Oscar winner Alan Arkin has joined the cast of Tim Burton's live-action version of the Disney classic Dumbo. Over the years, Burton has been known for forming great working relationships with with actors, which oftentimes have led to lasting partnerships.
For example, performers like Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and the late Christopher Lee appeared in several of Burton's films in a row, while other times, decades pass between projects before the director works with an actor again; like when Edward Scissorhands star Winona Ryder reunited with the filmmaker on the stop-motion version of Frankenweenie 22 years after they first worked together.
For Dumbo, Burton appears to like the idea of working with actors he hasn't collaborated with for awhile, by casting his Batman and Batman Returns star Michael Keaton, as well as Danny DeVito, who starred in Batman Returns as well as the director's tall-tale drama Big Fish. And now, Burton is reuniting with one more of his movie alums 27 years after their first collaboration.
According to Variety, Arkin has been cast in Burton's Dumbo, marking their first film together since the actor played Ryder's father in Edward Scissorhands in 1990. In Dumbo, Arkin will reportedly play a Wall Street tycoon named J. Griffin Remington.
Production is underway on the film, which follows a former circus star named Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) who rejoins the circus upon returning from the war. Tasked to by the owner of the circus, Max Medici (DeVito) to take care of an elephant with very large ears, Holt finds out through his children that the animal can actually fly; prompting an exploitative circus owner named V.A. Vandevere (Keaton) and a French trapeze artist Colette Marchant (Eva Green) to take sudden interest in the creature for monetary gain.
At this point it's hard to tell just how sizable of a role Arkin will have in Dumbo, but it's an excellent casting choice nonetheless. Arkin was not only memorable in Edward Scissorhands, he's one of the few actors working in the business today who's consistently delivered top-notch performances throughout his 50-plus year career. From such early gems as Catch-22, The In-Laws and Freebie and the Bean, to more recent memorable turns in Little Miss Sunshine (which earned him his Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Argo, and Going in Style, Arkin's presence on the big screen continues to loom large, and clearly Burton recognizes the value that the 83-year-old actor can bring to Dumbo.
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019