Tim Burton Currently Developing Mars Attacks 2

Tim Burton seems to be fondly revisiting his past projects as he is now developing Mars Attacks 2 on top of his already busy schedule.

Giant Freakin Robot reports that director Burton is actively developing a sequel to Mars Attacks. The dark comedy movie about alien race from Mars that…well… attacks. Even though the movie wasn’t a hit in the box office at the time of its run, it definitely survived decades after. There is still a certain charm and ridiculousness to it that you can’t help but watch. And re-watch.

Tim Burton Currently Developing Mars Attacks 2

Tim Burton Currently Developing Mars Attacks 2

Image: Topps

The report has not covered who the producer will be nor the format, whether theatrical release or streaming. Considering that the project is a sequel, the roster of characters from the original film are still quite active. Warner Bros. Pictures released the movie back in 1996. With a production budget of $80M, the movie only cashed in $101M in the worldwide box office. Given that the marketing campaign costed the studio additional $20M, ticket returns are only break-even. That did not sit well with the head honchos.

The star-studded cast include Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan together with Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael J. Fox to name a few. Even Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Jim Brown, Lisa Marie, Jack Black and Christina Applegate were there and that list of actors is still incomplete.

Interestingly, Mars Attacks is a movie based on a science fiction-themed trading card series that Topps released in 1962. Topps is a chewing gum, candy, and collectibles manufacturer at the time. The cards showcased artwork of Wally Wood and Norman Saunders. The set of cards told about cruel Martians invading Earth because the planet Mars is about to explode. Thus the Martian race means to turn Earth into its new home planet.

Jonathan Gems pitched his story idea to Burton who in turn presented it to Warner Bros. The studio then purchased the rights to the trading cards on Burton’s behalf in 1993. The first completed script Gem turned in got an estimate of $260M. The studio mandated the project to be funded no more than $60M. After many revisions and submissions, the final script came and got funded $80M.

Tim Burton Currently Developing Mars Attacks 2

Tim Burton Currently Developing Mars Attacks 2

Image; Warner Bros.

The movie came and went. Two and a half decades later, Mars Attacks 2 may be happening. How will Tim Burton pick up the story from where it left of many years ago?  Will he be able to enlist writer Jonathan Gems back for the screenplay? Are they going to have actors who survived at the end of the movie reprise their role?

You can still hear Slim Whitman’s “Indian Love Call” and maybe it still has the power to save the day. But Tom Jones can still sing “It’s Not Unusual” as upgraded Martians come back for round 2.


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