Tim Burton's off to Wonderland

It can’t have bypassed executives at Disney that Tim Burton’s re-released The Nightmare Before Christmas has been a box office smash, out-earning several new releases in terms of per-screen average (one of those lovely technical financial terms that box office analysts love).

So it makes sense that they’d want to stay in the Burton business. Once he’s trimmed Sweeney Todd to his usual exacting standards, Burton will start work early next year on Alice In Wonderland, which will take a Beowulf-flavoured approach, albeit mixing performance-captured work with live action material. And, like that heroic epic, it’ll arrive in shiny 3D.

The script, which Linda Woolverton has finished, will use Lewis Carroll’s book as its source.

Once that’s done, Burton will re-visit one of his most famous short films, Frankenweenie. The cult classic – which ironically saw him fired from Disney the first time as the studio thought he was wasting their resources making films that were too scary for kids – is a loving pastiche of Frankenstein, in which young lad Victor’s beloved dog is killed and then re-animated.

Burton’s long wanted to do a feature-length version, and now he’ll turn the story into stop-motion to be made the same way as Nightmare, with a digital 3D release. "Tim is one of the most dynamic and creative storytellers of our time and having him back at Disney is just great," blabbered Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook to Variety. Just don’t fire him this time, eh?