Tim Burton is Resurrecting Dumbo for Disney
This Friday sees the release of Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, a supposedly quite good live-action retelling of the classic Disney animated film (which was of course loosely based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale). That film is only one in a series of live-action remakes that includes Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon, plus the recently announced Beauty and the Beast, which has Bill Condon attached as director and Emma Watson and Dan Stevens attached as the beauty and beast, respectively. According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney won’t stop rummaging through the Disney Vault anytime soon. Dumbo is getting the live-action treatment too, and current Disney lackey Tim Burton is directing.
With all the animated films Disney has produced, I’m surprised Dumbo is being remade before something like Lady and the Tramp or Pinocchio. I’m even more surprised by the involvement of Tim Burton. He’s turned into a paycheck director, yet I can see what would draw him to Dark Shadows or Alice in Wonderland. Aside from the circus setting and being able to depict Dumbo as an outcast, I guess I don’t see what would draw his interest (other than the money). It probably wasn’t the script, which as of last year was being written by Transformers scribe Ehren Kruger. (Kruger isn’t mentioned in the WSJ article, which hopefully means he’s no longer involved.)
There’s no release date yet, and given Disney’s slate I wouldn’t expect it until at least 2017. As you can probably guess, the film will be a mix of real actors and CGI. While it’s unclear how the titular elephant will be realized, I’m going to make a bold assumption that he’ll be computer generated.
Disney’s other upcoming films seem to be in good hands, so maybe Burton will make something worthwhile. I’m not that hopeful, but I wanted to end the article on a positive note.