JERICHO, N.Y., March 8, 2002 – Inspired by a sketch that director Tim Burton drew in high school to express his sense of isolation, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS captured the director's universal longing to be understood. AMC presents a revealing look at EDWARD SCISSORHANDS as part of its critically acclaimed series, BACKSTORY on Monday, March 11 at 10:00 PM ET.
In this upcoming episode, stars Johnny Depp and Wynona Ryder, director Tim Burton, screenwriter Caroline Thompson, producer Denise Di Novi, composer Danny Elfman, effects creator Stan Winston and others share candid details about the origins of the highly personal, poignant screenplay and how it materialized on film. The episode also includes interview footage with Vincent Price, as well as an interview with Price's daughter, Victoria.
EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990) blurs the lines between comedy and pathos, fantasy and reality in a tale of a misunderstood boy created by a kindly, elderly inventor. In place of real hands, the boy has scissors. The inventor dies before he can replace them, and the boy is thrust into a suburban landscape where he longs to connect physically with the world around him, but can never truly belong.
When Burton met novelist Caroline Thompson in 1985, he found a kindred spirit who shared his quirky sensibilities and obsession with suburbia. Exploring opportunities to work together, Burton told Thompson about this high school sketch; Thompson was instantly inspired to begin drafting a script about the boy.
In the meantime, Burton had his first blockbuster hit with BATMAN (1989), which enabled him and producer Denise Di Novi to secure an unusual deal with 20th Century Fox giving them full creative control of their script for EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. The studio signed off on the project, and they began working on what would mark the biggest box office risk of Burton's career.
Making EDWARD SCISSORHANDS fulfilled Burton's lifelong dream to work with his movie idol, Vincent Price, who had also become a valued mentor. He created the role of the kindly inventor as a reflection of his affection for the actor, and Price, who was seriously ill, was grateful for the role.
Casting the complicated role of Edward was more problematic. Actors Tom Cruise, William Hurt and Robert Downey, Jr., all expressed interest, but it went to dark-horse candidate Johnny Depp, who was anxious to shatter the teen heartthrob image he had acquired through his successful television series "21 Jump Street."
Although Depp connected with the idea of a character whose external appearance was at odds with his internal feelings, he struggled with how to play Edward. Because the character was so unique, without any models in the movies or real life to draw on, Depp had to intuit all of Edward's gestures, movements, facial expression and voice.
BACKSTORY is AMC's popular weekly series that captures the moment in time in which a movie was created. Cast members, directors, producers and other Hollywood players provide revealing inside "backstories" about the events that affected each film, its success and its stars.
Executive Producer for BACKSTORY: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is Kevin Burns. The episode was produced by Prometheus Entertainment in association with Van Ness Films, Foxstar Productions, Fox Television Studios and AMC. Jessica Falcon is executive producer for AMC.
AMC is a premiere 24-hour movie network dedicated to the world of American film. With one of the finest, most comprehensive libraries of popular films, and a diverse blend of original series, documentaries and interstitials, AMC offers an elegant and contemporary entertainment destination. AMC is a fully distributed network reaching over 82,000,000 U.S. homes (as of Jan. 2002) and ranking #16 in size among all 55 networks.
Since its launch in 1984, AMC has been dedicated to deepening the movie experience for its viewers, featuring film-loving celebrity hosts and an increasingly visible, critically-acclaimed slate of original programming. AMC has more than doubled its original programming over the past 3 years and garnered many of the industry's highest honors, including five Emmy awards.
AMC is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net. AMC is one of the assets included in a new series of Cablevision common stock — Rainbow Media Group tracking stock (NYSE: RMG) — which began trading on the NYSE on March 30th, 2001. MGM (NYSE: MGM) owns a 20 percent stake in four of Rainbow's national networks – AMC, Bravo, IFC and WE: Women's Entertainment.