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The Playlist

'Frankenweenie' Writer John August Talks Working With Tim Burton, Apps & The 'Big Fish' Musical

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • October 3, 2012 1:40 PM
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John August is a screenwriter who has one of those careers every maître d' who has hidden a script under a stack of menus envies. His first script, the straight-outta-film-school "Go" was jazzily directed by "Swingers" helmer Doug Liman, and less than a half-decade later, August started a lengthy creative partnership with director Tim Burton. Just this year, August provided the original story for Burton's gonzo "Dark Shadows" update (his draft -- which he calls one of the best things he's ever penned -- was heavily rewritten by current Burton favorite Seth Grahame-Smith) and this week he has "Frankenweenie," a stop-motion animated feature based on one of Burton's very first projects – a live-action 1984 short. We talked to August about his relationship with Tim Burton, whether he plans on writing and directing again anytime soon, and his work on the "Big Fish" musical.

John August Says His Unmade 'Godfather'-Esque 'Dark Shadows' Is One Of The Best Scripts He's Written

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 2, 2012 11:48 AM
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With "Frankenweenie" hitting theaters this weekend, and already riding on some very good reviews, it seems Tim Burton will be able to wash away the foul taste left in the mouths of his fans by "Dark Shadows." This summer's vampire comedy tale, based on an obscure TV show, ultimately did decent business (over $230 million worldwide) but couldn't crack $100 million at home, which is not what you want from a movie starring Johnny Depp. An odd mashup of fish-out-of-water comedy and horror, the movie never tonally gelled, and kind of went out of control in the last act. But had things gone a different way, we would've seen an entirely different movie.

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