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This time next week, Beauty and the Beast will be in theatres everywhere as Disney‘s latest effort to live-action-ize its entire animated catalogue. Meanwhile, pre-production is underway on the next couple of projects, one of them being Dumbo based on the 1941 hit about an elephant with large ears who learns to use his mocked appendages to fly. Now obviously Dumbo himself is going to be CG, but there’s some room for human characters, and director Tim Burton looks to fill those spots with trusted collaborators, first with the previously announced Eva Green, and now with Danny DeVito, marking his first team-up with Burton in 14 years.

According to Deadline, DeVito is in talks to play Medici, the owner of a small circus that’s taken over by the villainous Vendemere and his much larger (and more evil) circus. Interestingly, in the last Burton movie DeVito worked on, 2003’s Big Fish, he appeared as the ringmaster of a circus, and in Batman Returns, DeVito’s iteration of the Penguin worked as a circus freak before turning to a life of crime. So if there’s one thing that DeVito can appreciate above all other actors, it’s Burton’s circus fetish. The Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor also appeared in Burton’s alien invasion spoof Mars Attacks!

With Green and DeVito seemingly onboard, there’s still the outstanding role of the aforementioned villain, for which Disney is supposedly trying to court Tom Hanks to play. Ehren Kruger is writing the script based on the Disney classic, its fourth feature-length animated film after Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia. At the time, Disney desperately needed a hit following the commercial disaster of Fantasia, but in the years since Dumbo‘s been hamstrung by the unified theory of Walt Disney‘s racism, particularly in reference to the crow characters, which have come to be understood as African-American stereotypes. So Dumbo could use an update, but will the project actually happen? Stay tuned.

There’s no word yet on a possible release date for Dumbo, but we’ll let you know when there’s any and all news on the subject.

Source: Coming Soon

Category: Film

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