MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28: US director Tim Burton attends the "Tim Burton. El Laberinto" opening exhibition at Espacio Ibercaja Delicias on September 28, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Cuadra/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Steven Spielberg Almost Had Tim Burton Direct The Twisted Holiday Classic Gremlins
Originally written by Chris Columbus as a writing sample, “Gremlins” underwent many changes to become the classic Christmas horror comedy it is today. Although Columbus never intended his script to be produced, Steven Spielberg expressed interest in actually making it, and he almost asked a young Tim Burton to direct it.
When Steven Spielberg set out to produce “Gremlins,” he considered choosing Tim Burton to direct the film. Burton had been working at Disney since the early ‘80s, and the young filmmaker caught Spielberg’s eye with his short film “Frankenweenie,” which had the same odd and whimsical approach to death that Spielberg envisioned for “Gremlins.”
However, Spielberg was concerned that Burton hadn’t yet directed a feature film, and eventually chose Joe Dante as his director. Although it would have been fun to see Tim Burton’s take on “Gremlins,” Dante was a great choice and the director’s deep affection for B-movies and cartoon violence shaped “Gremlins” into the beloved macabre comedy it is today.