The film's cast, characters, and release date were confirmed during today's D23 panel, along with the first image; you can find all of that information below. Michael Keaton, whom Burton worked with on Batman Returns in 1992; Danny DeVito, who collaborated with the director on Batman Returns and Big Fish; and Eva Green, who teamed up with Burton for Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, head up the upcoming pic. So while he had nothing to offer us in terms of footage, he did send everyone at D23 a kind video message saying that he is in the midst of shooting, and could not wait to show us the entire film.
Burton, writer Ehren Kruger (the Transformers sequels), and producer Justin Springer (TRON: Legacy) are looking to "add a unique family story that parallels Dumbo's journey" and pad out the 1941 film's hour-long runtime with new material that "deepens the circus aspect of the story". It was Burton's own live-action Alice in Wonderland adaptation (which was released in 2010) that kicked off the current trend of the Mouse House re-making its animated classics in live-action. Dumbo flies into theaters March 29, 2019.
The film will feature young actors Finley Hobbins and Nico Parker (Thandie Newton's daughter), in their first ever film roles, as Holt's children. Fans have already seen versions for Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty (as Maleficent), The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland.
Holt Farrier (Farrell) is a former circus star returning from the war, who is persuaded to care for a baby elephant by Max Medici (DeVito), the owner of a struggling circus.
The live-action cast is rounded out by Roshan Seth, DeObia Oparei, Sharon Rooney, and Douglas Reith.