Disney’s current panache for transforming classic animated features into live-action adaptations continues to charge forward today. Following 2014’s origin redo Maleficent and this week’s Cinderella, the studio are now setting their sights on Dumbo. Earmarked for big screen treatment last year with the news that Ehren Kruger was penning the script, today brings word that Tim Burton will now direct.
Burton has been a key player in the studio’s live-action revival. In 2010 he steered the Alice In Wonderland reboot to success, scoring Disney a $1 billion box office win for his quirky take on the well-loved tale. According to The Hollywood Reporter, his Dumbo will be “a mix of CG and live-action to bring the classic elephant story to life, and will add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey.”
The Big Eyes director is a striking choice to trot out the iconic character for the second time. The 1941 original was a solely animated affair that’s considered a classic slice of family entertainment – a tag that’s not often applied to the esoteric filmmaker. Still, his stylistic methods on Alice received considerable praise and as mentioned above, the film brought in a healthy amount during its theatrical run.
Today’s news arrives as Disney’s current slate of revitalized properties continue to dominate headlines. Besides its upcoming Cinderella caper – starring Lily James in the titular role – that’s set to open this week, the Beauty and The Beast remake has raised its status with the addition of new cast members. In addition to the already-announced Harry Potter alum Emma Watson, Dracula Untold‘s Luke Evans and Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens have boarded as her co-stars Gaston and Beast, respectively.
Currently the live-action Dumbo adaptation is without an official release date. But with Burton now attached, we can expect the casting announcements to roll out in due course.