Disney and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland was a billion dollar hit in theaters worldwide in 2010, so perhaps it was inevitable that the pair would reunite for another live-action reimagining of a Disney animated classic. It turns out that Dumbo is said project, with Burton directing and Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, Transformers: Age of Extinction) scripting this version of the story about a young circus elephant who is an outcast, due to his unusually-large ears.
The live-action Dumbo reportedly includes three main adult (human) roles, two of which have seemingly now been filled by trusted Burton collaborators - namely, Eva Green, who starred in both Burton's Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, as well as Danny DeVito (who costarred in Burton's Batman Returns and Big Fish). We may soon learn who is playing the third leading role in Dumbo, what with the start of production being right around the corner.
My Entertainment World is reporting that Dumbo begins production in the UK in April, keeping the live-action movie on course to reach theaters by either the second half of 2018 or the first half of 2019. The Mouse House already has a pretty full release slate for 2018 (including another live-action retelling of a Disney animated movie, Mulan), but there is an August 3rd date that year that Disney is holding onto for another live-action fairy tale film, plausibly Dumbo. There's also a March 29th, 2019 date that Disney has reserved for a live-action movie that could ultimately go to Burton's remake.
While Green's role in Dumbo has yet to be revealed, it seems reasonable to assume it will be a proper leading role in nature, based on her previous collaborative efforts with Burton. DeVito, by comparison, is reportedly up to play a kindly, but struggling circus owner whose business is in danger of being bought by the film's main villain: a cruel ringmaster named Vandemere. The latter is believed to be the role that Tom Hanks was circling earlier this year. It would appear that the latter is passing on the movie though, seeing as Hanks is going to be working on Steven Spielberg's historical drama The Post, around the same time that Dumbo will be filming.
Things have changed under Disney's umbrella since Burton's Alice in Wonderland hit the scene - something the Mouse House found out the hard way, when its 2016 sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass (which Burton produced only) under-performed both critically and commercially. With features such as director Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella and Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book having very much raised the bar in both respects for similar upcoming Disney live-action retellings (including this week's new release, director Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast), it remains to be seen how Burton's take on Dumbo fares by comparison.
Source: My Entertainment World
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019