Home Hollywood Tim Burton addresses UK ‘surreal’ politics. ‘Beetlejuice 2’ & Why ‘Dumbo’ Will Likely Be His Last Disney Movie – Lumière Festival Tim Burton Jamboree Continues

Tim Burton addresses UK ‘surreal’ politics. ‘Beetlejuice 2’ & Why ‘Dumbo’ Will Likely Be His Last Disney Movie – Lumière Festival Tim Burton Jamboree Continues

by Stewart Cole

Long time resident of London Tim Burton joked that the current political chaos in the UK might force him to leave the country.

The American director was speaking at a press conference on Saturday at the Lumière Festival in Lyon, where he received the prestigious Prix Lumière in front of a wildly enthusiastic local crowd on Friday night.

Speaking of the 1996 movie Mars Attacks!Burton explained that the film was born out of his confusion about what was happening in the US in the early 1990s.

“It was a weird time in my life where I was very confused about America at the time. It seemed very contradictory, what was real and what wasn’t real,” he said. “That was my way of exploring it and dealing with it, looking at the weirdness and contradictions of things in the guise of a disaster movie, science fiction.”

This revelation prompted another question about whether the political turmoil in his adopted home of the UK could also inspire a similar film.

“It might inspire me to leave,” he joked.

“Obviously, it’s crazy. You keep thinking you’ve seen it all, right, and it just gets more surreal and more surreal.”

Burton was speaking after another chaotic week in UK politics Liz Truss resign as prime minister after just six weeks in power which has left the country’s economy in tatters.

Burton suggested that if he did try to make a film about the political situation in the UK, “no one would believe it”.

The director said his presence at the Lumière Festival and Friday night’s high-octane awards ceremony had reinvigorated his relationship with cinema after a period in which he had doubts about the future of the medium.

“I don’t really watch my movies. It was weird watching the clips. I was quite moved. You feel like every film you make is part of your life and it’s very deep and meaningful, so it’s like watching your life flash before your eyes – that’s why I likened it to a funeral in a way, in a beautiful way, it captures moments your life.”

Now in its 14th edition, the public-facing classic film festival is led by Cannes representative General Thierry Frémaux, under the guise of director of the Institut Lumière in Lyon, preserving the legacy of cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière.

Previous recipients of the Prix Lumière include Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Jane Fonda and Jane Campion.

“As I said to Thierry, it rejuvenates me. That’s why this festival is so great because it’s purely about cinema, rather than business or awards or anything else,” he added. “All the studio executives should be forced to come here to revive them. To remind them why they wanted to make movies in the first place. It should be part of their job.”

Burton said he doesn’t have any solid film projects lined up at the moment, revealing he would return to finish the upcoming Netflix The Addams Family spin-off Wednesday after his trip to Lumiere.

The director also spoke about his long-term relationship Disneywhere he began his career as a young animation artist.

He suggested that while occasional, under-the-radar individual projects might find a place in the studio, he was now mostly focused on MiraclePixar and Stars Wars franchises.

“It’s become too homogenized, too unified. There’s less room for different kinds of things,” he said, adding that he would ever do a Marvel movie. “I can only deal with one universe, I can’t deal with a multiverse.”

Burton said he is unlikely to return to work with Disney anytime soon after his experiences on the 2019 live-action reboot. Dumbo.

“My story is that I started out there. I was hired and fired many times throughout my career there. The issue for Dumbo, so I think my Disney days are over, I realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this horrible big circus and I had to get out. This film is quite autobiographical on a certain level,” he said.

The director said, however, that he had never considered going the independent production route, having only worked with studios throughout his career.

“Here’s the thing. Independent film, I don’t know. I’ve only worked with studios, so I’ve never really understood what an independent film is,” he said.

In a masterclass on Friday, Burton had suggested he had no plans to be involved in a reboot of the 1988 cult classic Beetlejuice. Plan B confirmed by Deadline in February which was developing Beetlejuice 2.

Burton backed off on Saturday after being asked for clarification on whether or not he would participate, saying “nothing is off the table”.

“I only know if I’m making a film when I’m on set. I’m trying to get back to the root of everything. It comes from a seed and then it grows, rather than these statements,” he said. “I’m working on ideas and things, but it’s all very early. We’ll define how it goes. How is that for no one to answer?’

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