Of all the live action remakes of classic Disney animated movies on the way, Dumbo is one of the weirder ones. Directed by Tim Burton, this new take on the flying elephant with a heart of gold has been trying to put its cast together for a couple months, but haven’t had much luck. Will Smith was approached to play the lead role, but talks broke off reportedly over salary and scheduling concerns. Not to be deterred, Disney is moving forward and looking for new talent, and one of the actors they’re eyeing for a lead role is Casino Royale‘s Eva Green.
Deadline dropped the news today that Eva Green is in talks to play the new Dumbo movie’s female lead. Subsequent reports differ on whether there will be three primary human characters or four co-starring alongside the digitally-created eponymous elephant, but in THR‘s write-up, it’s mentioned that Green would play a trapeze artist who works for the head of the circus, a.k.a. Dumbo‘s main antagonist. If a deal is reached, this will be Green’s third time working with Tim Burton, who previously directed her in Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children.
Eva Green is no stranger to the world of blockbusters. Along with the two Tim Burton features mention in the last paragraph, where she appeared as Angelique Bouchard and Miss Peregrine, respectively, the actress’ notable credits include playing Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, Serafina Pekkala in The Golden Compass, Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire and Ava Lord in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Dumbo would allow her to work more family-fare into her resume, though I can’t help but wonder if this trapeze artist character would be another villain or befriend Dumbo despite the objections of her boss.
As for Dumbo‘s other characters, we have the previously-mentioned villain and the father of some small children who befriend the elephant. Will Smith was being eyed to play the father, but that didn’t work out. Then according to THR, Disney was hoping Chris Pine would be game for the role, but those talks ended, too. As for the villain, Tom Hanks was reportedly being considered, but there’s no official word on whether he took the job or not. Since the original Dumbo is one of Disney’s shortest animated movies, this remake will have a lot of room to expand and deepen the story of the flying elephant who’s made fun of for his big ears. There’s still no word on whether there will be any wise-cracking mice or crows in this new version.
Dumbo doesn’t have a release date set in stone yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its progress.