Tim Burton is distracted. He’s in the middle of directing the live-action adaptation of Dumbo, an ambitious, big-budget production that requires balancing fantastical and elaborate sets with even more fantastical visual effects. But I got the feeling that this harried appearance was just part of Burton’s nature — a million thoughts racing at once while he attempts to answer press questions. It’s a surprisingly energetic persona from a man who is famous for donning all black and a dour complexion, but maybe that’s why he always wears the grim color: he can’t be bothered to think about anything else.
“It’s hard for me to talk [about Dumbo] right now because I don’t know if it’s a comedy or a drama,” Burton hurriedly tells us in between takes. “But I’ll let you know when I’m done with it.”
Hearing Burton refer to his Dumbo live-action adaptation as a comedy might be a bit confusing — humor isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about a Tim Burton movie, or the melancholic 1941 animated movie, either. But there is an unexpected warmth emanating from the Dumbo director and from the lavish, sprawling set around which he paces.
/Film got the chance to visit the set of Dumbo in London along with a group of other journalists, where I was immediately transported back into a storybook version of 1919. Here, a modest barn interior with a dirt floor and pieces of rope sits a couple hundred feet away from an elegant, Art Deco-style apartment decorated with vintage movie posters and marble floors. There, warm pinks and faded yellows adorn the backs of children running through a brightly lit town square.
And there isn’t a Gothic Victorian castle in sight.
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I have some good news for Disney: they’re finally going to make some money. I know they were worried about that, but the House of Mouse can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that finally, one of their movies will earn some dough at the box office. That movie is Dumbo, Tim Burton‘s live-action remake of the 1941 animated film about a flying elephant. Burton’s take on the material looks designed to make everyone cry, and all that crying is going to result in a strong opening weekend…but not quite as strong as some other live-action remakes. Get the full details on the Dumbo box office tracking below.
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Disney’s animated classic Dumbo is barely an hour long, but director Tim Burton is going to flesh that out into a movie that’s right around two hours. We’re not sure how he’s adding a whole extra hour to the story outside of introducing a wide array of new human characters who take a keen interest in the little flying elephant, but a new Dumbo trailer shows off the circus spectacle of Disney’s live-action remake. And that floppy-eared, flying elephant just looks more and more adorable. Read More »
A collection of words that seem as if they don’t belong together: Arcade Fire has recorded a cover version of “Baby Mine” for the live-action Dumbo soundtrack. The song appeared as a lullaby in the original animated Dumbo, and the Arcade Fire’s cover will play during the end-credits of Tim Burton‘s live-action remake, due out this month. You can hear a snippet of the cover below.
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The next live-action adaptation of one of Disney’s classic animated movies is Dumbo. Director Tim Burton is at the helm of the story of a little elephant who can fly, and you couldn’t ask for a better director to tackle a movie that’s set entirely in a traveling circus. But can he make this once thriving entertainment venue magical again after the bad reputation it’s earned over the years?
A new Dumbo featurette has cast members Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and a very enthusiastic Danny DeVito talking about how incredible the sets were for this movie. Tim Burton even hired a slew of real acrobatic performers and dancers from around the world to help bring the circus to life. Find out more in the Dumbo featurette below. Read More »
You’ll believe an elephant can fly with the latest Dumbo sneak peek released by Disney. The House of Mouse dropped a new sneak peek for the live-action remake directed by Tim Burton. And aside from giving us some new soaring shots of the titular floppy-eared elephant flying high, there are even more delightful glimpses of the star-studded cast including Danny Devito, Colin Farrell, Eva Green, and a very excited Michael Keaton.
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The last time Tim Burton teamed up with Disney, it resulted in the hit adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Now he’s tackling another remake of one of the studio’s animated classic that fits perfectly with the director’s usual circus aesthetic tendencies.
Dumbo adapts the Disney animated classic from 1941, turning the barely one-hour circus adventure into a feature length story starring Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and an adorable flying elephant with baby blue eyes. A new Dumbo trailer from across the pond shifts focus from the touching but tragic mother and son side of the story and puts the focus on the circus that the floppy-eared little guy gets caught up in. Read More »
Disney must count itself lucky that one of its characters from one of its most anticipated 2019 feature films is a pig. Because today is Lunar New Year and it rings in the Year of the Pig — which means that Hamm is front and center of the Chinese-inspired Toy Story 4 poster. The Toy Story sequel is one of the seven Disney Lunar New Year posters released by the House of Mouse to honor the holiday celebrated by China and many East and Southeast Asian countries.
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Joseph Gatt is used to playing the bad guy. With his striking chrome dome, high cheekbones, and thin eyebrows, it’s no wonder that Gatt has been typecast as a villain. He’s tried to kill Thor as a Frost Giant, and he’s terrorized various heroes as countless Russian mercenaries. But in Dumbo, his villain Neils Skellig (the psychotic hunter and right-hand man of Michael Keaton’s ruthless circus entrepreneur V.A. Vandemere) hits a little closer to home.
“I’m very anti-hunting and I’m involved in a lot of charities and work against hunting and big-game hunting,” Gatt said in an interview from the set of Dumbo in September 2017. “So I know a lot of people that I can reference this particular character to. None that I would want to be friends with or recommend be friends with.” But there is one influence on his character who a few people would like to be friends with: Darth Vader. “The way I like to describe Skellig, Neils Skellig, is if you imagine Michael Keaton’s character is the Emperor, I’m Darth Vader,” Gatt said. “So basically he’s the more powerful [guy] in charge of everything, and I just do his bidding.”
On /Film’s visit to the set of Dumbo, we sat down with Gatt to talk his dynamic with Keaton, and why they’re doing more than acting opposite a tennis ball.
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“We gotta complete the circus trilogy.”
That’s how Tim Burton got Danny DeVito on board to play yet another circus ringleader in Dumbo, Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the beloved 1941 animated film. The last time DeVito donned a circus ringleader outfit, he was playing the shrewd ringmaster Amos Calloway in Burton’s 2003 fantasy drama Big Fish. And before that, he was a circus gang leader of sorts in 1992’s Batman Returns. But DeVito didn’t need much convincing to work with his longtime friend and director — Dumbo marks the fourth time he has collaborated with Burton, and he doesn’t plan for it to be the last.
“I get emotional thinking about how much I care about him,” DeVito said in an interview from the set of Dumbo in September 2017. “Always spirited, always an artist, always thinking about the craft, always just painting with his mind. I feel like I’m part of…some kind of palette or color scheme in [Wassily] Kandinsky’s world or something.”
Kandinsky, the abstract Russian painter, is not too far of a stretch from the bright and vibrant colors of the circus in Dumbo, of which DeVito’s Max Medici is the ringmaster. A character from the original 1941 film, DeVito lends his own spin on the character, giving him more humanity. He’s “a guy whose back is up against the wall,” DeVito said.
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