Disney To Make A Live Action “Dumbo” Movie; Tim Burton To Direct

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The Hollywood Reporter just announced that Tim Burton will be directing a live action version of the Disney classic animated feature, “Dumbo.”

In the latest move by the studio as it continues to make live-action versions of its animated classics, Disney has tapped the Big Eyes helmer, Tim Burton, to take on the tale of a baby circus elephant who is made fun of for his large ears, based on the iconic 1941 film.

As THR exclusively reported, Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger penned the script. The film will use a mix of CGI and live action to bring the classic elephant story to life and will add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey. Justin Springer, who worked on Tron: Legacy as well as Oblivion, is producing with Kruger.

Disney’s latest live-action makeover, Cinderella, starring Lily James, opens this weekend. The studio has had strong success with its live-action versions of classic tales, including Burton’s re-imagined Alice in Wonderland, which grossed a staggering $1.02 billion. And after Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie as the iconic villainess, opened in May 2014, it went on to earn a stunning $758.4 million worldwide.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Joe Hogarty

Joe moved from New York to Florida back in 1997. He currently resides in St. Petersburg and visits the parks frequently. His first visit to the Magic Kingdom was when he was 8 years old back in 1974. Joe originally originally started as a photographer for WDWNT and is now the host of WDWNT: Nerd Alert, our movie reviewer and reports the news for WDWNT. You can contact Joe through email at [email protected]


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  • To really hope this is an early April fools joke. I find every Tim Burton movie to have the same look and feel and don’t understand how he continues to be offered movie opportunities, by Disney no less….

    • No doubt it will be dark and creepy and Danny Elfman will do the music. I do like some of his movies though, especially his early stuff. Nothing recent though.

      • Edward Scissorhands was the only movie of his I really liked. Big Fish was good, but not really memorable. His first Batman was pretty good, but the sequel was an atrocity.

        • I really loved Ed Wood. I liked Batman and as I have gotten older am finding myself appreciating Batman Return more than I used to. Also like Beetlejuise. And although he didn’t direct Nightmare Before Christmas, love that one too. But Dumbo and Tim Burton does not sound like a very good combo.

  • I wonder what their thought process was on this choice as a movie, I mean I could think of about 10 other movies that would be better suited for a live action movie (Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Frozen (gotta ride that wave while it’s still hot right?) Pinocchio, etc). And if we are going to have Tim Burton direct a live action Disney re-make movie I vote for the Black Cauldron.

  • I’m just guessing here but I wouldn’t be surprised if Tim Burton pitched it to Disney. Another non surprise is if Johnny Depp is cast as Timothy the mouse. But I would definitely expect more live action remakes, especially if Cinderella does well. Maleficent made a ton of money for them. I would like to see The Little Mermaid. I just recently saw the Black Cauldron for the first time. When I was a kid it just looked to dark and wasn’t interested in it. That would be cool to see live action wise.

    • I just saw Cinderella last night, and it was very well done. It was actually pretty faithful to the cartoon version, unlike Maleficient. However, you do get to learn a little bit about Lady Tremaine’s motivations. Which allows your to empathize with her better.

      There was great chemistry between the actors for Cinderella and Prince Charming. And even though the fairy god mother was only in the film for a short little while, she nailed it. There were parts that were funny, parts that were sad, and the redemptive parts that just make you feel good.

      Oh and Frozen Fever was pretty funny as well :-)

  • Trying to imagine “Pink Elephants on Parade” as a live action, LOL.

    To those who believe Tim Burton has one style, I disagree. He loves whimsey (stealing the term from the hat thread ;) ). He uses color to set mood more than any other director. Alice in Wonderland was very well done.

    I predict that Johnny Depp will not be in it, but I’ll place my bet that his wife will be. I’m more curious as to whether Dumbo will literally be an elephant, or perhaps a young boy in the circus learning self confidence and that he has talents to offer not just the circus, but the world while overcoming obstacles such as bullies.

    • I dont think Helena Bonham Carter will be in it. They recently got divorced. I have a feeling Depp will be in it. I did enjoy parts of Alice In Wonderland but kind of wish it was based on the original story. I heard PETA wrote Burton asn asked him to change the ending so that Dumbo and his mother are set free in the wild. Not going to happen.

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