It may have all started with a mouse (well kind of a rabbit) where Disney was built on the foundation of telling classic fairytales as animated films. However now, Disney have gone and announced an array of live action movies, to try and recreate the magic, similar to the direct-to-DVD/Video market of the 90s/00s.
As it seems like there is mention of a ‘NEW’ remake each week, here is a list of films that have been announced as of 18th April 2016.
The Sword in the Stone
The Original: The animated classic is based on T.H. Whiteʼs 1938, which became a part of the Arthurian fantasy series, The Once and Future King. The Sword And The Stone was a financial success nabbing $22,182,353 at the box office, becoming the sixth highest grossing film of 1963. However, it received mixed reviews, with many critics calling out its over-stuffed comedy and thin narrative. This did not stop the movie from gaining an Academy Award nomination for Best Score.
The Planned Remake: The Sword And The Stone is being developed by Game Of Thrones writer/producer Brian Cogman, who is currently penning the screenplay.
As I love Game of Thrones, I am really excited that Cogman is currently writing the screenplay. However, I do worry a bit that it may be a bit dark.
The Original: The movie saw a nine-year-old orphan escaping his brutal adoptive parents, the Gogans, with his friend, an animated dragon named Elliott. They successfully escape the grasps of the parents and live with a lighthouse keeper and her father, Lampie.
The Planned Remake: Although this movie doesnʼt fall exactly into the category of being a re-imagining of an existing animated feature, rather a straight-up remake, it is an interesting decision for the studio to redo a movie that isnʼt a particularly well known. Peteʼs Dragon will be directed by acclaimed indie filmmaker David Lowery and stars Oakes Fegley, Oona Laurence, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban and Robert Redford. Expected release: August 12, 2016.
The art work has been released for the upcoming film, but I am not really sure what to think. I am quite excited to see it when it is released in August, but once again quite apprehensive.
The Original: Released in 1941, Dumbo told the story of a young circus elephant who was teased for his enormous ears. His mother steps in to protect him with the poor elephant being locked up, but Dumbo ends up on the road with a mouse for a companion before the mouse instills the idea that with the help of a magic feather, he could fly by using his ears.
The Planned Remake: Tim Burton is attached to direct this remake which is expected to feature a mix of CGI animation and live-action. This wonʼt be the first live-action retelling Burton has undertook for Disney – Alice in Wonderland (2010). The screenplay is being written by Ehren Kruger, and itʼs expected the movie will tell the classic tale, but add a unique family story that parallels Dumboʼs journey, in the classic Tim Burton style.
This is one of the films that I am really looking forward to. I love Tim Burton and his work so I cannot wait to see what this brings.
The Original: Based on the 1883 novel, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, Disneyʼs animated adaptation debuted in cinemas in 1940 and won two Academy Awards.
The Planned Remake: Oscar-nominated writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson will write the live-action take on the classic Disney animated feature and may also end up directing his script. Tim Burton was originally eyed to direct, but has now signed on to direct the Dumbo remake. Robert Downey, Jr. is signed up to star as Geppetto in what is being tipped to be a traditional retelling of the tale. Downey, Jr. is reported to be working closely with Anderson in tweaking drafts of the script.
I am not really sure how Downey Jr will do as Gepetto, but I am sure it will be exciting. I have never really enjoyed watching Pinocchio as I find it a bit scary, but once again I will definitely be going to the cinema to watch it.
The Original: Maleficent was released in 2014, making it Disneyʼs second effort at repackaging one of their classic animated movies. Disneyʼs Sleeping Beauty was the basis for Maleficent which focused on the villainous character and portrayed the story from the perspective of the antagonist. At first, reaction was mixed when Disney announced the project. Surprisingly, the movie was a hit with audiences and managed to rake in $758 million worldwide.
The Planned Remake: This will be a direct sequel to the retelling of the Sleeping Beauty villain. Angelina Jolie played the titular character and is expected to reprise her role as the good hearted fairy turned evil, but hasnʼt signed up for the project, as of yet.
