A month after it was announced that he was in talks to star in a live-action film adaptation of” Dumbo” for director Tim Burton, Will Smith has opted to pass on the project due to scheduling and salary concerns.
The production is still moving forward, however – just without Mr. Smith. No word on who might replace him.
The actor was said to be Disney’s top choice to star in the family film that is based on the 1941 animation about a big-eared circus elephant. Should he have signed on, Smith would’ve played a key role as the father of children who form a bond with Dumbo. Tom Hanks was also offered a role as the film’s villain.
Burton was originally attached to the film in 2015; the studio is reportedly fast-tracking the film towards production, with a script from Ehren Kruger.
Smith was most recently seen in “Collateral Beauty”; up next is “Bright,” reteaming with his “Suicide Squad” director David Ayer, from a script by Max Landis, which tells a futuristic tale with fantastical elements, set in a world where orcs and fairies live among humans. Netflix picked up the film late last year, paying a reported $90 million for it. A 2017 premiere is eyed..
Deadline was first to report Smith exiting the “Dumbo” project.