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25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'

It's been 25 years! Did you know Michael Jackson was considered to play Edward?


Tim Burton drew a picture of a little guy with scissors for hands in high school. Little did he know he was creating a character that would live on through the decades once he became a film director. That was 1974. Edward Scissorhands, released on December 14, 1990, would become Burton's most beloved film. And that's saying a lot.

Let's remember Eddie and his scissor hands 25 years after the fact by remembering the production itself. Burton and a young TV actor named Johnny Depp set out to make something original and that alone makes the movie unique. The story behind the film is even better. Here are 25 things you never knew about Edward Scissorhands:

25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'

1. Edward's hair is based on the style of Cure frontman Robert Smith.

2. The cookie cutter look of the neighborhood is based on co-writer/director Tim Burton's hometown of Burbank, California. The houses used in the film are a real community in Florida, completely unchanged except for their exterior paint. The pastel palette used is intended to look like a "faded circus."

3. Edward only says 169 words in the film.

4. Depp reportedly had to lose 25 pounds to play Edward.

5. Winona Ryder dropped out of The Godfather: Part III to appear in the film. Supposedly, her boyfriend, Depp, convinced her to do so. 

6. The role of The Inventor was written specifically for Vincent Price. It was intended to be larger, but the veteran actor was ill with emphysema and Parkinson's disease so his scenes were kept to a minimum. It was his final feature film. 

7. Gary Oldman, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, and Robert Downey Jr. were all considered for the role of Edward. Michael Jackson was rumored to be in the running as well.

25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'

8. Drew Barrymore was considered for the role of Kim Boggs, which would go to Ryder.

9. Crispin Glover auditioned for the role of Jim, which would go to Anthony Michael Hall.

10. The first draft of the film was written as a musical, a concept Burton would revisit for The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride.

11. The little blonde boy on the Slip & Slide at the beginning of the film is Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys. 

25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'

12. Some of the topiary that Edward makes in the movie can be seen permanently at the New York City restaurant, Tavern On the Green. But they aren't real. They're all welded steel armature wrapped with chicken wire, and artificial greens punched in.

13. The restaurant seen in the film is a closed down "Sambo's." The production design team gutted it and remade it into a working eatery.

14. Burton asked Robert Smith to compose the soundtrack and sent him the script. But Smith was recording Disintegration at the time with The Cure and didn't know who Burton was. He passed, and the opportunity went to frequent Burton collaborator Danny Elfman.

15. Depp had worked with a sharp-handed character before. His first film was A Nightmare on Elm Street.

16. The cast includes two Oscar winners: Dianne Wiest and Alan Arkin. And also two nominees: Depp and Ryder.

17. The entire story is meant to be seen through Edward's eyes, which is why the neighborhood looks so "fantastical."

25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'

18. The mother character, Peg, is based on co-writer Caroline Thompson's mom, who used to bring home strangers. She wrote the 70 page screenplay in three weeks.

19. Depp has stated he cried like a baby when he first read the script.

20. Depp refused any cooling agent while in his all-leather costume.

21. The waterbed scene was improvised and one of the only scenes that wasn't originally in the script.

22. When Peg is answering the phone call on her bed, she has Avon products on her bedside table, implying that she uses them herself as well as selling them.

23. Edward was also inspired by Thompson's dog.

24. In the scene where The Inventor is reading unfinished Edward an excerpt from a poetry book, the page he reads clearly has no text printed on it.

25. Although Burton has said Edward isn't his greatest film, he admits it's his favorite. 

25 Things You Never Knew About 'Edward Scissorhands'
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