The Lone Ranger: How Burton is defining his career

Tim Burton suspects his Disney days are behind him: ‘I needed to escape’

The writer-director is still making movies, but he’s looking at his success with a critical eye: “I’m constantly trying to redefine some of what I’ve done,” he says. “It’s an ongoing process.”

When a movie arrives on the big screen, you tend to see the first thing you notice: The title, the cast list, the production budget. But what about the movies themselves?

How do you know that a film is good from the opening sequence? That it’s good is a different question, one which Burton has long wrestled with.

“It’s a very personal question,” says the 64-year-old director. “Once you know you like something, you don’t want to see it ever again. You know when it’s good. You know when it’s not good.”

As he reflects on his career, he can’t help but notice the irony of an Oscar season in which he won for Burton’s 2005 dark comedy “Edward Scissorhands” and also produced the highly anticipated new Disney “The Lone Ranger” alongside John Williams.

The next big thing: a new feature film Burton has been developing with Disney

Though the “Lone Ranger” saga has been a long time coming, Burton says: “I didn’t expect them to work with me, because I always thought I’d make them a Disney movie, and Disney films have never been very big in America.

“And they’re big now. They’re big movies. But the world is so crazy right now, I thought they would all be crazy.”

Disney, however, has taken to him in a big way with “The Lone Ranger” — the latest in its line of ’90s-style Westerns and first of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.

Burton, who made his name with a string of cult-hit comedy films (he made two ’80s comedies, “Slamdance” and “Alice,” and two

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