Moviegoers in 1990 did not take kindly to Johnny Depp as the soft-spoken, scissor-wielding boy born in Vincent Price's lab. But with all the love for Edward Scissorhands 25 years after its Dec. 7 premiere, it's hard to remember the Tim Burton classic started off on shaky footing at the box office.
The bulk of the iconic story, which marks Vincent Price's final appearance on screen, came together in just a few weeks, screenwriter Caroline Thompson told Variety.
"One night over drinks, Tim told me about this drawing he'd made in high school of a character who had scissors for hands, and I instantly knew what to do with that image," Thompson said. "So I wrote a 70-page treatment in about three weeks and gave it to him. And that's basically the movie we ended up with."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
He and Burton met at the suggestion of their agents, and hit it off.
"They correctly assessed that we had strange ideas about the world," said Thompson, who went onto work with Burton on The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride.
Edward Scissorhands did change in one pretty key way after that initial treatment, though. Burton originally wanted the film to be a musical. He had thought, Variety notes, that audiences might not otherwise find the quirky storyline palatable.
Create an account with the same email registered to your subscription to unlock access.