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April 24, 1993|ROBIN RAUZI | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Burton's Turnaround: Columbia Pictures has put director Tim Burton's film "Ed Wood" into turnaround, meaning it is available to be picked up by another studio. The surprise move came from Columbia Chairman Mark Canton, who has been criticized by some producers for his reluctance to release projects. "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp, Christian Slater, Martin Landau and Bill Murray, was to start shooting in a month. Several studios are said to be interested in taking over the production; Burton reportedly met with Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg Thursday. Later this year Disney is releasing "Nightmare Before Christmas," an animated project from Burton and "Wood" producer Denise DiNovi. The point of contention with Columbia was Burton's insistence on filming "Ed Wood"--the quirky story of the cross-dressing, B-movie director of the same name--in black-and-white. Columbia agreed if Burton, who has directed such hits as "Batman" and "Edward Scissorhands," would agree to a first-look deal with the studio, but he declined.

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