Can You Picture Tom Cruise as Edward Scissorhands Over Johnny Depp?

Edward Scissorhands Johnny Depp, Kathy Baker, 1990
20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have been working together for decades and it all started with 1990’s Edward Scissorhands. However, Depp almost wasn’t cast as the titular character. In a recent interview, he admitted that there were several other actors in talks to play the part and even revealed who they were. He said that Tom Hanks and Michael Jackson wanted to play the part and Tom Cruise was at the top of the list.

At the time Depp was trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood and wanted to avoid being “pigeonholed” in the same kind of role after starring in 21 Jump Street. He said, “In all honesty, I was probably doing my best for probably the last two years to get fired… I knew how important the choice to make Cry-Baby with John Waters was, which gave me the opportunity to make fun of this arena I’d been placed in.”

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, Alan Arkin, Johnny Depp, 1990,

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Depp continued that the script for Edward Scissorhands “passed through everything, anything, solid and went to the very core of whatever I am. The writing was beautiful. The character was beautiful. What I suppose [attracted] me emotionally was that Edward was me. It’s exactly what I should be doing.”

However, when Depp heard about his competition for the film, he almost didn’t show up to the audition, thinking that the role would go to a veteran star. Luckily, someone convinced him to go and he got the part, which sparked several other collaborations between Depp and Burton including the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake and the movie version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

What is your favorite scene in Edward Scissorhands?

February 2021
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