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'Can’t deal with multi-universe': Tim Burton says he will never work with ‘horrible circus’ Disney again

Burton said he realized he was a 'Dumbo' because he worked in a 'horrible big circus' that was Disney and that he 'needed to escape'
UPDATED OCT 24, 2022
Tim Burton said he is unlikely to return to the Disney as a director in the future (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
Tim Burton said he is unlikely to return to the Disney as a director in the future (Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

LYON, FRANCE: Tim Burton, known for his filmmaking skills and frequent collaborations with production giant Disney, has stated that it is highly unlikely that he will ever work with the company again. In a press conference after receiving the Prix Lumiere honorary award at the Lumiere Festival in France, he said that working for Disney was like being trapped in a "big, horrible circus"

This was in reference to his time with Disney on the creation of the film, 'Dumbo.' According to CNN, Burton said, “It’s gotten to be very homogenized, very consolidated. There’s less room for different types of things,” and then even went on to let it be known that he cannot see himself working on a Marvel movie. To that effect, he said, “I can only deal with one universe, l can’t deal with a multi-universe.”


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“My history is that I started out there. I was hired and fired like several times throughout my career there,” he added. “The thing about ‘Dumbo,’ is that’s why I think my days with Disney are done, I realized that I was Dumbo, that I was working in this horrible big circus and I needed to escape. That movie is quite autobiographical at a certain level.”

However, according to Deadline, the award-winning filmmaker has never truly considered the independent production path. He has only ever worked with studios in his whole career. “Here’s the thing. Independent film, I don’t know. I’ve only worked mainly with studios so I never really understood what an independent film was,” he said. 

At the press conference, Burton was also questioned about his involvement with the sequel to ‘Beetlejuice.’ To that, he answered, “I only know if I’m making a film when I’m actually on the set shooting. I try to go back to the root of everything. It springs from a seed and then it grows, rather than out of these statements,” he said “I am working on ideas and things but it’s all very early days. We’ll see how it goes. How’s that for a none answer?”

Burton’s last outing with Disney was in 2019 with the live-action version of ‘Dumbo,’ the well-loved 1940s musical. Burton’s association with Disney began with ‘The Fox and The Hound,’ a 1981 film based on the unlikely friendship between a red fox and a hound dog. He is well known for his work on movies such as ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’, ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland.’