Disney has been mining their massive library of animated classics for live-action reinvention lately, with Maleficent last year and the upcoming Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast the most recent examples. But this latest announcement is the biggest head-scratcher yet: Tim Burton is going to direct a live-action version of Dumbo. Yes, with their incredible collection of beloved animated films ripe for live-action, they decided that the one with the flying elephant needs to be remade. In another not-so-great sign for the quality of this upcoming movie, Transformers franchise writer Ehren Kruger is writing the script. This new version “will add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo’s journey.”
As easy as it might be to cynically chuckle at this development, let’s not forget that from Disney’s point of view, this makes sense. After all, Tim Burton’s 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland made over a billion dollars worldwide (I know it seems insane, but it did). And Alice was the movie that kicked off the string of live-action remakes of their animated movies. So why not go back to the guy who helped get them there? We can only hope that the Tim Burton who made Frankenweenie and Big Eyes shows up, and not the one who made Dark Shadows and Planet of the Apes. Then again, the first two were big flops, while the latter two actually made some money, so we doubt that’s what Disney wants. All we DO know is that the circus that Dumbo comes from will almost certainly contain lots of freaks weird clowns now. And that maybe Johnny Depp will be one of them.