Monday, April 25, 2016

A Turnaround? Disney Revamps Live-Action Slate

In response to how well Jon Favreau's hyper-realistic reimagining of The Jungle Book is doing, Disney has announced some changes and additions to the "live-action" unit's slate...

I put "live-action" in quotes because really... The Jungle Book's only live-action element is the actor who plays Mowgli, almost everything else is completely done is CG. The lines have really been blurred, haven't they?

Also, if you're new here, I'm not fond of this "reimagine the animated classics" trend that's going on at Disney, for various reasons I won't get into here.

What was announced today suggests that Disney may not abandon live-action/"realistic" (as I'll call them now) films that aren't reimaginings of the Disney animated classics after all!

First, new dates have been inked.

7/28/2017 - "Untitled Disney Fairy Tale" The picture coming out this day was the one that was previously slated for 12/22/2017. That slot, as I understand, is currently not filled with a Mouse House movie...

4/6/2018 - "Untitled Disney Fairy Tale"

8/3/2018 - "Untitled Disney Live-Action"

12/25/2018 - "Untitled Disney Live-Action"

12/20/2019 - "Untitled Disney Fairy Tale"

The "Untitled Fairy Tales" set for 11/2/2018 and 11/8/2019 are still on, as well...

Now notice...  Some of them are specifically called "Disney Fairy Tale", two are called "Disney Live-Action"...

In addition to that, according to the likes of The Hollywood Reporter and other big reporting sites, the following films are in the running for these slots: The Jungle Book 2, Maleficent 2, Cruella, untitled live-action Tinker Bell project, Dumbo, untitled Mary Poppins sequel, A Wrinkle in Time, Jungle Cruise, and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

That's three films that aren't re-imaginings of Disney's classic animated adaptations. I'm shocked... But I'm not convinced that these three films will happen until the day they are all being filmed. Remember when TRON 3 was set to film this past autumn? Remember when Warner Bros scrapped George Miller's Justice League even though it had the cast, script, and several other things locked?

Anyways, it's good to know that some different stuff is peaking through at Disney's live-action studio. I am well aware that Disney already adapted A Wrinkle in Time into a TV movie for Wonderful World of Disney back in 2003, and that Jungle Cruise is an iconic Disney ride. I get that these two particular pictures aren't "original", and I get that The Nutcracker has been told and retold several times, but...

I'll personally take those in an era where we're going to get tons of reimaginings of over half of the animated classics library in the span of 5-7 years, with little-to-no fresher movies inbetween. Personal choice.

If all goes according to plan, what order will they come out in? Or more specifically, what's the one coming out in July 2017? Whatever it is, it's probably filming right now as we speak... My best guess? It's Maleficent 2, as most of the other remakes don't really have casts yet, and Maleficent 2 has been talked about since the day the first one was deemed a big success... Though if it is filming now, wouldn't we have heard already? Wouldn't we have heard reports on people returning and joining the cast?

April 2018? That's a "fairy tale", so I'm thinking Dumbo, being a Tim Burton film and one that doesn't sound too mid-summer or holiday season to me. The August 2018 slot isn't locked for a fairy tale, so I think that goes to Cruella, for similar reasons, as I don't see that as a big mid-summer or holiday season movie, either. I also think that no animals will be anthropomorphized in Cruella, too, taking away a fantastical element that Dumbo already has. So I see it taking that slot, but...

Jungle Cruise could be the August 2018 release. The Rock is set to star, it's based on the parks attraction of the same name, Disney could greenlight it, even if the non-Pirates of the Caribbean theme park movies fell through. Jungle Cruise, which had been described as an African Queen-esque period piece, might not have to be as huge-budget as the likes of Pirates and Tomorrowland. Cruella has a writer, producer, and Emma Stone starring. So, August 2018, I think, is a battle between Cruella and Jungle Cruise...

November 2018 (fairy tale) and December 2018 (live-action) I think will go to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms and A Wrinkle in Time respectively. I'd release a Nutcracker-themed movie before Christmas anyways, not Christmas Day, plus again... Fairy tale. The December 2018 film is "live-action", so I think the sci-fi A Wrinkle in Time fits in that slot.

November 2019 and December 2019, I think the two candidates to get those dates - whichever one - are The Jungle Book 2 and Tinker Bell, though Mary Poppins 2 can surge ahead now that Lin-Manuel Miranda has been attached to the project.

Either way, I'm happy to see that those other projects are still being considering. If we can get a few of those in return for swathes of live-action remakes, I'll be pretty content. With Disney and the rest of Hollywood, I take a "I'll take what I can get kind of approach." I'm not excusing these distributors for being repetitive and unoriginal, but there's little I can do about it... Especially when The Jungle Book is doing so well at the box office, it's the biggest of the remakes since Alice in Wonderland, and it might even surpass it at the box office. The combination of the good critical reception and great word-of-mouth might just get it there.

Now, with this slate out, I wonder when we'll get updates on Walt Disney Animation Studios' and Pixar's slates...

What say you on all of this?


  1. Disney stop talking about this adaptations and tlak more about whats next to gigantic, I mean we only kniw the dates for only 2 disney animation movies but we know a lot about the Marvel films, the star wars films, the live action, c-cmon you practicly imvent the animated movies!!!

  2. I'm getting scared about all this stuff of live-action remakes. It's getting outta control. I mean, I really liked the Jungle Book, Alice and Cinderella adaptations, but spin-offs like Maleficent 2, Prince Charming, Rose Red are completely disposable. The point is that every month they are announcing new remakes/spin-offs and I think "will they ever make all of them?". It's too much! I liked this new slate but there is at lest 15 films yet to be dated. I guess they are going to put 2 more films on their slate on 2019. If they make four remakes/spin-offs per year they can fulfill it in 2022.

  3. I think:

    7/28/2017-Maleficent 2
    8/3/2018-Jungle Cruise
    12/25/2018-The Nutcracker & the 4 Realms
    11/8/2019-The Jungle Book 2
    12/20/2019-Mary Poppins 2

    As a bonus...


    Finding Dory on 6/17/2016
    Coco on 6/16/2017
    Toy Story 4 on 11/22/2017
    Cars 3 on 6/15/2018
    The Incredibles 2 on 6/21/2019
    Mark Andrews film on 3/13/2020
    Inside Out 2 on 6/19/2020(the original came out on June 19th)

    Disney Animation:

    Moana on 11/23/2016
    Gigantic on 3/9/2018
    Wreck-It Ralph 2 on 11/21/2018(The original came out near November 21st which was also a Wednesday that year)
    Frozen 2 on 11/27/2019(The original came out on November 27th)
    Mickey Mouse on 11/25/2020


    Star vs. the Forces of Evil: The Movie on 4/12/2019