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Tim Burton has been taking on huge, blockbuster studio projects as of late, but his next will be of a much smaller scale. The Alice in Wonderland director has signed on to do Big Eyes, a biopic on Walter and Margaret Keane that will star Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in the lead roles.
Big Eyes was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and centers on the relationship between the couple and how it quickly deteriorated after their success with paintings of big-eyed children. In the 1950s and ‘60s, these prints were sold everywhere and Walter (Waltz) took most of the credit. When the marriage ended, Margaret (Adams) tried to get her due in the public and they wound up in court. A judge requested that the two have a paint-off, which Margaret won. Walter still insisted that he had come up with the idea.
According to Deadline, The Weinstein Company will fund and distribute the project. Burton, Alexander, Karaszewski and Electric City Entertainment’s Lynette Howell are producing. The writers previously worked with Burton on Ed Wood, one of the most acclaimed films on Burton’s resume.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the film has been in the works for years. Alexander and Karaszewski once wanted to direct it themselves and cast Ryan Reynolds and Reese Witherspoon. At that point, Burton was only a producer on the film.
Big Eyes will be Burton’s follow up to 2012’s Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie. Production starts this summer.