Alan Arkin Joins Tim Burton’s Dumbo

Academy Award winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) will play Wall Street tycoon J. Griffin Remington in Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo. Variety broke the news.

Arkin is the latest actor to board the production, and will star alongside Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Danny DeVito, and newcomers Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins.

Loosely based on Walt Disney’s 1941 animated classic Dumbo, Disney’s upcoming live-action version sees Farrell as Holt Farrier, a retired circus star returned home from the war. To the delight of the young Farriers (Parker and Hobbins), struggling circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) tasks Holt with caring for a newborn elephant with oversized ears, whose physical deformity makes the baby elephant the laughing stock of the show. But when opportunistic entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Keaton) and aerial artist Colette Marchant (Green) learn Dumbo has the ability to fly, the pair aim to swindle the ostracized elephant to stardom.

Ehren Kruger (Ghost in the Shell) wrote the script and will produce alongside Justin Springer (TRON: Legacy). Derek Frey, who has been involved as producer on many of Burton's works since 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, produces alongside Katterli Frauenfelder, who has produced various Burton productions since 2001's Planet of the Apes. Nigel Gostelow (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) is executive producer.

Disney has found success mining their beloved animated catalogue for live-action re-imaginings: Burton’s own Alice in Wonderland began the live-action re-do craze in 2010, with Disney transforming Sleeping Beauty into Maleficent before turning Cinderella and The Jungle Book into box office hits. Earlier this year, the musical Beauty and the Beast earned more than a billion dollars, a feat likely to be repeated with Jon Favreau’s 2019 The Lion King. Disney also has live-action remakes of Aladdin, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, and Peter Pan in the works.

Dumbo flies into theaters March 29, 2019.