Tim Burton started his Hollywood career at Disney as an animator and has made several hits for the studio since. However, he has no plans to make another film there after his experience on Dumbo. His dark take on the classic 1941 animated film opened in March 2019. Although the film grossed over $350 million worldwide and was one of the more ambitious live-action remakes from Disney, it was not considered a financial success due to its big budget.
"My history is that I started out [at Disney]. I was hired and fired like several times throughout my career there," Burton told journalists at the Lumiere Festival in Lyon, France over the weekend, reports Deadline. "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."
Burton also criticized Disney for leaving so heavily on films from Marvel Studios, Pixar, and Lucasfilm. "It's gotten to be very homogenized, very consolidated. There's less room for different types of things," he said, before insisting he would never make a Marvel movie. "I can only deal with one universe, l can't deal with a multi-universe."
The Beetlejuice director might not be interested in working with Disney again, but he will keep working with the other major studios since he has never made an independent film. "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," Burton said.
Burton has not directed a film since Dumbo, but that is because he was busy with Wednesday. The series, a spin-off of The Addams Family, is his first foray into television. He co-created the Netflix series with Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and directed the first four episodes. Wednesday Season 1 will be released on Nov. 23.
While studying at CalArts, Burton caught the attention of The Walt Disney Company and he scored an apprenticeship at the studio. He worked on many of Disney's important early '80s productions, but his first movies – including Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, and Batman - were made at Warner Bros. He returned to Disney for Ed Wood (1994), and also made Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Frankenweenie (2012) at the studio before returning for Dumbo. He also made Edward Scissorhands (1990), Planet of the Apes (2001), and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) at 20th Century Fox, which is now owned by Disney.