By this point, everyone knows that Disney is on a major kick of remaking it’s classic animated features into live-action. And with good reason. The films are making good money.
The recent trend doesn’t mark the first time Disney has tried this. The company released live-action versions of The Jungle Book in 1994 (attempting a more “mature” version with an adult Mowgli and no talking animals), as well as both The Wind in the Willows and 101 Dalmations in 1996, with latter followed by a sequel, 102 Dalmatians, in 2000.
But only in 2010 did the trend explode, with Alice in Wonderland and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in 2010, Mirror, Mirror in 2012, Maleficent in 2014, & Cinderella in 2015.
Scheduled films yet to come are…
Apr. 15 2016: The Jungle Book
May 27 2016: Alice through the Looking Glass
Mar. 17 2017: Beauty and the Beast
This year, just after the release of Cinderella on March 13th, Disney went on an outright spree of announcing more of these remakes in development, announcing nine in under five months. Statistically speaking, not all of these will likely be made. But nevertheless, let’s take a look at what’s been announced since this time, and who is involved.
Announced March 15
Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Ehren Kruger & Justin Springer
Screenplay by Ehren Kruger
This is certainly one of the more intriguing and bizarre of the ideas Disney has come up with. And with Kruger (the Transformers series) and Tim Burton at work, one cannot help but imagine just how this will be done.
Announced Mar. 30
Produced by Chris Bender, J.C. Spink, & Jake Weiner
Screenplay by Elizabeth Martin &Lauren Hynek
This film is produced, oddly enough, by the makers of The Hangover and We’re the Miller’s. Also, the writers are a pair of newcomers to the screen with a history in theater. So at this point, not a lot of conjecture can be made.
Winnie the Pooh
Announced Apr. 02
Screenplay by Alex Ross Perry
Perry, an indie filmmaker up to this point, has been given the reigns to what is perhaps the most bizarre idea in development, even more so than Dumbo. How the filmmakers will pull this off, and how fans will react, is a most intriguing concept. If the film ever gets made, of course.
Announced Apr. 09
Screenplay by Peter Hedges
While a major talent in Hollywood, Hedges’ most famous work is probably still What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He most recently co-wrote and directed The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a story remarkably similar to that of Pinocchio. That’s probably what got him the job.
Announced (or rather, updated): May 21
Produced by Reese Witherspoon & Bruna Papandrea
Screenplay by Victoria Strouse
This project was actually originally announced back in July 2010, with Elizabeth Banks set to star as the title character and produce with Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, and McG, with Elizabeth Wright Shapiro writing the film.
Nothing more developed, however, until 2015, when it was announced Reese Witherspoon would now be playing the role, with a new creative team attached. The writer, Victoria Strouse, has her first major project still upcoming, as she co-wrote the story to 2016’s Finding Dory.
Night on Bald Mountain
Announced Jun. 03 2015:
Screenplay by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless
This segment from Fantasia is being adapted by the writers of Dracula Untold and The Last Witch Hunter. The dark, demonic subject matter, then, seems right up their alley.
Announced Jul. 06
Produced by David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, & Trip Vinsson
Screenplay by Matt Fogel
This one is apparently a spec script Disney purchased from newcomer Fogel, produced by the Oscar-nominated team behind Mandeville Productions (The Fighter, The Muppets)
Word has it that it focuses on the brother of the famed Prince Charming, who never lived up to the family name. No real word on whether this is supposed to be the “Prince Charming” from Snow White or Cinderella (or whether it will actually spin off of an existing live-action version) One way or another, it sounds like more of a quirky comedy than the other, more serious stories in development, and comes from the
Announced Jul. 16
Produced by Tripp Vinson
Screenplay by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift
This film will apparently focus on the realm of genies, and focus on how one in particular came to be stuck in a magic lamp. Word has it that the goal is for the film to serve as a springboard for a live-action Aladdin franchise.
Oddly enough, writers Shannon and Swift have their background in the slasher genre, having penned both Freddy vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th reboot. Let’s hope the transition to genies works out for everyone.
The Sword in the Stone
Announced: Jul. 20
Produced by Brigham Taylor
Screenplay by Bryan Cogman
The Game of Thrones writer will be penning the script for producer longtime production executive Taylor (also a producer on The Jungle Book). Let’s hope this project has less graphic violence and nudity than the writer’s other sword-and-sorcery epic.
Disney has since announced four new release dates for “live-action fairy tales”, without specifying which of these films they are for. Truth is, they may have not decided yet. At any rate, the dates are…
Dec. 22 2017
Nov. 02 2018
Mar. 29 2019
Nov. 08 2019
What films do you think have gotten the release dates? And what do you think of the possibilities of each these films actually seeing the light of day?