It seems like they're announcing new Disney live-action remakes every day. Indeed, they've already started being produced and hitting theaters, with The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast seeing great success. Live-action Disney movies are as successful as ever right now, and the company hopes that it can capture even more magic with remakes of some of its best films.
It's hard to say which new project is garnering the most attention because they will all likely cause quite the commotion. Whether it be the live-action Aladdin starring Will Smith as the genie or The Little Mermaid with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to handle the music, each film comes with its own kind of blockbuster news.
Here's everything there is to know right now about the upcoming Disney live-action remakes of their classic animated movies.
On January 24, 2020, Walt Disney Studios announced that Lindsey Beer and Captain Marvel's Geneva Robertson-Dworet will helm a live-action adaptation of the 1942 animated feature Bambi. Depth of Field is hired to produce the film.
According to inside sources, the studio "views Bambi as a type of companion piece to its remakes The Jungle Book and The Lion King, which were not live-action per se but certainly made to look that way." They do not intend to develop a greater narrative.
Mulan was set to hit theaters in March 2020, starring Liu Yifei as the titular heroine, with Niki Caro (The Zookeeper's Wife) directing, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed its release indefinitely. Liu has starred in The Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan and Outcast alongside Nicolas Cage. Rogue One star Donnie Yeun will take on the role of Commander Tung.
The first official trailer, released December 5, 2019, features Liu as Mulan as she embarks on a journey to save her family. According to Deadline Hollywood, the film will combine "the story of the ballad of the legendary Hua Mulan with the original film."
Director said the film will not feature musical numbers or Mushu, the dragon sidekick voiced by Eddie Murphy in the 1998 original. "The songs are brilliant, and if I could squeeze them in there, I would have," Caro told Digital Spy. However, she added, they do not make for a realistic representation of military conflict: "[W]e don't tend to break into song when we go to war."
As for Mushu, Caro said Murphy's dragon is "irreplaceable," and the film will not attempt to update the character.
In January, 2019, Disney announced its intention to add Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame to its live-action remake lineup - though no premiere date has been set. Actor Josh Gad - known for his voice of Olaf in Frozen, his role as Le Fou in the live re-make of Beauty and the Beast, and his figurative Elder Arnold Cunningham in Broadway's The Book of Mormon - will reportedly star. Deadline reported the working title is merely Hunchback and will allegedly feature a soundtrack by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. David Henry Hwang, a Tony-winning playwright (M. Butterfly) will write the musical adaptation.
Playbill reports Hunchback "Will lift from Disney's earlier film and Victor Hugo's original novel, as has been the case for the studio's recent remakes. It will likely not feature material from the stage adaptation."
On October 3, 2018, Disney announced that the 2002 animated feature Lilo & Stitch is getting the live-active treatment. Disney hired Mike Van Waes to write the script, with the duo behind the Aladdin remake - Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich - producing.
The original animation focuses on the bond between a lonely, Elvis-obsessed Hawaiian girl, Lilo, and a destructive alien banned from his home, Stitch. The 2002 movie did not have wild box office success, but it did gain a somewhat cult following and led to a few direct-to-video sequels.
It is unknown whether or not the remake will get a theatrical release, or if it will premiere on the company's exclusive streaming platform like the Lady and the Tramp remake.