Yesterday, we reported that Will Smith is being eyed for the lead role in Disney's live-action Dumbo adaptation, which Tim Burton is set to direct. It seems that is not the only role the studio is trying to cast, with a new report revealing Tom Hanks has been offered the villain character, although it is not immediately clear if he will take the part. The report claims that he may also take a role in the World War II drama The Grey Hound, but it doesn't seem that the actor has made up his mind quite yet.
Variety reports that Will Smith will play the father of the children who become friends with the elephant after seeing him at the circus. This report also reveals that, if Will Smith does take this project, it will likely have a "significant impact" on his long-awaited Sony Pictures sequel Bad Boys For Life. The site's sources claim that both Dumbo and Bad Boys For Life are shooting at the same time, and if Will Smith chooses this project, it will likely push back the start for Bad Boys For Life, or it could be "shelved indefinitely." Bad Boys For Life was given a January 12, 2018 release date last year.
The original Dumbo movie centered on a baby elephant born with oversized ears and a supreme lack of confidence. He teams up with Timothy the Mouse to achieve his full potential and overcome all of the obstacles in front of him. Director Tim Burton's new adaptation will be a mixture of CGI animation and live action. No details have been given yet about how this story may be different from the original 1941 animated classic, but there is one organization who made a suggestion to Disney last year.
Last March, Lisa Lange from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), drafted an open letter to Tim Burton, asking that in his new movie, Dumbo and his mother are set free from the circus, and allowed to live out their lives in an animal sanctuary, instead of, "continuing to be imprisoned and abused in the entertainment industry." This letter was drafted shortly after Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced they will retire the elephants used in its shows.
Tim Burton is directing this Dumbo adaptation from a screenplay by Ehren Kruger, who is best known for writing the first four Transformers movies, along with the horror classic The Ring. Justin Springer (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion) is producing alongside Tim Burton. Tom Hanks is coming off a three-movie year in 2016, having starred in A Hologram For the King, the critically-acclaimed Sully and the new Robert Langdon adventure Inferno. This year, he'll star in The Circle alongside Emma Watson and John Boyega, and he also produces Felt, a biopic on FBI agent Mark Felt, who was revealed to be "Deep Throat," the source who helped blow the lid off the Watergate scandal. He will also return to voice Woody in Toy Story 4, which has been set for release on June 21, 2019.