Tim Burton to direct Disney live action remake of Dumbo

The Alice in Wonderland director has been selected for the latest adaptation

Tim Burton is to direct a Disney live action remake of Dumbo.

It will be the latest re-working of its classic animations, following Cinderella, Maleficent (adapted from Sleeping Beauty) and Alice in Wonderland.

Several other films are in development, including a modernised take on The Jungle Book due for release next year, Beauty and the Beast, expected in 2017, and Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.

Sean Bailey, Walt Disney Pictures’ president of production, confirmed the details of Dumbo to the Wall Street Journal.

Asked about the film’s plot, he reportedly said “it’s a big world,” which could suggest a broader outlook than the original story of the baby circus elephant who learns that his enormous ears can make him fly.

The movie does not yet have a release date but is expected to be a mixture of special effects and live actors in the style of Disney’s other recent live-action films.

The screenplay will reportedly be written by Ehren Kruger, who worked on Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Burton is familiar with the genre after working on the successful Alice in Wonderland re-make starring Johnny Depp in 2010 and the director has also worked with Disney on 1996 film James and the Giant Peach.

Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland' made more than bn at the box office

The original Dumbo was released in 1941, telling the tale of Jumbo Junior the circus elephant, who is made fun of for his large ears but learns to fly by using them as wings.

It won an Oscar for best scoring of a musical picture and was nominated for best original song but has been criticised in recent times for its use of racial stereotypes in its depiction of a gang of crows.

Disney's lucrative remakes of its classic cartoons date back to 1996, when 101 Dalmatians was brought to life with Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson and a lot of dogs.

Judging by the box office success enjoyed by the likes of Alice in Wonderland, which grossed $1.02 billion (£680 million) worldwide, the glut looks set to continue.