Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with producer Justin Springer and screenwriter/producer Ehren Kruger about their new film, director Tim Burton’s live-action remake of Dumbo.
During the chat, we talked about the challenges in adapting Dumbo for modern audiences, the progressive animal rights message of the film, making a remake and a sequel at the same time, the possibility of a connected live-action Disney universe, inspiration from Walt Disney’s Disneyland, and more, including updates on Tron 3, which Springer has been developing for years.
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Disney has found a formula for success with live-action remakes of their beloved animated movies and the upcoming remake of Dumbo looks to continue to trend. Director Tim Burton, who started this whole trend in the first place with Alice in Wonderland, is retelling the story of the iconic flying elephant in live-action and we got a first look at the movie from the D23 Expo.
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(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell.)
Ghost in the Shell sometimes feels more preoccupied with how characters are framed than what they’re doing and saying. They usually look and sound fantastic, but rarely do they register as real flesh and blood in director Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the classic manga and anime. Ghost in the Shell is a distancing movie never quite as humane as its themes.
Below, check out our Ghost in the Shell spoiler review.
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Tim Burton may reunite with his Batman Returns star, Danny DeVito, for Disney’s live-action Dumbo. DeVito is currently in negotiations to join the film, and Burton regular Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) is close to signing up as well. The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star might play Medici, the owner of a small circus.
Below, learn more about the potential Danny DeVito Dumbo role.
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The Brothers Grimm, hampered by the Weinsteins, budget squabbles and post-production delays, isn’t the finest moment for any of the people involved, and especially not for director Terry Gilliam. But the film lives on as part of the Miramax library, and now the company is turning it into a Brothers Grimm TV series.
Matt Damon probably won’t reprise his role as one half of the sibling duo that (in the film’s twisted telling) was a medieval con artist team before being known as chroniclers of folk tales. And since his on-screen partner was the late Heath Ledger, new casting will certainly be required. But there is one talent returning from the original film, and (sadly) it isn’t Terry Gilliam. Read More »
Dumbo is coming back to theaters in new form, and the film now has a director.
Tim Burton was part of the beginning of Disney’s current foray into live-action reinventions of its classic animated catalog, as he directed Alice in Wonderland, released early in 2010. Disney has followed that with Maleficent and the new Cinderella, with live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book on the way along with an Alice sequel. We’ve known there was a plan for a live-action version of Dumbo, and now Burton will direct it. Read More »
The children’s book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH has been adapted to film once before. When Don Bluth and his compatriots broke away from Disney to form their own animation studio in the late ’70s their first feature effort was The Secret of NIMH, which adapted the book. (And did so pretty liberally in some ways.) Now MGM has picked up rights to Robert C. O’Brien‘s book, and plans a new hybrid live-action/animated Rats of NIMH series. Read More »
When I talked to Ehren Kruger about writing Transformers films for Michael Bay, he commented that there were times the work was more like writing a Cirque du Soleil show than writing a movie. Now Kruger will have a chance to work in a literal circus setting, at least for some scenes. He’s been tapped to script a Dumbo live-action remake for Disney. In fact, Kruger is producing the film for Disney, with Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion). We have a few more details below. Read More »
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There’s a very short list of Hollywood producers who are names unto themselves. On that list is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, of both the G.I. Joe and Transformers franchises. He’s also the producer of Salt, Red, Side Effects, Jack Ryan, Beverly Hills Cop 4 and more. The guy is a proven hit-maker with a great handle on the pulse of mainstream audiences.
His latest film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is more of the same. Despite being savaged by critics, audiences are once again turning out for the franchise. On the occasion of that release, we had the pleasure of speaking with di Bonaventura about a few things. We talked about producing for Michael Bay, and the choice of using Dinobots not only in the film, but in the marketing as well. I asked about the length of the film, the inevitability of Bay leaving the franchise, and what the ending of this film means for Transformers 5, currently slotted for 2016. Finally, I just had to ask about my favorite Transformer, Hot Rod. Read all his answers below in our full interview with Transformers: Age of Extinction producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Read More »
The Transformers films — or at least the three sequels to Michael Bay‘s first film in the series — disregard story concepts left and right. Characters are secondary to spectacle; geography and time are subservient to the impact of a beauty shot; standard narrative building blocks regularly fall by the wayside. So how does one write one of these films? We talked to Ehren Kruger, who has written all three Transformers sequels, about the process of putting a film like this on the page.
If you need a capsule version of our short conversation, it is this quote: “When you’re talking about aliens, robotic machines which disguise themselves as vehicles and animals, you start to make your peace with the idea that logical sense doesn’t have to be the be-all, end-all.” Which means that the creators of the Transformers films are throwing logic and narrative structure out the window consciously, if not deliberately. For a bit more exploration of that concept, read our short interview below. Read More »