EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, 1990, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp./courtesy Everett Collection

©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Johnny Depp reveals in Tara Wood’s still-untitled documentary on Tim Burton (via People) that Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Michael Jackson were all in contention for the iconic role of Edward Scissorhands in Burton’s 1990 movie of the same name. Cruise “was not far away from actually playing Edward Scissorhands — true story,” Depp says. With so many A-listers up for the part, he nearly rejected the chance to audition despite desperately wanting the role.

At this point in Depp’s career, he was feeling “pigeonholed” by the success of being a teen idol thanks to his series regular role on “21 Jump Street.” Part of the reason why he signed up for John Waters’ 1990 comedy movie “Cry-Baby” was because he had to “fight” against his teen heartthrob persona and Waters’ film allowed him to skewer it, which “was the first solid step in the direction I wanted to go.”

“In all honesty, I was probably doing my best for probably the last two years to get fired,” Depp said about “21 Jump Street.” “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.”

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When the script for Burton’s “Edwards Scissorhands” came in, Depp said it “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.”

But the A-list talent that was lining up for consideration to play Edward left Depp feeling like Burton is “never going to cast me when everyone in Hollywood is after the part.”

“Tim’s really juggling because he’s getting hit by his agent, the studio, everybody,” Depp remembered. “So I called my agent after reading the script and said, ‘Please cancel the meeting, I’m not going.’ She said, ‘Are you fucking nuts?’”

“It was weird because there’s always that bastard in your skull that goes: ‘Come on, man. You’re a TV actor guy,’” Depp added. “Because at that time it was almost either-or.”

Depp “finally gave in” and met with Burton, and the rest is history. “Edward Scissorhands” proved a breakthrough for both its director and star and marked the first of several collaborations between the two, which would go on to include 1994’s “Ed Wood,” 2005’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and 2007’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Wood’s documentary about Burton screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.