Danny DeVito's strong bond with Tim Burton made Dumbo 'even better'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 March 2019
Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton's strong bond with 'Dumbo' director Tim Burton made the movie "even better"

Danny DeVito says his long-standing working relationship with Tim Burton made 'Dumbo' "even better".

The 74-year-old Hollywood legend portrays circus ringmaster Max Medici in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of the classic tale about a flying elephant, and he says his history with the iconic filmmaker, having been under his helm in movies such as 'Mars Attacks' and Batman Returns', made their time on set a breeze because they have so much "trust" for one another.

Speaking to 'Entertainment Tonight', DeVito said: "Because of the fact that you can come onto the set and talk about things like remember 'Batman Returns' and things that we did together, 'Big Fish' and 'Mars Attacks', him visiting my set, me visiting his set.

"All this kind of stuff that you do in the movie business, those things are adding to the fact that you trust each other and you are able to move forward, and maybe contribute and make it even better."

The 'Matilda' actor's co-star Michael Keaton – who plays entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere in the movie – added that whenever he gets a call from Burton to star in one of his films, he never turns him down.

Keaton added: "When I personally get a call, and I bet Danny would say the same, you pretty much say, 'Yeah, I'm gonna be there.'

"So you just kind of show up and it's never disappointing."

The 'Jack Frost' star – who also starred in Burton's 1992 sequel 'Batman Returns' and the original, plus his fantasy horror franchise 'Beetlejuice' – quipped that even if they make a bad film one day, it will still be a blast to work together.

He laughed: "Some day we are going to make a really horrifically bad movie – and it's still going to be fun to make."

Burton also agreed with his colleagues that their strong bond of more than two decades has been crucial to making great movies together, and admitted that it was "very strange" how he got on with Keaton immediately the first time they met.

He explained: "But, also, I've seen the guy for 20 years, right.

"And all of a sudden, the next day I worked with him, it was like I'd just seen him the other day and that is a very strange feeling to have in your life when you haven't seen someone in so long and it's boom, like I saw him yesterday.

"It's a very strange feeling."


  • 3 stars
  • 2019
  • US
  • 1h 52min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Tim Burton
  • Cast: Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin
  • UK release: 29 March 2019

In this remake of the 1941 film, one-armed circus worker Holt (Farrell) is struggling to reconnect with his bereft children while a certain large-eared pachyderm is figuring out the ropes. It looks lovely, but there’s a lot of extra plot shovelled in and it’s arguably overloaded, compared to the sincerity and simplicity…

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