I’m not sure why a Maleficant 2 is needed.
The Original: The character of Cruella De Vil, the villainess-fashionista, was originally born in Dodie Smithʼs 1956 book, The Hundred And One Dalmatians. The book was turned into a feature length animation with De Vil being voiced by Betty Lou Gerson, becoming an icon in the process.
The Planned Remake: Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, who wrote the live-action Cinderella, has been hired by Disney to pen the script for Cruella. Not much is known about how Disney plan to tell the story of the villain, although this wonʼt be the first time the iconic antagonist has been portrayed in live-action on the big screen; back in 1996, Glenn Close memorably played the character (and will also be attached to this project as the executive producer).
This is another film that I am really looking forward to. Cruella is one of my favourite Villians. I hope they do her justice in this film.
Winnie The Pooh
The Original: Winnie The Poohʼs history with Disney dates all the way back to 1966, with the first theatrical short film about the soft-spoken yellow teddy bear, Winnie The Pooh And The Honey Tree. Disney produced two more shorts before all three were put together and released to theatres in 1977ʼs, The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh. Two more shorts were released in the ʻ80s before several TV shows and direct-to-DVD movies were released to audiences. The last time the bear made it onto the big screen in a feature length release was the 2011 box office failure, Winnie The Pooh.
The Planned Remake: Writer-director Alex Ross Perry is writing the screenplay for this Winnie The Pooh live-action retelling. Perry was hired after he pitched his take on the story to the studio. The film is expected to focus on Christopher Robin as an adult which brings him back to A.A. Milneʼs famous bear and the Hundred Acre Wood.
I have a horrible feeling this film could end up a bit like TED for kids. I’m not really sure of what to make of it. Fingers crossed it will be as good as the original.
Beauty And The Beast
The Original: This animation is one of Disneyʼs most successful of all-time, based on the traditional French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont. The story focuses on the relationship between Beast, a prince who is magically transformed into a monster, and a young woman named Belle. To become a prince again, the Beast must fall in love with her or remain a Beast forever. It was nominated for Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards, the first animated film to do so.
The Planned Remake: The beloved tale of Beauty And The Beast will be retold in live-action with a modern day twist and the help of CGI to create it magical moments. The movie is currently shooting with its release expected March 17, 2017. The cast features Emma Watson, who plays Belle, and Dan Stevens playing the Beast. The cast also consists of Ewen McGregor, Emma Thompson, Luke Evans and Sir Ian McKellen. Bill Condon is directing the movie.
I feel like they have been making this movie forever! I can’t wait for it to be released now.
The Original: The story of Mulan followed a young woman who disguised herself as a man so she could take her fatherʼs place in the army and head out to war. With her trusted dragon sidekick Mushu by her side, Mulan became a skilled warrior and one of her countryʼs greatest heroines.Released in 1998, Mulan managed to earn $304.3 million worldwide, and earned the studio Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. The success of the original movie led Disney to release a direct-to-DVD sequel, Mulan II, in 2005.
The Planned Remake: For the live-action remake, Disney bought a script written by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek that centres on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan. Weʼre the Millers producers, Chris Bender and J.C. Spink, will produce the movie. Since its announcement, the remake has sparked some controversy. More than 30,000 Disney fans have signed an online petition demanding an Asian lead when reports suggested the animation studio may hire a white actress to play the titular character. Natalie Molnar, who founded the Mulan petition, writes that so-called whitewashing has a “direct, harmful impact on not only the movie itself but the audience.”
I am really excited to watch Mulan. I really cannot wait to see the fight scenes and to find out who will provide the voice of Mushu.
The Original: The character of Tinker Bell was first brought to our attention in Disneyʼs 1953 animated movie, Peter Pan. Based on the play Peter Pan, Or The Boy Who Wouldnʼt Grown Up by J. M. Barrie, the character has seen many incarnations over the years. This year we will see the release of Joe Wrightʼs Pan starring Levi Miller as the titular character, although seemingly lacking his fairy sidekick. Don’t worry though – Disney have decided to give Tinker Bell her own movie with a live-action retelling.
