Aside from 1988's Beetlejuice, the Spotlight actor has previously worked with Burton on superhero outings Batman and Batman Returns, so it's unsurprising that the filmmaker is keen to get him involved in this project.
The pair haven't collaborated since 1992's Batman Returns, yet Variety now reports Keaton is in talks to join the cast of Disney's live-action Dumbo movie, where he'll join a roster of other frequent Burton collaborators, Eva Green and Danny DeVito. If all goes well, the Birdman star will play the man who buys the circus-which Dumbo and his mom belong to-from Danny DeVito's character. Keaton's "Beetlejuice" director, Tim Burton, will helm the project from a script by Ehren Kruger. Farrell would play the role Will Smith was once a possibility for, a widowed father of two who befriends Dumbo and takes him in as one of his own.
The original story of Dumbo followed an outcast and exploited circus elephant, teased for his large ears, but who eventually becomes a media sensation after learning to use his ears to fly.
Disney is popping up the circus tent for Tim Burton's Dumbo.
Clearly, Disney is aiming high when it comes to the talent they're recruiting for Dumbo, even if we fail to see the point in remaking this particular animated classic. Colin Farrell is also in the talks to be part of the cast.
Keaton will play another famous bad guy this July, Adrian Toomes a.k.a. the Vulture, in Spider-Man: Homecoming.