Disney Remakes Live Action
Evan Lockhart/Thrillist/Disney
Entertainment

After 'Beauty and the Beast,' an Insane Number of Live-Action Disney Remakes Are in the Works

It's a tale as old as time: The movie studio discovers a winning formula for box-office success, carefully plans a slate of similar follow-ups, and then watches the money roll in. With the runaway success of Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast -- it's already grossed more than $900 million across the globe -- and the impressive returns of The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Maleficent, and Alice in Wonderland, the house that Mickey built is gearing up for a full terraforming of your childhood memories. Prepare your tear ducts accordingly.

Disney isn't just sticking to cartoon remakes, either: In December 2018, the studio will release Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to 1964's Mary Poppins starring Emily Blunt in the title role, with sequels to Maleficent and The Jungle Book reportedly in the works. There are also movies based on theme-park rides like Tower of Terror and It's a Small World in various stages of development. No piece of intellectual property will go unconverted.

Once the company finishes pillorying its own back catalog, we'll probably be staring down a release calendar stacked with live-action takes on recent computer-animated hits like Frozen, Moana, and Big Hero Six. But, until that happens, keep your eyes peeled for these special-effects-heavy, movie star-stacked versions of the 2D classics you know and love.

Mulan Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Mulan

Who's involved: Director Niki Caro (The Zookeeper's Wife, Whale Rider) will helm this adaptation of the 1998 musical comedy, but there hasn't been any major casting news yet. We do know that the studio has launched a "global casting search" for a Chinese actress to play the main character.
What's the pitch: Caro created some controversy in the Mulan fan community when she said in an interview that the adaptation wouldn't involve any of the original film's songs, instead emphasizing the movie would be a "big, girly martial arts epic." But recently she's adjusted those comments, telling the The Hollywood Reporter, "The live-action [movie] is based on that inspirational Chinese ballad and on the animated Disney classic. We're still exploring the role that music's going to play in it, but for sure there will be music." Unfortunately, no one has asked her the most important question: Will "I'll Make a Man Out of You" be in this movie or not? We'll have to wait and see.
Release date: Scheduled for November 2, 2018

The Little Mermaid Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

The Little Mermaid

Who's involved:Hamilton writer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda climbed aboard this live-action version of the '80s favorite last year, joining the film's original songwriter Alan Menken to craft some new underwater jams. A director (or star) has not been announced.
What's the pitch: Again, not much is known about this specific adaptation. ("We're in super-early talks," Miranda told Vulture back in November. "I literally don't have a title for what my job on The Little Mermaid is yet.") But here's one thing we do know: This will not be the only mermaid in the sea. Universal is also developing a Little Mermaid film, which had Sofia Coppola and Chloe Grace Moretz attached at one point -- both have since dropped out -- and Downton Abbey's Poppy Drayton is starring in this odd-looking, Mississippi-set adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's original tale. Mermaid season is approaching. 
Release date: Unknown

The Lion King Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

The Lion King

Who's involved:Jungle Book maestro Jon Favreau will once again be flexing his CG animal-directing muscles with a sure-to-be-eye-popping version of everyone's favorite Hamlet-inspired wildlife hit. Screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) will pen the adaptation, while James Earl Jones will return to the role of Mufasa. Atlanta star Donald Glover will play Simba. If that doesn't get you excited enough, there have also been rumors that Favreau wants Beyoncé to play Nala, which suggests that the movie will eventually be retitled The Lion Queen.
What's the pitch: I mean, it's The Lion King -- does there need to be a twist? Though Julie Taymor brought considerable artistic flair to her acclaimed Broadway version, this movie will likely stick close to the Jungle Book playbook. The odd element is that there will likely be no actual "humans" featured, so does this really count as a "live-action" movie at this point?
Release date: Apparently the film is being fast-tracked even as Favreau works on developing the sequel to TheJungle Book. Maybe 2018 or 2019?

101 Dalmatians Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Cruella

Who's involved: Oscar-winner Emma Stone will get her Glenn Close on when she dyes her famous red hair for the role of the feared 101 Dalmatians anti-hero. At the end of last year, Mozart in the Jungle co-creator Alex Timbers, who also has an impressive Broadway rep as the director of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, was in negotiations to oversee the project, which will feature a screenplay from screenwriter Jez Butterworth (Spectre, Get On Up). 
What's the pitch: Like Maleficent, this origin story promises to burrow deep into the mind of a villain, presumably giving us a some insight into why Cruella has such an irrational hatred of adorable puppies. Think Breaking Bad but with more dalmatians. 
Release date: Unknown

Snow White Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Who's involved: Disney recruited screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson (Girl on the Train) to pen the script for this live-action adaptation of Disney's first feature-length animated film, which will include new music from La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Does that mean one of the dwarfs will be super-into jazz? 
What's the pitch: There's not much information available about this one, but one assumes Disney will want to emphasize the songs and the colorful imagery of the original to differentiate this film from 2012's pair of gritty Snow White movies, Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror Mirror. Plus, after the modest box-office returns of last year's The Huntsman: Winter's War, it might benefit Disney to take a lighter, less dire route. (But, please, no dwarf named "Jazzy.")
Release date: Unknown

Tinkerbell Movie Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

Tinker Bell

Who;s involved:Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon has signed up to don a pair of wings, wear that green dress, and sprinkle fairy-dust everywhere as Tinker Bell, which is really all you need to know about this one. Who doesn't want to see Elle Woods as Peter Pan's trusted sidekick?
What's the pitch: Reese Witherspoon as Tinker Bell. It's a no-brainer.
Release date: Rumors about this one have been floating around for a couple years, but Witherspoon is already appearing in Disney's Wrinkle in Time adaptation, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters in April 2018. So, expect this one to take a while.

