In Tim Burton’s new fantastical adventure Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — in theaters Sept. 30 — a family tragedy leads American teen Jake (Asa Butterfield) to an exotic British island where women can turn into birds and children possess serious peculiarities (like, say, having two mouths or the ability to control fire). Superheroes they are not. “It’s not really that type of thing,” Burton says of the film, adapted from Ransom Riggs’ best-selling 2011 novel. “What I liked about it was that these kids were just these kids.”
In this concept-art sketch below and final image from the film above, Emma (Ella Purnell) uses her remarkable mastery of oxygen to deal a serious blow to Barron (Samuel L. Jackson), the white-haired leader of a villainous clan seeking to eradicate the peculiars who live under the care of Eva Green’s Miss Peregrine. Barron believes that by hunting the uniquely gifted, he might gain immortality. “Emma has taken on the mantle of trying to get rid of Barron or get him out of the picture long enough for Jake to finish the rescue mission they’re on,” explains screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: Days of Future Past).
Goldman also says that Burton sought to expand the book’s climactic final sequence and give Jackson a far more prominent role than he had in her initial script. “He brings so many different shades of scary,” Goldman says of the famously busy actor. “He never runs out of new ways of being intimidating.”
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