I be done seen about everything…
For the last few years screenwriter Ehren Kruger has mainly been associated with scripting Transformers sequels for Michael Bay, but now he’s moving on to a different animated franchise: He’s been tapped to pen the live-action Dumbo remake for Disney.
Originally developed as a simpler “safe bet” project by the Mouse House in 1941 to help recoup losses from the financial disappointment of Fantasia, Dumbo is regarded today as one of early Disney’s most popular but also most unusual films. Set in and around a traveling circus, the titular main character is a baby elephant ostracized by the other animals for having been born with abnormally large ears. When his mother is jailed for rampaging while defending Dumbo from abuse, he makes friends with a talking mouse who helps him discover a surprising talent: His ears can be used as wings, enabling him to fly.
Live-action updates of animated classics have proved to be a bonanza for Disney, with Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland becoming a billion dollar worldwide hit a few years back in 2010 and Maleficent already a $600 million smash this Summer. Next year will see the release of Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, and Bill Condon is signed to Beauty & The Beast after that. Meanwhile, since Disney doesn’t technically own most of the public-domain stories its biggest animated hits were based on, other studios are mobilizing to beat them to the punch with live-action updates of their own – Universal Pictures is in pre-production on a version of The Little Mermaid with Sofia Coppola directing.