Aladin Movie Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Aladdin

Who's involved: Guy Ritchie, the director of Sherlock Holmes and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., will step behind the camera for this live-action adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1992 film that made everyone fall in love with a blue genie. We also know the script will come from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory writer John August, but no casting news has been made yet.
What's the pitch: It's Guy Ritchie does Aladdin, so expect lots of frenzied action, stylish editing, and maybe even a bare-knuckle boxing scene where the genie fights some mealy-mouthed Irishman.  
Release date: Unknown

Disney Winnie the Pooh
Walt Disney Pictures

Christopher Robin

Who's involved: After scaring audiences with the zombie-epidemic thriller World War Z, director Marc Foster is taking on a friendlier project with his next film, a Winnie the Pooh re-imagining that centers around the story's human hero, Christopher Robin.
What's the pitch: The Variety article announcing Foster's involvement mentions Seth MacFarlane's gross-out comedyTed as a comparison point, which makes us a little nervous. (The world is not ready for a "dirty" Winnie the Pooh movie.) But the film's writer Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip) has referenced A.I., Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Toy Story in interviews. So, there's really no telling what this one will be like.
Release date: Unknown

Dumbo Remake Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

Dumbo

Who's involved:Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton is scheduled to return to live-action Disney world with this musical adventure about that lovable little elephant. The filmmaker's Batman and Beetlejuice muse Michael Keaton is in talks for the villain part, while Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, and Eva Green have also circled roles. (Though none of them will play the elephant, which would be very cool.)
What's the pitch: While Alice was a natural fit for Burton's trippy and dark sensibility, it's unclear how exactly the former animator will leave his mark on this sweet, tearjerking classic. Are you ready for goth Dumbo?
Release date: Unknown

Pinocchio Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Pinocchio

Who's involved: In 2015,  word leaked that Disney hired About a Boy writer Peter Hedges to give the puppet-to-real-boy classic a new spin. Don't get it confused with Robert Downey Jr.'s long-rumored Pinocchio movie with Warner Bros. that's been in development for a few years with both Paul Thomas Anderson and Ron Howard attached at different points.
What's the pitch: According to the original Deadline report, this adaptation will draw inspiration from the 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. As long as it doesn't draw inspiration from Roberto Benigni's creepy-as-hell Pinocchio, then we should be good.
Release date: Unknown

Peter Pan Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

Peter Pan

Who's involved: David Lowery, the filmmaker behind last year's wonderfully understated Pete's Dragon adaptation, is developing yet another take on J.M. Barrie's tale of a boy who refuses to grow up. There's no word on whether this film is intended to line up with or live in a different "world" than Witherspoon's Tinker Bell movie.
What's the pitch: After 1991's Hook, 2003's Peter Pan, and 2015's Pan, there's no shortage of films that have "re-imagined" the Pan story for modern audiences. We've seen this movie so many times. But Lowery, who also directed this year's Sundance standout, A Ghost Story, has a thoughtful, mischievous sensibility that makes us optimistic about this inevitable return to Neverland.
Release date: Unknown

Fantasia Disney Remake
Walt Disney Pictures

Night on Bald Mountain

Who's involved: Screenwriting duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who penned 2016's Gods of Egypt, are developing a feature-length version of "Night on Bald Mountain," the final sequence in the studio's mind-bending 1940 musical Fantasia. (No, that's not the one with Mickey and the mops.)
What's the pitch: If it's half as crazy as Gods of Egypt, this will be the weirdest live-action Disney movie of all time. What if Gerard Butler is the one storming Bald Mountain? Forget Fantasia 2000 -- this could be Fantasia 300
Release date: Unknown

The Sword and the Stone Remake Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

The Sword in the Stone

Who's involved: Bryan Cogman, a writer on a little fantasy series you may have heard of called Game of Thrones, was announced as the writer on this one back in 2015. No director or cast has been revealed yet.
What's the pitch: It's Game of Thrones meets Disney, baby! It's like they're printing money. 
Release date: Unknown

Chip and Dale Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

Chip 'n' Dale

Who's involved: Back in 2014, it was reported that screenwriter Rob Rugan was working on an origin story of the two famous Rescue Rangers, but there hasn't exactly been a lot of news (or fan excitement) to report on since then.
What's the pitch: I'm guessing an executive saw how much money the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies made and got really psyched or really mad. Other than that, it's hard to figure out why a Chip and Dale movie needs to exist? Sure, the little chipmunks are cute, but they're not exactly beloved like the other characters on this list. Or is there an army of Chip and Dale loyalists out there? 
Release date: Unknown

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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment and he looks forward to seeing the live-action remake of this article in 20 years. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.