last updated Nov 3
Remake in development: A live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is coming, with Erin Cressida Wilson (The Girl on the Train) writing the script. The new film will be a musical with original songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land). Note: this is a distinct project from The Order of the Seven, a revisionist retelling that Disney was working on a few years ago that has since been killed.
Spinoff in development: Disney has scooped up Justin Merz‘s script Rose Red and set Evan Daugherty (Snow White and the Huntsman) to rewrite. The film is billed as a “companion piece” to Snow White starring her sister, Rose Red. After Snow White falls under the spell of that poison apple, Rose Red joins forces with the Seven Dwarfs on a quest to break the curse.
The competition: 2012 saw two different Snow White adaptations in theaters, Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. The latter got a Snow White-less sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which bombed at the box office sequel last spring. Odds are we don’t have to worry about any more Huntsman sequels.
Remake in development: Peter Hedges (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) is working on a live-action film inspired by Pinocchio. This new version is expected to be a darker take than the 1940 animated version, sticking more closely to Carlo Collodi‘s 1883 novel.
The competition: Warner Bros. has long been developing their own live-action Pinocchio movie. Last we heard, Ron Howard was planning to direct with Robert Downey Jr. set to play Gepetto. Meanwhile, Guillermo del Toro‘s stop-motion Pinocchio project recently scooped up a new writer, Over the Garden Wall creator Patrick McHale.
Remake in development: Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are writing a live-action version of Night on Bald Mountain, the closing segment of 1940’s Fantasia. The scene follows a demon who summons monsters who wreak havoc in the night, only to go back into hiding once day breaks. Tonally, the project has been compared to another dark-ish Disney fantasy, Maleficent.
Remake in development: A Dumbo remake has been in development for the past couple of years, with Ehren Kruger (Transformers) coming on to write the script in 2014 and Tim Burton signing on to direct in 2015. It’s expected to be a CG/live-action hybrid like The Jungle Book, and PETA is already lobbying the filmmakers to make the ending more animal-friendly. Tom Hanks was being courted to play the villain as of earlier this year, but you can probably count out Will Smith as one of the leads.
Remake already released: 2015’s Cinderella is one of the big success stories to come out of Disney’s push to live-action-remake all their animated classics. With a worldwide take of $543 million, it was the 12th highest-grossing movie of the year, and received fawning reviews to boot. No sequel has been announced… yet.
Spinoff in development: Okay, Prince Charming isn’t a Cinderella spinoff exactly. But we’re putting it here for simplicity’s sake, since Prince Charming is more like a character type who’s shown up in everything from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty. Matt Fogel‘s spec script is described as a live-action comedy told from the perspective of the prince’s brother, who’s always struggled to live up to the family name.
Remake already released: Really, you can thank (or blame) 2010’s Alice in Wonderland for the fact that Disney seems hell-bent on remaking every property it has. Tim Burton‘s live-action / CG adventure was a star-studded, billion-dollar smash hit, despite middling reviews.
Sequel already released: Alice in Wonderland was such a success, in fact, that it yielded a sequel directed by James Bobin… which fell flat on its face when it was released this summer. Another sequel seems unlikely at this point, though you never know.
The competition: Brave helmer Brenda Chapman is looking to make her live-action directing debut on Come Away, a prequel that reimagines Alice and Peter Pan as siblings.
Remake in development: Pete’s Dragon remake director David Lowery and screenwriter Toby Halbrooks are set to reunite for a live-action reboot of Peter Pan, which does not yet have a release date. This is not the same project as Peter and the Starcatchers, a prequel which Disney optioned all the way back in 2005 and has apparently since abandoned.
Retelling in development: Also in development is a Maleficent-style retelling of Peter Pan centered around Tinker Bell, which will “play with the idea and the timeline” of the classic table. Victoria Strouse (Finding Dory) is scripting and Reese Witherspoon is attached to star and produce. Tinker Bell may be a slightly more modest affair than Disney’s other live-action fairy tale spectacles, as it’s reported to have a “mid-range” budget.
The competition: In 2015, Warner Bros. released Joe Wright’s Pan, a prequel that was panned by critics and tanked at the box office. Chances of a follow-up are essentially nil, so Disney probably doesn’t have to fret about that one. There’s also Come Away, Brenda Chapman‘s planned prequel reimagining Peter Pan and Alice of Wonderland as siblings. Oh, and Hook star Dante Basco would really like to make a prequel about Rufio, but at this point we’re straying pretty far from the original Peter Pan story.
Retelling already released: Maleficent, which revisits the story of Sleeping Beauty from the villain’s perspective, got lukewarm reviews despite engaging performances from Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. But it was a $758 million success for Disney, so you know what that means…
Sequel in development: … Yup, a Maleficent sequel is coming. Jolie has been offered the chance to reprise her role, but the deal isn’t set in stone yet. Linda Woolverton, who wrote the first film, will pen the screenplay.
Retelling in development: 101 Dalmatians is getting the Maleficent treatment. Cruella has Emma Stone in talks to star as a younger version of the famous villainess, in a movie written by Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey) and directed by Alex Timbers (Mozart in the Jungle). No release date has been set.
