Director Tim Burton and producer/screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are admittedly drawn to telling tales of characters working on the fringe of society, and particularly about oddball artists of one stripe or another. In our latest video (see above) from The Contenders, Deadline’s annual Oscar showcase, Alexander and Karaszewski talk about what drew them to the stranger-than-fiction story.
The first collaboration between the three came 20 years ago with Ed Wood, about the eccentric and kitschy film director behind Plan 9 From Outer Space (often accorded the ‘honor’ of worst film ever made). Burton’s movie, however, won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau.
Two decades later, the three are again telling an offbeat story set in a creative environment. Big Eyes, which opens on Christmas and is distributed by The Weinstein Company, is the story of Margaret and Walter Keane.
Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams and two-time winner Christoph Waltz play the couple known for the highly successful, wide-eyed paintings known as “Big Eyes.” Eventually, however, the couple wound up in a nasty, incredibly over-the top court case where Walter claimed he had painted all the works, not his wife, who was the artist but had sublimated herself because of her husband’s out-of-control ego and desire for celebrity.
That court confrontation, which comes near the end of this wickedly amusing comedy, is so extreme it doesn’t seem like it could have ever happened. But it did, and more.
Adams and Waltz are being touted for Golden Globes in the Musical or Comedy category along with two new songs from pop star Lana Del Rey, whose music (and music videos) have always had a cinematic bent.
Watch our video above as past Globe winners (for The People Vs. Larry Flynt) Alexander and Karaszewski speak at The Contenders about finding this crazy story, working with Burton and managing the tricky line between drama and comedy.
We’ll have more video excerpts from the day-long Contenders event between now and the start of Oscar voting. Let us know what you think.