The Disney remake train soldiers on and while most eyes are on the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast, Tim Burton's Dumbo just got weirder than the phrase "Tim Burton's Dumbo." A new report says that Disney is currently in talks with Will Smith to star in the film. Will Smith as Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton. Dear god, sometimes this job just goes off the damn rails.
When Disney tapped Tim Burton to direct a live-action "rebootquel" of Alice in Wonderland a certain amount of sense was made. Burton is attracted to unusual stories and Wonderland is one of the greatest unusual stories ever written. However, news that he would return to Disney to helm a live-action remake of Dumbo was , well, it was fucking weird is what it was. Now Deadline is adding to the insanity by reporting that Will Smith is apparently considering starring in the movie, which would mean Will Smith could be Dumbo (insert Will Smith has big ears joke here...). Unless they're going to make the mouse the lead character in this one.
We're not sure that any living actor being cast as Dumbo would have sounded normal, but Will Smith certainly wasn't near the top of our casting list. Part of the problem is that it's impossible to cast somebody who sounds like Dumbo, because Dumbo doesn't sound like anything. The elephant never speaks in the original animated film. Still, Dumbo is a young elephant in the movie so we'd assume he might sound like a young child, not Agent J.
We had no real idea what Dumbo was going to look like, but, having now seen The Jungle Book we have to assume that the plan is for Dumbo to be a realistic CGI elephant with a human voice, similar to the way Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and others, handled that one. It's clear that The Jungle Book was designed as a proof of concept for the animation style. Almost as soon as the movie was a hit Disney gave a green light to doing the same thing with The Lion King. Just like that movie, Dumbo has no human characters in it, so all the leads will be played by voice actors.
There's nothing about this that isn't crazy. The whole concept is clearly bonkers, but who knows, maybe it's just crazy enough to work. Would you like to see Will Smith voice Dumbo? Let us know if this is brilliance or insanity in the comments below.