Burton Talks ‘Sleepy Hollow’ Cinescape’s Chandra Palermo managed to catch up with the very busy Tim Burton to ask the director some questions about his upcoming new film, Sleepy Hollow. Burton revealed what appealed to him about the story as well as what he had to do to bring it to the screen as a feature-length film.
Regarding why he took on the project, Burton revealed, "Well, I had been working on something else for [about] a year that didn’t happen, and I was just devastated by that. And this producer sent me a script for Sleepy Hollow, and I really liked it. I’ve always liked the story, mainly from the Disney cartoon more than the book. I don’t know if it was the names of the characters or the image of the headless horseman that really sticks in your consciousness, but it’s something that, like a good fairy tale image or good folklore image or horror image, sort of stays with you for a long time. [The script was] just a good approach to the story."
When asked how he deviated from Washington Irving’s original classic story, Burton explained, "That story was very short, if you recall. It’s sort of been expanded. But I always tried with Andy Walker’s original script, to keep the essence [of what] was good. Like, for instance, we’ve changed [Ichabod Crane]. He’s no longer a schoolteacher. Now he’s a New York City constable who’s got some weird ideas. But we’ve tried to keep the spirit of how he was described, his eccentricity and his sort of seperateness from everybody else and sort of scarecrow-like quality. We’re trying to keep all of the sort of tonal and character qualities that were in the original story, but we expanded and changed some things for the movie."
To read more of the rest of the interview plus more information on Sleepy Hollow, check out the upcoming Nov./Dec. 1999 issue of Cinescape.