With Maleficent grossing $758 million worldwide and 2010’s Alice in Wonderland crossing the billion dollar line, Disney clearly has no problems breathing new life into its beloved franchises. The latest take on the classic Cinderella story is expected to open to about $60 million this weekend, and the cast seems to be set on the live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. So what’s next for the House of Mouse in regard to its non-Marvel and Star Wars properties? Justin Bieber as Pinocchio? Josh Gad and Jonah Hill as the Gummy Bears? Maybe next year. In the meantime, get ready for a combination live action and animated retelling of Dumbo, the lovable flying elephant.
According to Variety, Disney is bringing back Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton to work his unique magic for this pretty depressing but ultimately happy story of a bullied baby circus elephant. There’s currently no time frame for Dumbo, but Transformers scribe Ehren Kruger has already submitted a script that has Disney “very pleased,” so Dumbo will certainly be top priority. And while James Bobin replaced Burton as director for Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (due in May 2016), the newly-single Burton is still producing.
Also, it’s the safest bet in the world that Johnny Depp will have a role in Dumbo. Perhaps he’ll provide the voice of Timothy Q. Mouse or Jim Crow. But common sense says he’ll either play a really bizarre Ringmaster or simply every character in the movie.