Tim Burton No Longer Directing Ripley’s Believe It or Not?

On Sunday I wrote that Gong Li was in talks to join the cast of Tim Burton’s “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!” with Jim Carrey, and now it appears as if Tim Burton himself has left the project, according to various sources. The movie has been something of a troubled production, with Paramount wanting a smaller budget than what Burton had in mind, Steve Oedekerk being brought in to re-write the script, with plenty of changes to accommodate Carrey (the two previously worked together on the “Ace Ventura” movies).

More from IGN:

The film will trace the exploits of Ripley, a sports cartoonist who became fascinated with the strange and unusual. He became a larger-than-life personality in the 1930s and ’40s, known for canvassing the globe in search of oddities and having adventures while doing so.

We don’t know for certain if Burton is getting the boot, but the film hadn’t been expected to start shooting until late 2008, so there will be plenty of time to find a new helmer. A 2009 release is expected.

As with most Hollywood movies, I’m always shocked that they’re willing to accept budgets that run into the $100s of millions at all. Why does a movie even have to cost more than $100 million? The Koreans could do the exact same movie that Hollywood makes for $100 million for $10 million.

But they, that’s Hollywood for you. Excess has always been acceptable.