Disney is making headlines this month in the run-up to their live-action adaptation of the classic princess movie Beauty and the Beast. However, this is far from the only live-action iron that the studio currently has in the fire, with multiple adaptations in the works for the future – one of which seems to be deep in the process of casting at the moment. Dumbo, the 1941 tale of an outcast circus elephant who learns how to fly, may not have a release date announced just yet, but there have been several tidbits of casting news this month so far. Reportedly, Tom Hanks was offered a villain role for the film, while Will Smith passed on whichever part he was offered.
Now, another big name is reportedly in talks to star in the film, and it’s someone who has worked with director Tim Burton more than once already.
Eva Green is up for one of the three major adult roles in the movie, according to Deadline, which reports that the actress is currently “in talks” with the studio. The news is not officially confirmed by either Green or Disney, with the story coming from unnamed sources, presumably connected to the production in some way. This would not be Green’s first time working with director Tim Burton, should she accept Disney’s offer – Green recently starred in Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, and has also worked with the gothic director on Dark Shadows in 2012.
What this report doesn’t tell us is which role Green would be up for, or whether she is being eyed for a live-action part or to voice one of the CGI characters. There are very few female characters in the original animated film – only Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo’s mother, and The Elephant Matriarch, head of the herd. Green could easily be voicing one of these characters, but there are other possibilities. Green could potentially be a gender-swapped ringmaster, gender-swapped Timothy the Mouse, or an entirely new character created specifically for the film. She could also portray one of the clowns that appears in the film, in a (presumably) larger role than they played in the animation.
We would love to see Green take on a larger role in the upcoming live-action Dumbo – not only is she a phenomenal actress, but she seems to be something of a new muse for Burton. If she is not one of the female elephants, this could also mean that the film will be a little more gender-balanced than the original, which wouldn’t be difficult. Green would look absolutely stunning as the evil ringmaster of the circus, although putting her in that role would leave us wondering which other villain Tom Hanks might be playing.
However, many fans are concerned that Burton’s very dark approach might not be the best choice for a film like Dumbo, and casting someone who has worked on some of his more gothic films in the past seems to confirm that we will be seeing him put his unique stamp on this story. We’ll still be interested to see how it works, whichever way it goes, and to see how this story will be updated for a live-action adaptation.
We’ll keep you updated on Dumbo as more information becomes available.