If you are wondering what Disney has in store for us over the next few years, we can tell you: live-action adaptations of all their classic animated features. It started with Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland (2010), then Maleficent (2014) starring Angelina Jolie, and recently Cinderella (2015) starring Cate Blanchett as the evil step-mother. These movies are becoming box office sensations earning millions worldwide and Disney isn’t stopping. We found out about eight more live action remakes, so mark your calendars and get ready.
April 2016: The Jungle Book
While there isn’t an official trailer out for The Jungle Book yet, we have seen early pieces of concept art (like this one) and we have to admit we are intrigued.
In the original animated film from 1967 an orphaned boy, Mowgli, is raised in the jungle. The cast is an all star line up including ScarJo, who plays the voice of Kaa — the python who eats other animals by hypnotizing them.
Bill Murray, who plays the voice of Baloo — the best friend bear. Bet you didn’t know that this is Scarlett Johansson’s and Bill Murray’s second film together since Lost in Translation.
Other voice talent include Idris Elba for Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley for Bagheera, Christopher Walken for King Louie, Giancarlo Esposito for Akela, Lupita Nyong’o for Raksha, Emjay Anthony for Gray, and newcomer, Neel Sethi, will play the young boy Mowgli.
Originally this film was set to release this October but Disney has decided to release something else at that time so we have to cool our heels till April next year.
May 2016: Alice Through the Looking Glass
This is the highly anticipated sequel to Tim Burton’s, Alice in Wonderland. Directed by James Bobin (Known for The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords, and Da Ali G Show) and written by Linda Woolverton (Known for The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, and Maleficent), the film brings back stars from the original like Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Mia Wasikowska (Alice), and Anne Hathaway (White Queen). Sacha Baron Cohen is joining the film to play the role of ‘Time’.
It’s hard to find out any info on the plot for this film. Has anyone read the books? If the movie revisits Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories we can anticipate Alice finding a mirror and walking through to an alternate world where she will learn to run really fast with the Red Queen, have adventures with Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and even help Humpty Dumpty. (source) There hasn’t been any official trailer for this film yet, but I’m sure one is close. Also, I bet this movie is going to be great in 3D. We can’t wait!
March 2017: Beauty and the Beast
Director Bill Condon (known for the Twilight Saga, Dreamgirls, and Kinsey to name a few), is bringing us this live-action fantasy musical.
In case you’ve never seen the movie, the story is about a young woman, Belle, who falls in love with a frightening beast. Well, he starts of frightening and barbaric, but then Belle whips his ass into a gentlemen – then she falls in love with him. We are so happy that Emma Watson is playing Belle because we heart her! Also in the cast includes Luke Evans (Gaston), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Dan Stevens (Beast), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Pots), and Ewan McGregor (Lumiere) to name a few.
2018: The Sword in the Stone
Word on the streets is that Disney has hired Game of Thrones writer-producer Bryan Cogman to write the script for a live-action remake of Sword in the Stone. In the OG 1963 movie, with the help of a wizard named Merlin, a young boy discovers his destiny to become king. I wonder how violent Cogman is going to take this? I mean, have you seen the ‘Red Wedding’ episode on GoT?
While nothing is confirmed yet on IMDB, we are placing our bets on Meryl Streep to play Madam Mim. I mean, she did a pretty good job playing a witch in Into the Woods, so it seems like a no-brainer to us.
Disney is bringing back good ol’ Tim Burton again so he can direct Dumbo for us. (source) This film will be a mix of live-action and CGI and probably much more dark and twisted than the 1941 original, given Tim Burton’s style. While there hasn’t been a release date yet, we imagine it will likely be out in 2018.
For those of you living under a rock, Dumbo is a movie about a baby circus elephant that grows up being ridiculed because of his large ears. Then one day he realizes that he can fly because his ears are so darn big they act as wings. Dumbo then becomes the big hot ticket in the circus but his fame doesn’t find him happiness. Animal cruelty in the circus is probably going to be highlighted heavily in this new film. It’s already gotten the attention of PETA, an American animal rights organization, who has reached out to Tim Burton asking for an alternate ending where Dumbo retires to a sanctuary instead of staying in the circus. (source)
For me personally, I just want to see how Tim Burton interprets the trippy “Pink Elephants on Parade” scene.
Winnie the Pooh
We found another one with no release date yet, but what we do know is this: it’s another live-action remake treatment, Alex Ross Perry has been hired to write the new movie, and the “storyline will focus on Christopher Robin’s adult life and his memories of Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the gang”. (source)
There are no details of the cast yet, but we kind of agree with Paste magazine that Justin Bieber was born to play Christopher Robin. Not that we agree this is a good idea – in fact, a horrible one, but just look at them!
Following this no release trend, we bring you the news that Disney is doing Mulan as well. Again, here is what we know: “Disney bought a script by writing team Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centers on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, the female warrior who was the main character in Disney’s 1998 animated film.” (source)
A little gossip here — Disney is getting some heat on the casting for this film. People are already prepped to be up in arms if Disney doesn’t cast an Asian female lead to play Mulan. In fact, there is an online petition urging Disney to make the right casting choice. The petition reads, “Whitewashing, the practice of casting white Caucasian actors and actresses in roles originally meant to be characters of color, is all too common in Hollywood”. So far nearly 75,000 people have signed it.
So Disney is creating another live-action film and it’s actually a prequel to Aladdin. Aladdin (1992) was about a “street urchin [who] vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her.” (IMDB) In the Disney OG, comedian Robin Williams played the voice of the Genie. We anticipate Genies to have a similar comedic vibe.
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot to report on this one. “The project is said to still be in the early stages, and there are no details on the cast, or whether the Genie will be played by a live actor or be computer generated.” (source) Again, the facts: Tripp Vinson is on board to produce the film, Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (who wrote Friday the 13th, 2009) are writing the script, the movie will center on the genie when he was trapped in Aladdin’s lamp. (source)