Tim Burton to Direct Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ for Disney (Exclusive)

March 10, 2015 ,

From Ben Fritz for wsj.com 



Disney is betting that the man to make you believe an elephant can fly is Tim Burton.

The filmmaker behind “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” “Batman,” “Big Eyes” and “Alice in Wonderland” will direct Disney’s coming live-action remake of “Dumbo,” Walt Disney Pictures president of production Sean Bailey said.

“Dumbo,” which is still in development and doesn’t have a release date, is one of a number of new films based on Disney animated classics that the studio has in the works, including this week’s “Cinderella,” next year’s “The Jungle Book” and “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass,” and a new “Beauty and the Beast” expected in 2017.

The film is expected to be a mixture of computer generated effects and live actors, although details on the project are still scarce at this early stage of development. Mr. Bailey would only say of the plans for a new “Dumbo” story that “It’s a big world,” indicating that the story will be broader than the original tale of a circus elephant with large ears who learns to fly.

Circus motifs have been a favorite of Mr. Burton in his movies, going back to the Red Triangle Circus Gang in his “Batman Returns.”

With 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, Mr. Burton directed one of Disney’s most successful live-action movies ever. It also served as the spark for the new live-action fairy tale strategy that Walt Disney Pictures is aggressively pursuing under Mr. Bailey.


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