Look out, pink elephants on parade! Or, more likely, gothic elephants with big eyes and swollen hearts.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tim Burton has just officially signed on to direct a live-action version of Disney's [Dumbo](movie:1697212). The movie will be based on the classic cartoon that follows an adorable elephant who discovers that his massive ears allow him to fly. Ehren Kruger, who is known for his work on The Ring, Scream 4, and many Transformers movies, is writing the script.
At first I was a little surprised by this decision. Tim Burton has already made a name for himself among this generation remaking children's classics. But, after a little bit of thought, this may just make sense. Here's why.
1. The story's already dark
Burton's at his best when he can find the humanity in a really upsetting storyline. You can't get more upsetting than a crying, bullied elephant who just wants to be with his momma.
2. There's room for more story
At only 64 minutes, long the animated Dumbo is one of the shortest features Disney's ever made. This could allow Burton to inject a little bit more of his own narrative into the familiar story. There's already talk that screenwriter Kruger will be adding an original family story that correspond's to Dumbo's. Plus, I can't wait to see how Burton handles the hallucinogenic "Pink Elephants on Parade" scene.
3. The subject matter could not be more topical
Only a few days ago, the Barnum and Bailey Circus announced that in 2018, they will no longer include elephants in their performing acts. Considering the animated Dumbo ends with the elephants remaining in the circus, I wouldn't be surprised if a more contemporary remake brings them back to the wild or a more open habitat for an even more happy ending.
With a mix of CGI elephants and live-action people, this is shaping up to be another successful retelling of an iconic Disney story. No date is set for release, as Burton is still working on [Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children](movie:311797), but with the probable success of [Cinderella](movie:373064) this weekend, expect word soon!