From The Jungle Book to Beauty and the Beast to Guy Ritchie’s upcoming Aladdin project, Disney is ransacking their extensive back catalogue for any beloved cartoon that they can drag into the three-dimensional world. Next up is Dumbo, the heart-warming tale of an ostracized elephant who finds that his oversized ears allow him to reach for the skies. At D23 we learned who was behind the project, and got our first glimpse at what the production could look like.
First released in 1941, Walt Disney’s flying elephant classic went on to win an Oscar for its score and received a Best Original Song nomination. The plan for the remake is to recreate the magic of the original in 3D, capturing Dumbo and his animal friends using state of the art visual effects technology. Hopefully though, they won’t feel the need to update those horrifically racist crows.
Yesterday’s D23 panel confirmed the film’s cast and characters, as well as giving us a release date in 2019. The film is currently in production at Pinewood and Cardington Studios, and will be helmed by Tim “scary trousers” Burton. Amongst the cast are Eva Green and Golden Globe winners Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito. The film will also be the first feature outings for Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins. Roshan Seth, DeObia Oparei, Sharon Rooney and Douglas Reith have been cast in supporting roles.
The live-action Dumbo will feature Holt Farrier (Farrell), a former circus star struggling to adjust to civilian life after his wartime experiences. Circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) hires Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock in an already struggling circus. When Holt’s children (Parker and Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, smart-talking entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Keaton) and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant (Green) swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.
The team working behind the scenes on Dumbo includes cinematographer Ben Davis, Oscar-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs, four-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood, editor Chris Lebenzon and multi award-winning make-up designer Paul Gooch.
Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer are set to produce, working to a screenplay penned by Kruger. Nigel Gostelow will be acting as executive producer.
Dumbo lifts off on March 29, 2019.