TIM BURTON SET TO DIRECT “BIG EYES,” A FILM ABOUT MARGARET & WALTER KEANE
Underground art fans have long been devoted collectors of the kitsch paintings of Margaret Keane who became a veritable art star in the 1960s & 70s with her imagery of big-eyed girls and boys that seemingly populated every suburban American living room and den of the era. Her work quickly spawned an entire industry of attendant merchandise, including dolls, toys, postcards, and all manner of collectible junk your great aunt Eunice used to have laying around the house, and her signature imagery went on to directly influence generations of artists in her wake, including the likes of Mark Ryden, Yoshitomo nara, Jeff Koons, and Takashi Murakami, to name a few. Now, Keane fanboy Tim Burton has signed on to direct Big Eyes, a biopic about the life of her and her husband, the notorious Walter Keane, who claimed authorship of all his wife’s paintings for years until her identity as the true artist was ultimately revealed in one of the true tabloid scandals of the day. Set to star Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in the title roles with a script by Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, The People vs Larry Flynt), the film will see funding and distribution from The Weinsteins, ensuring it will be engineered from the start as an Oscar contender (and potentially make up for Burton’s inexcusably bad “Dark Shadows,” which our brains have yet to fully recover from). Spoiler alert: the film’s key dramatic scene is sure to center around the moment when the Keanes were forced to prove who the actual artist of the couple was in divorce court proceedings. When challenged on the stand by the judge, Margaret promptly whipped out a canvas and painted her way to victory on the spot. Shooting begins this summer for a 2014 release.
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