Tim Burton Has No Interest in Making a ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Sequel: ‘You Ain’t Getting This Property’

The cowriter of the twisted holiday classic says it will remain a one-and-done affair

Nightmare Before Christmas
"The Nightmare Before Christmas" (Credit: Disney)

Tim Burton has no interest in revisiting his twisted holiday classic from 1993, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

In an interview with Empire Magazine published Tuesday, the helmer of Netflix’s “Wednesday” and “Edward Scissorhands” said that despite his experience doing reboots and sequels he doesn’t want that for Jack Skellington and co.

“To me, the movie is very important,” Burton said. “I’ve done sequels, I’ve done other things, I’ve done reboots, I’ve done all that s–t, right? I don’t want that to happen to this. It’s nice that people are maybe interested [in another one], but I’m not.”

This coming from the auteur behind 2001’s “Planet of the Apes” movie, Disney’s live-action fairy tale “Alice in Wonderland” and DC Comics’ 1989 “Batman” — not to mention “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Dumbo” and “Sleepy Hollow.”

The filmmaker, who cowrote the script for “Nightmare Before Christmas” with Michael McDowell and Caroline Thompson for director Henry Selick, spoke to Empire as part of the film’s 30th anniversary. Burton remained vehement that the Jack Skellington passion play remains a one-and-done affair.

He further elaborated on the subject, proclaiming, “I feel like that old guy who owns a little piece of property and won’t sell to the big power plant that wants to take my land.” Cue the grumpy old prospector voice: “Get off of my land! You pesky little — you ain’t getting this property! I don’t care what you want to build on it … Where’s my shotgun?”

Upon the film’s September 1993 release, Disney was not remotely confident that the stop-motion animated fantasy would be a holiday hit. They were worried about the PG rating (back when most toons were G) for its macabre sight gags and ghoulish sights. So they opted to release it under their more adult label, Touchtone Pictures.

Nonetheless, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” legged out to $50 million domestic amid strong reviews and solid word-of-mouth. Since then, it has become a holiday theatrical staple, released under the proper Disney brand no less, bringing its domestic lifetime cume to $75 million.

The characters and the world Burton and Sellick created take over The Haunted Mansion ride every season at the Walt Disney parks, while the property has become a merchandising powerhouse. Thirty years later, Disney’s fear of Tim Burton’s sketchbook come to life might appear as foolish as Billy Zane’s vain baddie dissing Picasso in the opening moments of James Cameron’s “Titanic.”


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