Released in 1990, Edward Scissorhands tells the story of an artificially created man, Edward (Johnny Depp), who has giant scissors instead of hands. Adopted by a suburban family, Edward falls in love with his teenage daughter (played by Winona Ryder).
Although the film was a moderate box office success, Tim Burton’s longtime collaborator, musician Danny Elfman, told GQ how early test screenings got a terrible reaction.
As with many of Tim’s films, the preview was terrible. I remember being there. And the public… had no idea what to do with it. There was this guy, I can’t remember the name of the character played by Anthony Michael. Movie antagonist. And this guy stands up in the middle of the focus group and says, “I feel sorry for him.” I remember thinking, “Oh my God.” And Tim: “Oh, it’s not going to end well.” It made me think that no one would watch this movie, and I really liked it, but it was supposed to be one of those movie. People did not understand and did not see it. The same feeling that I had with beetle juice. In fact, the studio tried to rename the movie “Ghost House” because they said no one would ever see a movie called “Beetlejuice”. In the end, they just said, “It’s going to be a disaster, let’s just get it out.” Instead, as you know, everything went very well. AND Edward Scissorhands it found an audience, which is great because I had this feeling when I was working on it that it was going to be one of those cute little movies that only 10 people see.
Burton originally had a completely different tone in mind, with the music composed by Robert Smith of The Cure. But Smith had other commitments, so Burton turned to Elves, who helped give the film the vibe we all know.
This film marks the beginning of a long collaboration not only between Elfman and Burton, but also between Depp and the director. And, as with Elfman, Depp wasn’t the first choice for the lead role either. In fact, Edward was supposed to be played by Tom Cruise. Fortunately, things turned out differently.
SOURCE: GQ on YouTube