EXCLUSIVE: Colin Farrell is in negotiations to join Tim Burton’s Dumbo, the live-action adaptation of the 1941 animated classic for Disney, which is casting up now. Should the deal make, he’ll play the role of Holt, the widowed father of two kids from Kentucky and he’ll join Eva Green and Danny Devito in the project, which is edging closer towards a production start.
Farrell has a track record at Disney, having played the fun-loving father of the young Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, which took $117.9M worldwide after it was released in 2013. Green is in talks to take on the role of Colette, a French trapeze artist who works for evil top circus villain Vandemere (which is still looking to be cast) while DeVito would play Medici, the man who runs a smaller circus that gets acquired by Vandemere.
The live-action remake of Dumbo is written by Ehren Kruger, who produces with Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy). Disney’s original version focussed on a big-eared, loveable circus elephant, who is mocked for his large ears but learns to use them as wings to fly.
It’s the latest in Disney’s long line of reboots following this month’s box office smash Beauty and the Beast. That latest live-action version of the 1991 animated classic is set to cross $500M at the global box office today. Emma Stone is set to star as villainess Cruella De Vil in the upcoming 101 Dalmations prequel Cruella. The studio has had huge success with reinventions of classic animated fares like Angelina Jolie starrer Maleficent and Johnny Depp’s Alice In Wonderland, the latter of which was directed by Burton. Those pics earned $758.5M and $1.02B worldwide respectively. It’s 2015 reboot of Cinderella with Lily James took $543.5M worldwide.
Farrell is slated to play Oliver North, a decorated U.S. Marine and Fox News commentator, in a limited series for Amazon. He’s also just wrapped his second Yorgos Lanthimos project, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, a suspected Cannes title this year. He starred in the Greek helmer’s The Lobster in 2015.
Farrell is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.