Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Colin Farrell: Starring in Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo is a ‘tasty gig’

Colin Farrell said he wanted to star in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo as soon as he heard Tim Burton would be in the director’s chair (Hannah McKay/PA)
Colin Farrell said he wanted to star in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo as soon as he heard Tim Burton would be in the director’s chair (Hannah McKay/PA)

Colin Farrell said he wanted to star in Disney’s live-action remake of Dumbo as soon as he heard Tim Burton would be in the director’s chair.

The Irish actor plays a wounded soldier returning from war to find the circus he once starred in has fallen on hard times, while his two children are recovering from the death of their mother.

The arrival of a baby elephant with the ability to fly thanks to his enormous ears breathes new life into the circus, but problems arise when word of the animal’s extraordinary power spreads.

Farrell, 42, said acclaimed filmmaker Burton, known for his eccentric and often dark movies, was one of the main reasons he wanted to appear in Dumbo.

Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell has praised Dumbo director Tim Burton (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Speaking at Dumbo’s world premiere in Los Angeles, he told the Press Association: “I heard that Tim was doing this film and when I heard those three words, ‘Tim Burton Dumbo’, I thought what a tasty gig this would be to be a part of.

“And then I read the script and I was moved by it and I could only imagine how Tim would bring this world to life. So to be part of the elaborate and colourful world of this circus was extraordinary.

“But more than that at its core was this central message of inclusion and celebrating difference and the importance of family. It was a dream.”

Farrell, also known for starring in films such as Phone Booth and In Bruges, added: “I’ve been wanting to work with Tim for as long as I’ve been an actor and I’ve been a fan of his for longer than that, since I saw Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, I don’t know if I was 13 or 14. So it was a dream.”

Tim Burton
Tim Burton has been praised for his work on the reimagining of Disney classic film Dumbo (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Dumbo is a modern-day interpretation of Disney’s original 1941 animated film and uses a mix of live-action and CGI, with many of the animals, including the big-eared main character, computer animated.

It also stars Danny DeVito as circus ringmaster Max Medici and Michael Keaton as VA Vandevere, a ruthless businessman seeking to exploit Dumbo.

Despite his critical acclaim with films such as Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Burton has been criticised for an alleged lack of diversity in his films.

Deobia Oparei, a British actor of Nigerian descent who stars as a circus strong man in Dumbo, said “more can be done all the time” in terms of diversity but praised Burton as “very respectful”.

He said: “I guess as an actor being in the business I feel you’ve got to work and you’ve got move on and you’ve got to make your luck and make your opportunities even in the dearth of roles there are.

Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito stars as a circus ringmaster in Dumbo (Matt Crossick/PA)

“But I think the game has changed. I never really liked that word: diversity. Diversity is the angel of life. I think it’s more now the entertainment world going, ‘we have to reflect the world’.

“And reflecting the world means we have to have women, people of colour, the LGBT community in prominent roles. Not just the sidekick, not just on the margin of life but at the centre of life. Because that’s what the world is and now that’s been reflected it’s really exciting.”

Dumbo will be released in UK cinemas on March 29.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]