan, who bosses the orphanage, in the remake of the musical Annie; someone in Hollywood thinks a Choose Your Own Adventure movie is a good idea. On page 94 they get sacked.
Lawrence does double with Bier
Jennifer Lawrence obviously likes working with Susanna Bier. Serena, the 1930s drama the star of The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook and Bradley Cooper made with the Danish filmmaker hasn't been released yet, but Lawrence has already booked her next project with the filmmaker whose English language features as yet haven't matched the original Brothers and After the Wedding. The Rules of Inheritance is an adaptation of Claire Bidwell Smith's memoir of losing both her parents while still a teenager and then trying to salve her grief with self-destructive affairs while journeying across America. Lawrence, as big a new star as Hollywood has at the moment, remains willing to keep audiences guessing.