Tim Burton to Direct Live-Action Dumbo


Tim Burton has signed up to direct a live-action take on Disney’s 1941 classic, Dumbo, The Wall Street Journal has revealed. The latest in a series of live-action remakes of animated Disney movies, Burton’s Dumbo will continue a new trend set by the likes of Alice in WonderlandMaleficent and Cinderella. The announcement follows hot on the heels of news that Harry Potter star Emma Watson has been cast in an upcoming version of Beauty and the Beast.

The film will reportedly combine live-action with CGI to rejuvenate the iconic story, with Ehren Kruger (TransformersThe RingThe Brothers Grimm) and Justin Springer (OblivionTRON: Legacy, I’m Still Here) attached to produce, working from a script penned by Kruger. At this stage, it’s difficult to see how the idea will come together, though with Burton’s dark and offbeat style, you can bet there’ll be an interesting reworking of the “Pink Elephants on Parade” sequence.

The announcement has already attracted attention from animal rights activists PETA, who are calling on Burton to revise the movie’s ending. In an open letter, the organisation’s Senior VP Lisa Lange wrote,

“We’re hopeful that in your adaptation of Dumbo, the young elephant and his mother can have a truly happy ending by living out their lives at a sanctuary instead of continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry.”

dumbo 2For PETA, the news was timely, presenting a perfect opportunity to draw attention to a recent decision made by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to phase out the use of elephants in its shows, with the aim of removing them completely from performances by 2018. Executives from Ringling’s parent company, Feld Entertainment, cited a shift in audience attitudes and new legislation in certain cities and counties as being among the reasons for the change.

Burton’s previous live-action Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland, grossed over $1 billion worldwide, a success suggesting that if any director can pull this idea off, it’s him. With his most recent feature, Big Eyes, having been released late last year, Burton is currently working on an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

What are your thoughts on Dumbo going live-action? Do you think the ending should be changed? Let us know in the comments!

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter | The Wall Street Journal

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