Colin Farrell in talks for Tim Burton's live-action Dumbo

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer
Colin Farrell (credit: WENN)
Colin Farrell (credit: WENN)

Colin Farrell may be about to see an elephant fly.

Six weeks after Will Smith backed out of talks to take the (human) lead in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of ‘Dumbo’ with director Tim Burton, it seems the 40-year old Irish actor may be set to take his place.

Deadline report that Farrell is in talks to appear originally earmarked for Smith, Farrell would appear as Holt, a “widowed father of two kids from Kentucky” whose offspring befriend the young elephant with the oversized ears.

This could prove quite a step-up for Farrell, who hasn’t taken the lead in too many blockbusters; his highest-profile role of late was a supporting turn in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.’ Still, Farrell does have some history with treasured Disney properties as he appeared as the father of PL Travers in ‘Saving Mr Banks,’ the film about the making of ‘Mary Poppins.’

Farrell will be in good company too, as veteran Burton actors Eva Green and Danny DeVito are also set to appear in ‘Dumbo’ as circus performers.

1941's 'Dumbo' (credit: Disney)
1941’s ‘Dumbo’ (credit: Disney)

‘Dumbo’ does not have a confirmed production start date or release date at present, but it is one among the many live-action takes on classic Disney animated properties in the works at the studio, following on from the likes of ‘Maleficent,’ ‘Cinderella,’ ‘The Jungle Book,’ and current hit ‘Beauty and the Beast.’

Others in the pipeline include ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Mulan,’ ‘The Lion King’ and a ‘Jungle Book’ sequel, with many more said to be on the drawing board.

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