Eva Green is also in talks to join the film as a French trapeze artist, although sources say those talks are still ongoing.
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, with the help of a mouse, works to achieve his full potential. Burton’s movie will be a mix of live action and animation.
The studio is still looking to fill the role of the father, which both Will Smith and Chris Pine were up for, as well as the owner of the circus, who will play the antagonist in the film.
The studio’s emphasis on live-action movies follows the success of “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book.” Disney’s new take on “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson, is opening next weekend. It also stars Luke Evans and Dan Stevens, and is directed by Bill Condon. Disney has live-action reboots of “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan,” and many more animated classics in the works as well.
DeVito and Burton have a long-standing relationship dating back to 1992, when DeVito starred as the Penguin in “Batman Returns.” He can still be seen on the FX comedy “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
He is repped by CAA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.
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