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Will Smith and Tom Hanks could star in live-action Dumbo

Will Smith in I Am Legend

Story by Jack Foley

WILL Smith and Tom Hanks are reportedly in talks to star in a live-action take on Dumbo for director Tim Burton.

According to Deadline, Smith is being targeted by Disney for a key role in the film, which will be based on the 1941 animation about a big-eared circus elephant.

He is set to play the father of the children who form a bond with Dumbo.

Another trade publication, Variety, is reporting that Tom Hanks has been offered a role as the villain.

Burton, who scored his biggest box-office hit to date with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, has long been attached to Dumbo, having originally been due to direct the film in 2015.

But that stalled, paving the way for Disney to successfully revive other classic animated titles from its back catalogue into live-action versions. Given that success, the studio is said to be ‘aggressively’ pushing the film towards production.

The script comes from Ehren Kruger, whose credits include Scream 3 and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Smith has had a mixed past 12 months. His ensemble superhero flick Suicide Squad was a box office smash despite being universally panned by critics, but his last film, Collateral Beauty (released at Christmas) received largely negative reviews and proved to be one of the biggest box office flops of the actor’s career.

Disney, on the other hand, are on a high given that 2016 was a record-breaking year for them. They were behind every film in the global top five, including their live-action take on The Jungle Book.

And this year looks almost certain to replicate the success of last, with an updated Beauty & The Beast as well as Marvel titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 and Thor: Ragnorak.

The studio also has live-action versions of Mulan, Peter Pan, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid in various stages of development.

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