He started his career as an animator at Disney, and it appears Tim Burton has come full circle. He’s become the latest high-profile director to sign up for a live action version of an Uncle Walt classic – DUMBO being the next loveable personality getting a big screen revamp.
Burton worked on ALICE IN WONDERLAND, that had previously been immortalized in cartoon form by the studio, but this time it’s part of a concentrated wave of conversions breathing new life into 2D characters. MALEFICENT led the charge, joined most recently by Kenneth Branagh’s CINDERELLA. Bill Condon’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens is to follow.
It’s unclear whether the notoriously dark talent will be given free rein, or be expected to stick to the tone associated with the source material. I guess you’d have to be pretty stupid to hire Burton and expect him to tow the company line.
Ehren Kruger adapts the 1941 screenplay and co-produces with Justin Springer. News that a family subplot has been added – designed to run alongside the adventures of the famous elephant – suggests we may be getting one of Burton’s trademark disassociated kids with a penchant for black clothing. He’s currently up to his neck in little ones as he brings MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN to the multiplex.