Johnny Depp has two distinct ways people think about his career based on how old you are. For the younger generation of film fans he’s been a mega star for the better part of two decades now. Ever since the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise launched his career from teen idol to movie star Depp has been a staple of the biggest films of most years. For those old enough to remember that he debuted in Nightmare on Elm Street Depp was always the great actor who never could find a vehicle that would be successful at the box office. They remember when he was on 21 Jump Street, appearing on the cover of teen magazines and not really being taken seriously as a thespian.
Edward Scissorhands was the film that catapulted him out of teen idol status and into that of a serious actor. If two roles changed the trajectory of his career it would be the first Pirates film and this one. A lot of things conspired for Depp to land the role, including Tom Cruise being passed over and Tom Hanks passing on the role. Now we look at the three as equals, of course, but back then they were Hollywood heavyweights and Depp was the flavor of the month television star known for his looks and not his acting skills.
Thus at the time it was a casting coup for Depp to get the part. Some of the more talented actors in Hollywood had been vying for the role and Edward Scissorhands changed the perception of his abilities. It would still take some time for the masses to catch up, of course, but Tim Burton casting Depp would alter the trajectory of both their careers.
Burton would unveil his visual masterpiece upon the world, with Depp in the titular role, and one can argue that Burton has been trying to duplicate this film ever since. Nearly every film he’s done since has taken the some sort of American Gothic atmosphere from this film to some degree. One can say that Burton has been chasing this film’s aesthetic ever since he created it, as he’s borrowed from its bright colors and dark tones throughout his career. Edward Scissorhands has been the film that’ll ultimately define what a Tim Burton looks and feels like; it’s a singular moment in his career that has become the starting point to understand some of his directorial choices over the years.
South Park openly mocked this some time ago, even.
The film has a simple premise. Edward (Depp) was created by The Inventor (Vincent Price) but left incomplete. The Inventor would die before finishing up his hands and thus Edward has scissors for hands. Edward is brought into Suburbia and he winds up changing everything around him, including the girl (Winona Ryder) he meets and falls in love with. The film follows Edward as he explores life in the real world, away from the mansion, as he explores life in Suburbia.
It’s odd to think of Depp as not being the first choice for the part because he is so masterful in it. This is the role that he was meant to play, one that showcased what he could do when given a character of substance, and it’s odd to watch him now and think he wasn’t the first choice. Or the second … or fifth, it seems. Depp has such a magic to him in the role that it feels like he was destined for it from the beginning.
A handful of EPK pieces but there isn’t anything special to the DVD because of the anniversary of the film.
20th Century Fox presents Edward Scissorhands. Directed by Tim Burton. Written by Caroline Thompson. Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Anthony Michael Hall, Alan Arkin, Vincent Price. Run Time: 105 minutes Rated Pg-13. Released on DVD: 10.13.2015
Tags: Alan Arkin, Anthony Michael Hall, Dianne Wiest, Edward Scissorhands, Johnny Depp, tim burton, Vincent Price, Winona Ryder