Dumbo early buzz

Tim Burton has largely built his career making movies about societal outcasts, and he’ll be back with the story of another outcast later this month in Dumbo, his second live-action remake of a Walt Disney animated film. The earliest reactions have arrived, so read on to get a sense of what critics are saying about Burton’s latest cinematic spectacle. Read More »

dumbo set visit report

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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dumbo box office tracking

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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dumbo soundtrack

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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Dumbo Featurette

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 »

dumbo sneak peek

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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joseph gatt dumbo interview

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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danny devito dumbo interview

“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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colin farrell dumbo interview

Colin Farrell is flying high. Well, maybe not as high as an elephant with giant ears, but pretty close — the Widows actor finally got to collaborate with one of his longtime favorite filmmakers, Tim Burton, for Dumbo, the live-action adaptation of the beloved 1941 animated film about a clumsy elephant that learns he has a special ability that turns him into a circus sensation. It’s the perfect kind of fairy tale adventure that would attract Farrell, who as of late has shown a preference for offbeat mystical dramas both big and small.

“There’s things I read over the years that are somewhat fantastical and supernatural and have kind of a fairy tale element to them,” Farrell said in an interview from the set of Dumbo. “And I genuinely, when I heard [Tim] was doing this, was like ‘Oh god, what a dream gig to do.'”

But Farrell’s got his work cut out for him. The actor is set to play a brand new addition to Dumbo, which in the 1941 version rarely depicted any goodhearted humans. It’s Farrell’s job to play one of the few sympathetic human characters in Dumbo: Holt Farrier, a single father of two who has returned to his life at the circus after years at war have separated him from his family and have left him an amputee. But another burden for the Golden Globe nominee is that he’s the new kid in Tim Burton’s team of all-stars, with Burton regulars Michael Keaton, Danny Devito, and Eva Green rounding out the cast of the live-action fantasy.

“Yeah, it seems like Tim has his own little traveling circus of a kind going,” Farrell said. “And it’s just nice to be part of it.”

In our visit to the set of Dumbo in September 2017, we sat down with Farrell to hear his thoughts on flying elephants, fantasy, and just what he thinks about 10-year-old Tim Burton’s Halloween costume.

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superman lives costume

By now, you likely know the story of Tim Burton‘s aborted Superman Lives. The Batman director was set to take on the Man of Steel, working off a script penned by Kevin Smith, with none other than Nicolas Cage starring as the Last Son of Krypton. In the past, blurry behind-the-scenes images and footage have surfaced showing Cage in various costume fittings. Now we have our first clear look at the Superman Lives costume, and truth be told, it’s not half bad.

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