Before 20th Century Fox released "Edward Scissorhands" 25 years ago (on December 7, 1990), the studio marketers didn't want ticketbuyers to see what Johnny Depp looked like. Why? They found his appearance freakish and off-putting.
But audiences warmed up to Depp; this was the role that made him an in-demand big-screen leading man. It's also the film that launched Depp's long creative partnership with director Tim Burton, and it's a fan favorite that's stood the test of time. In honor of the film's 25th (!?) anniversary, here are ten facts you need to know about our favorite hair stylist/dog groomer/walking hedge trimmer.
1. A wild-haired, black-clad, misunderstood artist adrift in suburbia, Edward is clearly based on Burton himself as a teenager growing up in Burbank, California. He and screenwriter Caroline Thompson had been developing the character and the story for years, but Burton waited until the enormous success of 1989's "Batman" gave him the clout to make the highly-personal movie without creative interference.
2. Depp, then best known as the teen-heartthrob star of TV's "21 Jump Street," was no one's first choice to play Edward. Burton wanted someone more obscure, but the studio wanted a bigger, more bankable name. Tom Cruise met with Burton to discuss the role, but he walked away when Burton refused to give the film a happier ending. Michael Jackson reportedly expressed interest, but the filmmakers didn't follow up with him.
3. Others up for the role were Tom Hanks, William Hurt, Robert Downey Jr. and the then-little-known Jim Carrey, before Depp finally won over the filmmakers.
4. Although Drew Barrymore had auditioned for the role of Kim Boggs, casting Winona Ryder as Edward's love interest proved to be a no-brainer. Not only had Burton enjoyed working with her on "Beetlejuice," but she had also been Depp's girlfriend for several months. By the time the shoot was underway, they were engaged, and Depp had tattooed "Winona Forever" on his bicep. Alas, they ended their engagement three years later, and Depp erased some of the tattoo, so that it read "Wino Forever."
5. Lutz, Florida served as the location for the film's surreal suburban setting. Production designer Bo Welch created the neighborhood's look of pastel uniformity by having the houses painted in one of four shades, which he described as "sea-foam green, dirty flesh, butter, and dirty blue." The castle, however, was built from scratch on a soundstage.
6. Blink and you'll miss future Backstreet Boy Nick Carter (at the time, a 10-year-old living in nearby Ruskin, Florida) as a kid having fun on a slip-and-slide.
7. A lifelong fan of Vincent Price (above), Burton created the role of the inventor with the horror icon in mind. It would turn out to be Price's final screen appearance before his death in 1993.
8. In 2013, when British scientist David Legg discovered a 505-million-year-old fossil of a lobster-like creature with claws that resembled scissors, he named it "Kooteninchela deppi" after the "Edward Scissorhands" star.
9. Those elaborate topiary sculptures that Edward clips weren't bushes at all; in fact, they weren't even alive. They were made of elaborate webs of chicken wire, covered with green plastic plant sprigs and stretched over steel skeletons.
10. Fox initially budgeted the movie at around $8 to $9 million, though the final cost was closer to $20 million. It earned back $56 million in North America and another $30 million overseas.
11. "Edward Scissorhands" was nominated for a single Oscar -- Best Makeup. It lost the award to the team from "Dick Tracy."