With the popular YA novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children set up to be Tim Burton’s (Big Eyes) next feature length project, the director has been amassing a cast of talent known for gravitating towards dark and gothic material, staying true to both Burton’s roots and that of the popular book by author Ransom Riggs. Burton has already added Eva Green (White Bird in a Blizzard), whom the director previously collaborated with on Dark Shadows, and whose current run on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful makes her a prime candidate to play the titular Miss Peregrine. He’s also cast Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), who’s goth resume includes a role in The Wolfman and not-quite-goth but similarly fantastical Hugo. But now director Burton has gone in a different direction with his recruitment of Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), with the actor expected to play the role of Barron, a character not in the original book.
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, having worked with numerous directors, from Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice) to Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) to Spike Lee (Oldboy), and he’s also known as one of the most “profitable” actor of all time, with the cumulative box-office figures for all his films going well into the billions. Still, the actor has never worked with Burton, or done a film quite like Miss Peregrine, so Jackson’s addition certainly raises eyebrows within the industry. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that Jackson is in talks for a role in which actors Laurence Fishburne (TV’s Hannibal) and Amanda Seyfried (Ted 2) were both initially up for.
Miss Peregrine is being adapted by Jane Goldman, who previously adapted another gothic novel with 2012’s The Woman in Black. She also adapted Kingsman: The Secret Service alongside director Matthew Vaughn. That film, being released this week, also stars the aforementioned Jackson. Fox and Burton are planning a release of March 4, 2016 for Miss Peregrine.