Speaking in the English countryside today, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” producer Allison Abbate confirmed she’d be partaking of the same role on Tim Burton’s upcoming feature film version of his cult-favorite short “Frankenweenie.” When asked about the project “The Iron Giant” and “The Corpse Bride” producer provided a few new details to an eager group of journalists including that the picture will be completely in stop-motion animation.
Originally a 1984 live action short that helped launched Burton’s feature film directing career, “Frankenweenie” tells a sweet story about a boy who revives his favorite dead pooch a la “Franenstein.” When he introduces his recharged dog to his neighbors they freak out and after hounding him with pitchforks (just like the original source material), they and end up killing him (again) after he saves his young owner from a fire.
As to whether the new incarnation will follow the original’s 50’s theme and be shot in black and white, Abbate hesitates a bit and replies, “Maybe. That’s one of the ideas that is being put up. I think it would be really cool.”
Burton has also bee somewhat secretive on when production on the long rumored remake would begin. Abbate, who will mark her third collaboration with Burton with the film, provided some clarity noting the timeframe was “Two years” and that she was “hoping to get it done in a similar time frame to this movie.”
For those playing at home, that means a “Frankenweenie” beginning production in early 2010 for a release conveniently around or before Halloween 2011.
Will he be working on a big screen adaptation of the “Dark Shadows” simultaneously? Another “Maybe,” Abbate says laughing. “He’s got to get through ‘Alice [in Wonderland’ first].”
And as for making the film in the popular 3D format that drove unexpected returns for Henry Selick’s “Coraline” this past winter?
For any industry pundit it’s hard for distributor Walt Disney Studios not to push for it, but Abbate says, “That one we haven’t talked about yet.”
Look for more updates on “Frankenweenie” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” as they happen on HitFix.