jakub | November 23, 2023

Tim Burton lashes out at ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ sequel idea: “Get off my land!”

Tim Burton has made it abundantly clear that he never wants there to be a sequel to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The 1993 stop-motion musical fantasy film has become a festive classic. It was produced and conceived by Burton and directed by Henry Selick.

It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloweentown, who stumbles upon Christmastown and schemes to take over the holiday.

In a new interview with Empire, he has set out clearly that he wants the original to remain the only instalment of the story.

“To me the movie is very important,” he said. “I’ve done sequels, I’ve done other things, I’ve done reboots, I’ve done all that shit, 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. 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.”

“Get off of my land!” he continued. “You pesky little… You ain’t getting this property! I don’t care what you want to build on it. You come on my property… Where’s my shotgun?”

Rumours that Disney have been interested in making a sequel have existed for years, dating back to 2002, when they considered shifting it from stop motion to computer animation.

In October, Selick told People that he might be interested in helming a prequel to the film. “There might be a more interesting story there about how Jack became the King of Halloweentown,” he said.

A live production of The Nightmare Before Christmas was staged over three nights this Halloween to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original release. Halsey initially signed on to take on the role of Sally, before quietly cancelling the performances due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Jack Skellington from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. Credit: Barry King via GETTY
Jack Skellington from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. Credit: Barry King via GETTY

Last Christmas, a live version came to Wembley Arena in London, with original composer and voice of Jack, Danny Elfman, performing alongside Phoebe Bridgers as Sally.

“I was a little nervous,” Elfman tells NME ahead of the second of two shows. “[Wembley Arena] is such a big place and that’s a little bit intimidating. I still think of Nightmare as a little show that should be in a little theatre, in front of maybe 100 people. Doing it like this is always a shock to me.”

“I think I blacked out for most of it, I was so nervous,” Bridgers added, sitting backstage at Wembley Arena in conversation with NME. “But [last night] was awesome once my eyes focused in on everyone, and [I could see] everybody smiling. It’s such a cool thing to be a part of.”

Last year, Selick suggested that Burton should not receive the majority of credit for the film, making it clear that he and his team were responsible for bringing it to fruition, despite the fact that Burton’s name features in the title.

“That was a little unfair because it wasn’t called Tim Burton’s Nightmare until three weeks before the film came out,” said Selick. “And I would have been fine with that, if that’s what I signed up for.

“But Tim was in L.A. making two features while I directed that film, and I mean, Tim is a genius – or he certainly was in his most creative years. I always thought his story was perfect, and he designed the main characters. But it was really me and my team of people who brought that to life.”

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