Movie Flashback: 22 Years Ago Today this Movie Launched Johnny Depp's Career
12.07.12 by Chris
That's a heck of a handshake you got there, Ed.
Before he was a pirate or the Mad Hatter, Johnny Depp was just an awkward social outcast looking for love... who had scissors for hands. His first collaboration with Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands was Depp's launching pad to becoming one of the world's biggest actors (the guy has a lifetime $2.9 billion box office tally).
Released Dec. 7, 1990, Edward Scissorhands told the story of a modern-day Pinocchio who was left unfinished by his inventor (Vincent Price in his last on-screen performance) with scissors for hands. After being discovered by a local Avon lady (Dianne West), Edward joins the world and falls in love with Kim, played by Winona Ryder. In real life, Depp and Ryder had a windfall romance, proof of Depp's tattoo that once read "Winona Forever" but now reads "Wino Forever?" The movie also starred a post-Brat Pack Anthony Michael Hall, who played against type as a bully.
The movie is based on a drawing Burton had done when he was teen. During pre-production of Beetlejuice, Burton commissioned young author Caroline Thompson to write the Edward Scissorhands script. Coming off the hugely successfully Batman, studio 20th Century Fox gave Burton complete creative control on the project. Burton and Thompson said they were inspired by other freaks-who-fall-in-love movies such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera, and King Kong.
When it came to casting the title role, Fox was insistent Burton cast Tom Cruise. "He certainly wasn't my ideal, but I talked to him," Burton said of Cruise. "He was interesting, but I think it worked out for the best. A lot of questions came up." Cruise, who wanted a happier ending, ultimately left the project. Michael Jackson unsuccessfully lobbied for the part and Tom Hanks turned the role down for another project. Robert Downey Jr. showed interest before Burton stumbled upon the then-relatively untested Depp, who was best known for his role on the TV show 21 Jump Street.
The movie was another huge hit for Burton. Shot on a $20 million budget, the movie grossed $86 million worldwide.
Where to watch it: Edward Scissorhands is available on DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Prime and iTunes.