Will Smith is in talks to join the cast of a live-action Dumbo remake. Disney is looking to feature the beloved character back onscreen, except perhaps in a more 3D capacity. The adorable little elephant who learns to fly with his massive ears is one of the House of Mouse’s most recognizable characters. A Will Smith Dumbo remake would give new life to the character that first appeared in 1941.
There’s another catch: Disney wants Tim Burton to direct the film. That’s right that Disney wants to put the beloved little elephant in the hands of the man who created The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride.
Darker and Grittier – Is This A Good Idea
Recent Hollywood productions’ trends seem to point to a specific pattern. That is, remakes and sequels will always be “darker” and “grittier” than their own source materials. A Will Smith Dumbo remake would not be any different. And especially not, with Tim Burton at the helm.
Burton has been the man behind the likes of Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and Sweeney Todd. It’s safe to say that the darkly humorous, and often gruesome, are his bread and butter. But if you’d like to imagine how Dumbo would turn out under his direction, just take a look at Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Both those films were based on pieces that were light, colorful, and generally aimed toward children, like Dumbo. Burton responded by presenting a decidedly darker vision with more dangerous tones and less cartoony characters. The results have been mixed: Alice scores a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes while Charlie has a more respectable 83%.
What kind of reception would a Will Smith Dumbo remake have? A counter-culture of fans demanding more original work rather than more remakes, would probably slam the production. But the actual response from critics would be a different question.
Dumbo’s appeal has always been its mix of the fantastic with the simplest values of friendship and family. People will remember Timothy, the mouse that rode Dumbo. It ironically turned the typical animosity between mice and elephants into a meaningful relationship.
But for the Will Smith Dumbo remake, the actor would instead portray the father of two kids who befriend the elephant, reports Variety. Adding such characters would most likely make it easier for kids of the new generation to relate with. It’s likely that the film will also follow largely in the footsteps of Cinderella, and this year’s Beauty and the Beast live-action remakes.
What do you think? Is live-action Dumbo remake a good idea? Share your thoughts with us below!