Disney’s Dumbo reunites filmmaker Tim Burton with Michael Keaton. The two have had successful collaborations like Batman movies and Beetlejuice. Dumbo is about a baby elephant who has the ability to fly.
Keaton plays the role of Vandevere, an unscrupulous entrepreneur who wants to exploit Dumbo’s extraordinary ability for material purposes. He is not a nice man otherwise as well.
Michael Keaton said, “One reason Vandevere, my character, behaves the way he behaves, which is not too nice, is he never really had a family, and deep inside, that ate him up—although he would never let you know that. And there is this little circus family that is not a mom-dad-and-two-kids situation. The father, played by Colin Farrell, is trying to hold this little family together.”
He added, “Enter this really cute little flying elephant. You have got forces who want to grow that and enjoy that and make that a wonderful thing. Then there are some people who want to exploit it for their own personal profit. Unfortunately, I am that guy.”
Tim Burton also talked about working with Michael Keaton after a long time. “I hadn’t seen him for many years,” he said, adding why he thought Keaton would be perfect for the role.
“[Vandevere] reminded me of his energy from Beetlejuice—that intensity that he has,” Burton said. “You don’t know whether he is being friendly or wants to kill you. It is really a lot of fun to work with him, and having him and Danny together again—that was great.”
Dumbo also stars Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, and Alan Arkin among others. It releases on March 29.