Tim Burton has signed on to direct "Big Eyes," a long-gestating film project that The Weinstein Company is on the verge of acquiring, according to two individuals with knowledge of the director's plans. Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz will star as Walter Keane, one-half of a husband-wife duo that became famous for painting children with massive eyes.
Deadline Hollywood, which broke the news of Burton's attachment, also reported that Amy Adams will star as Walter's wife Margaret. It remains unclear whether Adams has agreed to take the part, according to those individuals.
The story, which Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski scripted, chronicles the couple's pop art success in the 1950s and 1960s, and their subsequent legal fight. Walter took the credit for the paintings when it was his wife who boasted the true artistic skill.
Years after their divorce, Walter told USA Today that Margaret was claiming credit because she thought he was dead and Margaret responded with a slander suit. During the hearings, a Honolulu judge ordered them both to paint. Margaret obliged while Walter cited shoulder pain. Margaret won the suit.
Alexander and Karaszewski, who wrote Burton's "Ed Wood," will produce the film with Lynette Howell. Burton, who was already attached to the project as a producer, last made Oscar nominee "Frankenweenie."
Waltz, fresh off his award-winning turn in "Django Unchained," will next be heard (but not seen) in Fox's animated film "Epic."