The Planned Remake: Reese Witherspoon is attached to star as the iconic fairy, and the actress is also on board to produce with Bruce Papandrea. The script comes from Victoria Strouse, who has penned the upcoming Pixar movie, Finding Dory. Plot details are pretty sketchy, but it has been mentioned that the movie will be set in the world of the classic play with Tinker Bell the focus of attention. The project has only just gone into development and there is currently no timeline for it go into production.
I love Tinkerbell. As she is one of my favourite characters, I would love her to have her own live action film. However, as some of the other animated films weren’t that brilliant, I don’t really know what to expect.
The Original: Prince Charming is a broad archetype, but the version we’re talking was first seen in the 1950 animated musical fantasy film, Cinderella. Upon its release, Cinderella turned out to be Disneyʼs greatest critical and commercial hit of its time. It received three Academy Award nominations, and in years to come, was followed by two direct-to-video sequels.
The Planned Remake: Kenneth Branagh teamed up with Disney to direct the live-action retelling of Cinderella, starring Lily James as Cinderella. The movie grossed $200 million worldwide and now the studio believe the time is right to tell Prince Charming’s story. Writer Matt Fogel wrote a spec script for a live-action comedy centered around the character of Cinderellaʼs Prince Charming. Disney recently purchased the screenplay which is now under development at the studio. It was an aggressive bidding war for the script, which crazily began only a week after Fogel had stopped shopping it around. Currently plot details are very vague, but rumours suggest the movie will not focus solely on the Prince Charming character. Rather, his brother who is said to have “never lived up to his family name” will be a key player in the narrative. No directors or actors have been linked thus far.
Another film that I really do not think needs to be done. I do not really have any opinions on Charming, but it is not something I am getting excited for.
The Original: Aladdin was based on the Arab-style folktale of Aladdin And The Magic Lamp from One Thousand And One Nights, telling the story of a street urchin who finds a lamp that unleashes a Genie who grants him three wishes. The breakout star was that genie, voiced by Robin Williams.
The Planned Remake: Genies will be a prequel to the original animation, currently being written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift. According to sources, the prequel will explore the “realm of the Genies” and explain how Williams’ version became trapped inside the lamp. It has also been suggested that this live-action movie will pave the way for a franchise and lead-up to a live-action retelling of Aladdin in the coming years.
In my opinion I think it won’t really be a success due to the lack of Robin Williams, as he will forever be the ‘only Genie’. I’m not really sure how it will work, but I am excited to see.
Night On Bald Mountain
The Original: The 1940 animated movie Fantasia is largely remembered for one particular scene that featured Mickey Mouse cleaning a castle by using his wizard powers to force anthropomorphic brooms to do the work for him (itself adapted to live-action with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). But, another scene towards the end of the movie, is arguably more iconic – Night On Bald Mountain. In terms of Disney movies, the scene is quite a frightening piece: a giant winged gargoyle creature raises the spirits of the dead at night and little trolls dance around enjoying the mayhem until the sun begins to rise.
The Planned Remake: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) will write the script based on the Night on Bald Mountain segment from Fantasia. How they intend to develop one scene from a movie into a full-length feature is anyones guess right now. Sources have suggested the live-action take will be similar to what Disney did with Maleficent, so the quality’s pretty up in the air.
Similar to Charming I am not sure why they are making this film. I am glad that Night on Bald Mountain is getting appreciation, but I think it may be a bit too dark/scary even though it is the nature of the film.
As you can see Disney have in line many Live Action Remakes in the works. Personally I am getting a bit fed up of them, but I am excited to see what they bring.
What do you expect from these live-action remakes? Which are you most excited for? Let me know by leaving a comment below or send us a message at @ejh92x
CYA LATER ALLIGATORS
(Images found on Google. Image Copyright: Disney)