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Tim Burton Reigniting His Adaptation of Mai The Psychic Girl?

by
May 18, 2010
Source: Latino Review

Tim Burton / Mai The Psychic Girl

Some filmmakers might be too busy for their own good. Case in point: Tim Burton. The director is already said to be attached to helm a stop-motion version of The Addams Family and a more imminent stop-motion adaptation of his own short film Frankenweenie, not to mention expressed interest in Disney's evil queen flick Maleficent, producing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and is being courted as a "creative catalyst" for DreamWorks' Monsterpocalypse project. Now Latino Review says Burton has re-acquired and is quickly restarting a gestating adaptation of Mai, The Psychic Girl, which is quite the popular manga from Japan.

Apparently Burton started working on this adaptation sometime in the 80's; most recently the project was acquired by Sony Family Films, but they killed the project and gave the whole thing back to Burton. So the filmmaker is currently supervising the script and has "put this on his front burner" with an eye for directing the project. Though I'm sure a property about a 14-year-old Japanese girl who has powerful psychic abilities and is being pursued by the Wisdom Alliance, an organization which secretly strives to control the world, is probably in better hands with Burton than with Sony's family division, I'm still dead set on seeing Burton get back to directing something original. Anyway, the story sounds exciting enough, but we'll have to wait and see how soon, if at all, this gets off the ground in the next few years. Anyone a fan of this manga?

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  • I loved this series when I was a pre-teen. It was kind of like my "Twilight." (Except, if I am totally honest, the original "Vampire Diaries" books were really kind of like my Twilight.) Granted, there were some cheesy bits towards the end, that's just the way it goes sometimes. I never knew anyone was interested in doing a movie. Is there any info on whether he plans to do live action or animation? It was a more realistic art style, rather than cartoony, and would probably translate to live action pretty well as long as they get a handle on the long story. And I do hope they keep it set in Japan and don't transfer the whole thing to America or something.
  • Voice of Reason
    Burton is done with. Pass.
  • smackyou
    Thank you voice of reason. Wrap it up old man
  • Barry
    At last.....when Burton originally took the option on this movie I took it as great news. This series was crying out to be made into a film and I figured he'd do a good job. Considering you can put just about anything on the screen these days and make it realistic there's no reason this should fail. I just hope they adapt the origanal Manga series and not the watered down nonsense that was released by Eclipse International for the "Oh so sensitive" teenagers in the states.
  • Keep funding awesome film makers like Acker and leave it to them to come up with some original ideas Mr. Burton...
  • I fear I did qualify as "oh so sensitive." Don't worry. i'm better now. 😉 What sort of changes did they make for the US market? It certainly wasn't removing the nudity based on what I remember.
  • Again, as I've said on other news items, if you hate Burton why bother to read - let alone post on - articles about him? Do something more constructive with your time, like decorating your bedroom in the basement of your mother's house... I personally am rather glad that he's seen that he needs to reconnect to the time when he was at his most creative. This project is something he's wanted to direct for over twenty years, so he's clearly passionate about it, and it sounds completely different from anything he's made in recent years, which is good. A lot of directors make adaptations - Christopher Nolan has made only three original projects, compared with one remake and three adaptations (from novels or comics characters) and no one thinks any less of him. David Fincher has made a sequel, adaptations and has two remakes on the horizon - as long as they're good, I couldn't care less what the source material is. Burton just seems to attract bullies for some reason. And 'old man'?! He's, like, 50! Ridley Scott is still churning them out in his seventies, for crying out loud...
  • seanathan
    7- they (ok, we) post negative stuff about him because there are people continue to encourage his behavior. i love it when a director finds their niche and can create something unique that still has their fingerprint on it. however, it's tiresome to see that fingerprint on every article of clothing, set design, score, casting decision, tone, trailer, and probably even catering choice (i'm guessing lots of licorice). and i will agree that nolan has definitely done quite a bit of adaptation work (and, truth be told, i completely forgot insomnia was a remake till you mentioned it), but with one major similarity (batman makes up a good portion of both directors' filmography) and one striking difference. said difference- nolan has done works from off the beaten path (sans batman, of course) and not mainstays of american culture. whereas tim burton has put out 5 movies in the past decade that have tried to alter our collective heritage of these stories. personally, i think he did sleepy hollow really well, and i have a hard time truly knocking sweeney todd (although i just didn't dig it for some reason). but did he have to mess with willy wonka? wasn't planet of the apes better with rubber suits? and wasn't alice in wonderland... well, he made johnny depp break dance, how the hell does anyone defend that? so to answer your question, mathieu, we do this because we have to remind people that he's a great director on a redundant, mundane path and we know he is better than that. although seeing that his first "original" idea in many a year is titled "Frankenweenie", i'm having my doubts.:)
  • PhoenixWright
    The original Insomnia is infinitely superior to the American remake, by the way, and I'd recommend that anyone who hasn't seen it should check it out. All of Nolan's films, as great as they are, are tonally identical. Sombre thrillers. I'd love to see him truly stretch himself and make a comedy, but I can't see it happening; he has his style, like Burton has his, and he's sticking to it. I don't think most of the people posting negative things about Burton are doing so because they love him and want him to come to his senses, they do so because they hate him and like ripping into people they hate thanks to the anonymity of the internet... Life's too short for that kind of negative behaviour, I think.
  • #8 - Burton has only truly disappointed me once, with his Planet Of The Apes remake. Not because I think it's bad, exactly, but because it feels like anyone could have made it, and basically, remaking Planet Of The Apes is completely pointless to begin with. I don't know what possessed him. (At least he met his other half on the shoot, so I suppose from a personal perspective he's happy he did it.) As far as his other contentious adaptations/remakes go, I grew up as a Roald Dahl fan and therefore was more than happy to see another stab at Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. The first film is nothing like the book - a mainstay of BRITISH culture 😉 - and as much as I prefer Wilder's performance (and wish Burton had gone with his first choice of Michael Keaton over Depp), the latest version of Charlie has the feel of Dahl and his worldview down perfectly and is a far more successful adaptation to my mind. I groaned when he signed up for Alice In Wonderland, because how many times have we seen that over the years? But at least he chose to make a companion piece, a sequel rather a straight remake, and there is some striking imagery in it. Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow are fantastic, especially the former. The best movie musical in years. If everyone was being as concerned and intelligent as you, seanathan, worried that a gifted filmmaker is squandering his talents, that would be fine with me. I too get depressed when his name is attached to the likes of 'Alice' and - dear God - another Addams Family movie, and wish he would focus on bringing us the next Beetljuice or Ed Wood, or Edward Scissorhands (or the underrated Mars Attacks! even), get back to the form of his great 80's/90's run of strange, offbeat classics. But that's not what the people responding in these threads around the internet are saying. They're just saying he sucks, wishing he would go away, or die or other charming insights. There's something about him that just really riles the overgrown school bullies out there - when people don't like him, as others have pointed out, they really, really HATE him, and as a fan, I find that both disturbing and depressing. The irony of this discussion is that it was inspired by the most exciting and unusual-sounding project Burton has been connected with for years! Mai The Psychic Girl could be wonderfully weird, unlike anything he's done before, and just the thing he needs to do to get himself back on track. I pray it moves forward now and pushes the likes of that Addams Family remake off his to do list as soon as possible...
  • 1-7
    #7 - Mathieu Actually, only two original projects, Following and Inception. But even his adapted works have more originality than 99% of everything.

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