Michael Keaton in Talks to Play Villain For Dumbo Remake

Posted 2017/04/05 0 0

Michael Keaton is said to be negotiating a reunion with old pal Tim Burton on Disney’s live-action edition Dumbo.


Variety reports Keaton is up for the main villain role in the film. The story centers around an ostracized baby circus elephant - Dumbo - with Keaton potentially playing the owner of the circus who exploits the elephant and his mother. The character acquires the circus from the ringmaster. If a deal lands Michael Keaton in Dumbo, he would join the ever-growing cast of frequent Burton collaborators like Danny DeVito and Eva Green, and potentially Colin Farrell, who is in talks to take one of the lead roles, a widowed father of two kids from Kentucky who befriend Dumbo. Devito plays the original owner from who Keaton’s villain acquires the circus, while Green plays a French trapeze artist named Colette.

Keaton’s career has seen a resurgence since 2014’s excellent Birdman, with recent turns in Spotlight, The Founder and the forthcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, where he will also play a villain. Dumbo would mark Keaton's and Burton's first movie together in 25 years, since 1992's Batman Returns. The two talents have not worked together since leaving the “Batman” franchise following “Batman Returns,” but have been looking for a film to team up on for quite some time, including a possible “Beetlejuice” sequel. Burton's Dumbo remake will mix live-action and animation, with Burton directing. The movie will be written by Ghost In The Shell screenwriter Ehren Kruger, who’s also penned The Ring, The Brothers Grimm (the feature film and the television series), and three Transformers films.

Another star that was set to join the cast was Will Smith, who was up for the role as the father of the children who befriend the lovable elephant. But, Smith recently passed on the remake due to salary and scheduling issues. Despite this setback, Disney is said to be moving "aggressively" forward on the project.

Dumbo is in pre-production, and doesn’t yet have a release date scheduled.