Farrell would play the father of the children who fall in love with the lovable elephant. Will Smith, Chris Pine, and Casey Affleck all passed on the role. Eva Green and Danny DeVito are also in negotiations to join the film.
Burton is directing from Ehren Kruger’s script. Justin Springer, who worked on “Tron: Legacy,” is producing with Kruger.
The original story followed an ostracized baby circus elephant who strives to achieve his full potential. Burton’s movie will included both live-action and animated elements.
The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows the success of “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” and most recently, “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. The Mouse House has remakes of “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” and other animated classics in the works as well.
Farrell toplined “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and appears in Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” remake, opening this summer. Farrell will also co-star with Denzel Washington in Dan Gilroy’s “Inner City.” Variety reported exclusively this week that Farrell will play Oliver North in an untitled limited series for Amazon. He is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.
The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.