Disney is popping up the circus tent for Tim Burton‘s Dumbo. Danny DeVito and Eva Green will appear in the live-action animation hybrid, with the possibility of Colin Farrell joining the cast.
Now there are reports that say Michael Keaton is in talks to play the role of the villain. More on the story below.
Variety was the first to report on the news. If the actor signs on, he would play the new owner of the circus, which he acquired from DeVito’s character in order to exploit the lovable elephant and his mother. Farrell would play the role Will Smith was once a possibility for, a widowed father of two who befriends Dumbo and takes him in as one of his own.
On another note, if Keaton does sign on, this would be the fourth time that the actor has collaborated with Burton. The first time was for Beetlejuice in the title role, which was followed up by again playing the title roles in Batman and Batman Returns (which also starred DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin). Let’s not forget the possibility of that Beetlejuice sequel, if that ever happens.
In the original animated film, Dumbo is a circus elephant who is shunned by his fellow animal troupe and exploited for his larger than average ears. Unwilling to be subjected to the psychological damage, Dumbo discovers his true potential with the help of Timothy Q Mouse. However, with the human actors, it’s unlikely that the live-action film will follow the same beats as the animated film. Not that it’s a huge surprise. Nearly all the live-action adaptations of these animated films have taken creative liberties and re-envisioned the story for a more contemporary audience. And it’s not like Disney will stop making these films anytime soon given the huge success of Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and most recently Beauty and the Beast.
Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, Ghost in the Shell) wrote the script for Dumbo, and produces along with Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy).
No word yet on when the film will be released, but Disney is working on live-action remakes of Mulan, Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. They also have The Jungle Book 2 in the works. So we should learn more about the film sometime down the line.