Tim Burton Involved in Major Prequel Starring Johnny Depp, Report Says

in Entertainment

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

Actor Johnny Depp is considered one of the greatest of all time, but no one will deny that his partnership with Tim Burton is what truly turned him into a household name.

Johnny Depp’s career is marked by versatility and many memorable roles, and his partnership with director Tim Burton has been a defining and iconic aspect of his filmography. Depp and Burton first collaborated in the early 1990s, and that partnership has resulted in some of the most visually stunning and imaginative films in modern cinema.

Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Edward Scissorhands(1990) marked the beginning of Johnny Depp’s collaboration with Tim Burton. In this dark and whimsical fairy tale, Depp played the titular character, a gentle and misunderstood man with scissors for hands. The film’s gothic aesthetic and Depp’s poignant performance established the actor as a unique talent willing to embrace unconventional roles.

The success of Edward Scissorhands set the stage for more collaborations between Depp and Burton. In Ed Wood (1994), Depp portrayed the real-life director Edward D. Wood Jr., known for his notoriously bad but endearing B-movies. Depp’s portrayal of Wood’s unbridled enthusiasm and passion for filmmaking earned him critical acclaim and demonstrated his chameleon-like acting abilities.

One of the most iconic partnerships in Depp’s career outside of his relationship with Tim Burton came with the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which began with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Depp’s portrayal of the quirky and unpredictable pirate captain not only revitalized the pirate genre but also earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Though Burton wasn’t directly involved in this film or the subsequent sequels that were made as a result of the massive success Depp and Disney saw at the box office, Depp and Burton’s collaborations continued even as he juggled his pirate adventures.

Johnny Depp screaming as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Depp reunited with Burton to play the vengeful and homicidal Sweeney Todd. This dark musical showcased Depp’s musical talents and his willingness to embrace challenging roles. He received another Academy Award nomination for his performance, further solidifying his status as a versatile actor.

Depp and Burton continued their creative partnership with films like Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Dark Shadows (2012). While critical reception varied for some of these films, Depp’s dedication to bringing memorable characters to life remained consistent. Their collaboration continued to evolve with Frankenweenie (2012), an animated feature that saw Depp lending his voice to one of Burton’s beloved creations.

When there were many who were ready to give up on Johnny Depp, Tim Burton shared in an interview that he “would work with Depp again.”

“If the right thing was around, sure… I think with anybody, you just, I never work with anybody even with my friends, it’s not like a party so I always would like to try it with him or anybody to kind of go; what is the part? What is the thing? And then is it the right thing, is it the right character? I take things on those basis and no others,” Burton said in a previous interview.

Tim Burton wearing all black on a black background looking befuddled
Credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

With those comments in mind, ScreenRant has shared a theory that makes many fans believe the iconic Director could have secretly made a prequel that starred Johnny Depp without us even knowing it.

When a filmmaker consistently maintains a distinct and unmistakable style throughout their body of work, it often leads to speculation about potential connections between their films, giving rise to the concept of shared cinematic universes. This idea is what ScreenRant is referencing. This phenomenon has been notably observed in the works of directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who has openly acknowledged the existence of the Tarantino movie universe, and Christopher Nolan. Tim Burton also finds himself on the list of directors whose films have sparked such theories.

Among the myriad theories circulating within film enthusiast circles, one particularly intriguing notion posits that Burton’s animated creations—The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Corpse Bride (2005), and Frankenweenie (2012)—might exist within a shared narrative universe. Some devoted fans even go so far as to propose that Victor Frankenstein, Victor Van Dort, and Jack Skellington represent different facets of a singular character, with each film exploring distinct phases of their existence.

Jack and Sally in 'The Nightmare before Christmas'
Credit: Disney

According to this theory, Frankenweenie delves into Victor’s formative years, offering a glimpse into his childhood and the profound bond he shares with his loyal canine companion. Subsequently, Corpse Bride introduces an older Victor, now mourning the loss of his faithful companion, only to be unexpectedly reunited with the skeletal remains of his beloved pet.

Finally, The Nightmare Before Christmas follows a character named Jack (formerly known as Victor, for reasons left unexplained) as he navigates the afterlife, accompanied by Zero, a ghostly presence reminiscent of Sparky/Scraps from Frankenweenie.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the significant hurdles this theory faces. First and foremost, it struggles to hold water for the same reasons that debunk the notion of Frankenweenie serving as a prequel to Corpse Bride. Additionally, a compelling contradiction arises from the presence of Zero’s gravestone in Frankenweenie, raising doubts about the idea that Sparky, Scraps, and Zero could be one and the same, thereby challenging the theory’s core premise.

Do you think Johnny Depp and Tim Burton made a prequel? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

in Entertainment

View Comments (2)