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Will Smith in Talks for Disney’s Live-Action ‘Dumbo’ Movie

Disney / Chris Jackson, Getty Images
Disney / Chris Jackson, Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered what a Tim Burton movie starring Will Smith would look like, you might find out relatively soon. The actor is reportedly circling a role in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo, which Burton has been attached to direct for some time now. After delivering the disappointing one-two punch of Suicide Squad and Collateral Beauty, Smith sure could use a win, and joining Disney’s growing empire of live-action remakes seems like a pretty safe bet.

Deadline reports that Smith is eyeing a lead role in Dumbo, one of Disney’s many (many, many, many, etc.) upcoming live-action projects which serve as remakes or re-imaginings of beloved existing properties. The studio is said to be “moving aggressively” to start production on Dumbo (now there’s a series of words I never though I’d string together), with Burton still on board to direct from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger — best known for scripting The Ring remake (and its sequel) and three Transformers films.

Smith is currently shooting Bright, a fantasy cop thriller for Netflix that re-teams him with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, and is next set to reunite with Martin Lawrence for the long-gestating Bad Boys sequel. But Smith, once known for headlining summer blockbuster hits, has starred in a few misfires over the past few years — most recently Suicide Squad and Collateral Beauty. Despite its commercial success, the former was almost unanimously poorly received by critics, while the latter — an inconceivably terrible holiday drama — fell flat with audiences and critics alike.

Burton, meanwhile, delivered one of his better films in recent memory with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and though his last big-budget Disney project — Alice in Wonderland — was an incoherent mess of CGI, it was an international box-office hit. Whatever happens with Dumbo will be interesting, at the very least.

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