Disney’s live-action Dumbo remake has been officially upgraded from another basic Tim Burton project that elicits little more than a shrug to a full-out curiosity worthy of an eyebrow raise. Between the casting of Eva Green and Danny DeVito, and the almost-casting of Will Smith, and now the potential casting of Colin Farrell, maybe there’s more to this movie than flying elephants — like, is Dumbo sexy now or what?
That Dumbo movie still seems to be, for all intents and purposes, happening, and with Eva Green in talks to star the ball continues to roll. Now, it looks like Danny DeVito — yes, you read that right — might also be heading to the big top.
Tim Burton’s Dumbo movie hasn‘t gotten off to a great start, with Will Smith joining and then exiting the project within weeks. Since then, we haven’t heard much about the movie, which has been gestating for a while, but now the cast is looking to acquire another big name: that of Eva Green, star of Penny Dreadful and of Burton’s latest film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
After starring in a handful of disappointing films, including last year’s Collateral Beauty and Suicide Squad, it sure would be nice to see Will Smith star in a decent movie again. Bad Boys 3, which was recently delayed, could be that film — maybe, possibly — but Disney’s new Dumbo movie seemed like more of a sure thing given the studio’s reliable formula for live-action remakes. Recent reports revealed that Smith was in talks to star in Tim Burton’s reimagining of the classic Disney film; unfortunately, those talks are no longer happening.
Darkness. No parents. Continued darkness. The opposite of light. Black hole. Curtains drawn. In the basement. Middle of the night. Blacked-out windows. Other places that are dark.
In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Every two weeks (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).
If you’ve ever wondered what a Tim Burton movie starring Will Smith would look like, you might find out relatively soon. The actor is reportedly circling a role in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo, which Burton has been attached to direct for some time now. After delivering the disappointing one-two punch of Suicide Squad and Collateral Beauty, Smith sure could use a win, and joining Disney’s growing empire of live-action remakes seems like a pretty safe bet.
The musical never completely died as a movie genre, but it did lay dormant for a good long while throughout the 1980s and ’90s, with only the occasional throwback like Pennies From Heaven, Newsies, or Everyone Says I Love You popping up, like an old memory. Back then, the movie business largely conceded its tradition of song-and-dance to Disney cartoons and MTV, assuming — wrongly — that the idea of flesh-and-blood actors breaking into big numbers in the middle of narrative feature films had become too cornball for the modern mass audience.
The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beloved ’90s classic. But did you know the movie started life over ten years earlier, when producer Tim Burton wrote a poem in 1982? At the time, Burton was an animator at Walt Disney Studios, and he tried to turn The Nightmare Before Christmas into a short film. Disney considered it, but nothing ever happened with it, and eventually Burton lost his job. Then he went on to direct Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Batman. Suddenly, Disney was more interested in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and as an entire feature-length film. That’s just one of the Nightmare Before Christmas facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
Tim Burton is one of the most imaginary filmmakers of our time, a man who’s envisioned wacky, gothic, and fantastical worlds. But his imagination is limited when it comes to race.