Acker given lots of creative freedom on '9'

Once again, Tim Burton rules the Con with an iron fist.

As if legions of followers in black-and-white finger gloves and Jack-and Sally-T-shirts weren’t enough, this year, Burton is poised to inspire a new generation of Hot Topic shoppers with “Alice in Wonderland” and “9.”

Thursday’s “Alice” preview met hearty approval and early orders for light blue pinafores and purple top hats. On Friday, Burton brought “9,” a doomsday doll movie that he produced with “Wanted” director Timur Bekmambetov.

Directed by Shane Acker, “9” follows a group of rag dolls as they seek out the truth of their existence in an apocalyptic landscape filled with murderous villains, dark corners, lurking dangers and usual sharp objects expected in a Burton film. Based on a short film by Acker, Burton was impressed with the CGI pic’s stop-motion look. Jennifer Connelly and Elijah Wood star.

“I saw Shawn’s short and I was immediately connected to it. You don’t see many personal films that are animated,” said Burton.

“We don’t explain much. We just throw it at you,” said Acker. “It’s a quest for the characters to find out who they are and to do that we need to find out what happened to humans.”

Burton and Bekmambetov came on board as producers, but left much of the filmmaking up to Acker. Said Burton, “Our goal was to let him make his movie… and to beat up anyone that got in his way.”

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