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Tim Burton Addresses Why ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children’ Has A ‘Very White’ Cast

Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children does not only include an array of eerie creatures but also a noticeably “white” cast. The only exception is the film’s villain played by Samuel L. Jackson. Bustle asked Burton about it but the filmmaker didn’t want to make a fuss out of it. For him, it appears that diversity isn’t always necessary in films.

“I remember back when I was a child watching The Brady Bunch and they started to get all politically correct, like, OK, let’s have an Asian child and a black — I used to get more offended by that than just — I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, OK, there should be more white people in these movies.”

Burton was describing one Brady Bunch episode which featured the three adopted boys of Ken and Kathy – children who are white, black, and Asian-American. That episode is considered unique because it managed to address the issue of racial diversity.

Jackson was also asked by the website about the presence of a “very white” cast in Burton’s work. He said that while he might be the first character who’s different, it does not really change the fact that Tim’s a “really great guy” who also happens to be a talented storyteller. The film might have tried to incorporate a bit of diversity with Jackson’s inclusion because his character, Mr. Barron, isn’t featured in the book.

Meanwhile, some are wondering if Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is child-friendly. Basing on the trailer, the cast mostly features children. However, it must be remembered that these children are unlike any other.

Miss Peregrine kids
[Image by 20th Century Fox]

As suggested by the film’s title, the children in the orphanage have disturbing characteristics. It isn’t comforting as well that Jackson’s character is out to kill them. The Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children book wasn’t intended for children to begin with.

When it came out in 2011, Ransom Riggs’ novel was categorized as a book for young adults. The New York Times bestseller is mainly recommended for readers ages 13-17. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about a 16-year-old boy named Jacob. In a bid to know more about the stories of his grandfather who has just died, Jacob goes to Wales. There he meets the odd children with different uncanny abilities. The orphanage is headed by Miss Peregrine.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
[Image by 20th Century Fox]

L.A. Times reports that so far, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is earning impressive marks. On Friday, the film raked $9 million as per its distributor 20th Century Fox. The studio estimates that it will collect up to $27 million by the end of weekend. It took a budget of $110 million to produce the film.

Burton’s last two films, Big Eyes and Frankenweenie, did not have the same stellar results. Both did not earn more than $36 million domestically. Burton’s last successful release was Alice in Wonderland which garnered more than $1 billion worldwide.

Most scenes of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children were filmed in Florida’s Tampa Bay area – the same place where Burton’s Edward Scissorhands was filmed. Other places where Peregrine was shot include Blackpool and Cornwall in the United Kingdom.

The film is eccentric but the creative team used as little visual effects as possible. Burton told Entertainment Weekly that “it was nice to shoot on location, to be connected to a place and geography while having people actually floating, as opposed to doing it all digitally.”

Prior to creating the film, Burton said that he was already drawn to the book because of Riggs’ “brilliant photos.”

[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]

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