Remake in development: Disney has tapped Brian Cogman to write a remake of The Sword in the Stone, which was originally based on T.H. White‘s novel of the same title. As a writer and producer on Game of Thrones, Cogman should know a thing or two already about medieval fantasy epics.
The competition: While not positioned as a direct competitor to Disney’s Sword in the Stone, Warner Bros. has its own Camelot movie coming out this year in the form of Guy Ritchie‘s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starring Charlie Hunnam. And does it count as a King Arthur movie if he’s just a supporting player in a larger narrative about robot aliens, like in Transformers: The Last Knight?
Remake already released: It seems like stretching the definition of “live-action” to apply it to something like last year’s The Jungle Book, which is more accurately described as a photorealistic CG-animated film. But in any case, The Jungle Book wowed critics and won over audiences, raking in $966 million worldwide and taking home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Sequel in development: … Which, naturally, means there’s gonna be a sequel. The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Marks are expected to return for the follow-up, which will draw from other Rudyard Kipling tales about Mowgli the man-cub.
The competition: Andy Serkis‘ Jungle Book: Origins has been delayed a couple of times, but as of now it’s slated to open in 2018. His version stars himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett, and is described as a “darker” spin on the story.
Re-adaptation in limbo: As far as we know, there are no plans at this time for Disney to make a “live-action” version of their 1973 Robin Hood featuring anthropomorphic animals. That said, Disney was at one point developing a “revisionist” take with humans called Nottingham & Hood, but the project seems to have quietly slipped off the radar.
The competition: Maybe Disney’s not bothering with Robin Hood right now because there are so many other Robin Hood adaptation currently in the works that it’s getting kind of ridiculous. In addition to Lionsgate’s 2018 release starring Taron Egerton, there’s the dystopian riff from the 300 producers, the potential shared universe set up at Sony, and yet another “reimagining” from Warner Bros.
Sequel in development: Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) is all set to direct Christopher Robin, a live-action sequel in which a grown-up Christopher Robin returns to Winnie the Pooh and Hundred Acre Wood. The first draft of the screenplay was written by indie darling Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up, Phillip), who has cited A.I. Artificial Intelligence as one of the inspirations for his screenplay. Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) will do a rewrite.
The competition: It’s not really a Winnie the Pooh movie, but Fox Searchlight has an as-yet-untitled biopic of author A.A. Milne coming up next year, with Domhnall Gleeson in the lead role.
Re-adaptation in development: While Disney has not shared any plans to remake Oliver & Company, they have put into motion a modern musical based on the source material, Charles Dickens‘ Oliver Twist. Ice Cube is set to star as Fagin and Broadway vet Thomas Kail (Hamilton) will direct.
The competition: There is also a steampunk retelling of Oliver Twist in the works. That one doesn’t star cute little animals, either.
Remake in development: Of course Disney is remaking The Little Mermaid, still one of their best and most beloved animated features. Alan Menken, who worked on the 1989 feature, will return to work on the music, this time with Hamilton superstar (and Moana composer) Lin-Manuel Miranda.
The competition: Universal has been trying to mount its own live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, but they’ve hit a few snags. First Sofia Coppola dropped out, to be replaced by Rebecca Thomas (Electrick Children), and then star Chloë Grace Moretz decided to leave as well.
Remake already released: Bill Condon‘s Beauty and the Beast is out this month and has some solid reviews.
Remake in development: Guy Ritchie was recently hired to direct an Aladdin remake from a script by John August. The new version of the story is described as an “ambitious and non-traditional” take with a “non-linear” approach, but it will retain some elements of the original like the music. Producer Dan Lin has preempted concerns about whitewashing by promising a “diverse” cast.
Spinoff in development: Meanwhile, Disney has also been developing a Genies spinoff explaining how the Genie came to be in Aladdin’s lamp. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift wrote the script.
Remake in development: Jon Favreau had such great success with The Jungle Book that Disney promptly set him to work remaking another animal-centric adventure, The Lion King. And yes, it’ll include music from the original film. Donald Glover will play Simba and James Earl Jones will return as Mufasa.
Remake scheduled for release: Disney has scheduled Mulan for release on November 2, 2018, and hired Niki Caro (The Whale Rider) to direct. The project sparked some controversy when word got out that an early version of the script centered on a white male lead, but Disney has since clarified that the film will in fact feature a Chinese lead and a Chinese love interest. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver are rewriting the screenplay.
The competition: Sony is cooking up its own Mulan remake, which will be helmed by Game of Thrones vet Alex Graves.
What Movies Are Left?
*** So, what movies are left?
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
The Aristocats (1970)
Robin Hood (1973)
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Oliver & Company (1988)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
And then, of course there are the sequels to all the live-action films released so far.
Song of the South (1946)
The Rescuers (1977) / The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
Treasure Planet (2002)
Brother Bear (2003)
Home on the Range (2004)
Chicken Little (2005)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Big Hero 6 (2014)
The post Disney’s Live-Action Remakes: A Comprehensive List of the Films in Development appeared first on /Film.