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It would seem that the Walt Disney Company is very keen on the idea of bringing back some of their key animated classics as live-action films. Cinderella is hitting theaters this weekend, The Jungle Book is in post-production, Beauty and the Beast is very much in active development, and now word has come down that the company has enlisted an A-list director to helm the latest incarnation of Dumbo: Tim Burton.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the news that Disney is reteaming with the Big Eyes director to make a new big screen film about the elephant whose gigantic ears allow him the ability to fly. Word of this project comes directly from Walt Disney Pictures president of production Sean Bailey, who has confirmed that the movie will mix real actors with computer generated effects, but wouldn't provide any plot details revealing how the adaptation will work. The only hint that the executive provided was that the film will operate in a "big world," suggesting that the story will be expanded in its adaptation to live-action.
The idea of Tim Burton working with Disney isn't exactly a shocker, given that the filmmaker got his start with the company and that the two parties they have recently collaborated to produce films like Alice in Wonderland and Frankenweenie. What is rather surprising, though, is the run of high-caliber filmmakers that the studio has enlisted to make their new live-action fairy tales. They got Kenneth Branagh to bring Cinderella to life, but we will also soon be seeing Bill Condon's vision of Beauty and the Beast and Jon Favreau's take on The Jungle Book. It's kind of an exciting development, if not only because it suggests that the future may hold more potentially fascinating fairy tale and filmmaker pairings.
Interesting as it may sound to have Tim Burton doing his own interpretation of Dumbo, it's worth pointing out that we have really no clue just yet when the movie will actually get made. The director is currently working with 20th Century Fox on Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which will be coming out in March of next year, but that isn't all he has lined up. In recent months we have also heard an increase in chatter about Beetlejuice 2, with multiple parties from the original saying that they would be game to come back for a sequel. If Burton chooses to make that film in preparation for 2017, it's not outside the realm of possibility that his version of Dumbo may not become actualized until 2018. It's worth noting that the new report says that at this time there is no production start scheduled, and the project doesn't have a release date.
Are you excited to see Tim Burton's live-action version of Dumbo? Hit the comments with your thoughts.