Nobody does live-action adaptations better than Disney, and nobody has more source material and the power to do so than the House of Mouse. Because of this, Disney is pumping out quality re-imaginations of their classic tales. Some of them you've probably heard more than your fair share about, but others have not reached public ears as much as they should. Check out my list of the 10 known live-action movies in development based on Disney properties.
Night on Bald Mountain
While Fantasia is best known for The Sorcerer's Apprentice, a scene in which Mickey Mouse messes with magic while trying to clean the Sorcerer's dwellings, another famous scene from the 1940 animation to music may become more prominent with the development of a live-action development based on the scene. Night on Bald Mountain, featuring my favorite Disney villain Chernabog, has a planned live-action adaptation in development. With Night on Bald Mountain being one of Disney's darkest trademarks, we may actually be in store for Disney's first real horror movie.
Winnie the Pooh
Think about Ted, but with completely appropriate jokes and infinitely more kid-friendly and you've got yourself a live-action for Winnie the Pooh; a property made by Walt Disney himself. Alex Ross Perry has been hired to write the adaptation with the focus on an adult version of the book’s Christopher Robin. Perry was hired after pitching this story idea to the studio. Hopefully we'll be seeing Winnie the Pooh and the gang on the big screen within the next few years.
The Jungle Book
This adaptation has long since been in production and CGI works with a voice cast that includes Ghostbuster actor Bill Murray as Baloo, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, and directed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau. The story of the boy who was raised by wolves and highly coveted among the animals for his human ability to bring forth the "red flower" of fire will hit theaters April 15th, 2016 - that's less than a year away!
The BFG: Big Friendly Giant
The children's book The BFG is getting a live-action adaptation coming out next year. It seems the Disney-distributed Into the Woods was right: giants can be good after all. Given that it's a children's book, it will be interesting to see what storyline aspects they add to make a complete movie. The movie is directed by none other than Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.
The Big Friendly Giant began principle photography in Vancouver this March and will hit theaters on July 1st, 2016.
The Haunted Mansion
In 2010, Guillermo Del Toro announced that he was indeed working on a Disney remake of The Haunted Mansion. The remake will not be so much a remake of the original as much as it is a new adaptation of the famous Disney ride.
"We are not making it a comedy. We are making it scary and fun at the same time, but the scary will be scary."
April of this year, it was reported that Ryan Gosling was in talks to star in the film. That sounds pretty terrifying, doesn't it? Eye-candy that can actually act is always terrifying.
According to the original reports by THR, the pre-production for the movie has begun with some established names attached:
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. Chris Bender and J.C. Spink (We're the Millers) are producing the new project via their banner Benderspink with Jake Weiner.
Peter Hedges is set to write a live-action film adaptation based on the original 1940 animation by Disney. With his amazing ability to capture an audience's heart clearly displayed in his work on The Odd Life of Timothy Green, I think Disney has gone with just the right person. Little is known about this film other than that it is indeed in the works at the famous House of Mouse, and will undoubtedly take reference from the Disney animation.
Who better to play our spunky, envy-filled Tinkerbell than Reese Witherspoon - our favorite Legally Blonde babe? This adaptation will seemingly follow more along the lines of the movies Elf and Enchanted in which a fairytale character is put amidst the real world. Here's what Pitch Perfect 2 director and Effie Trinket actress Elizabeth Banks had to say back when she was attached to play the role:
“It’s a live action Tinkerbell movie sort of in the vein of ‘Elf’ .. Tinkerbell gets thrown out of Never Never Land, and it’s about where she goes and who she meets and the adventures she has….Tinkerbell is one of the greatest characters because she’s mischievous and snarky and fun and sexy and jealous and vengeful.”
Remember when Tim Burton did Alice in Wonderland, and made it a magically crazy, dark, spectacular movie that has some of the best quotes about insanity you could ever imagine? While we'll be seeing this magical world once more in Alice: Through the Looking Glass, it seems Burton will be inventing another wacky world for Disney in the circus life of Dumbo.
Beauty and the Beast
Last, but certainly not the least, Emma Watson has been cast in a live-action Beauty and the Beast film. Watson will star alongside Dan Stevens as the Beast, along with the actors behind Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans), Frozen's Olaf (Josh Gad), Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan MacGregor), and more.
The film will hit theaters on March 17th, 2017.