Get ready to embark on a magical journey as some of Disney’s most beloved animated classics are set to come to life in thrilling
For the last decade, Disney has been making many billion-dollar live-action movie adaptations of their popular original films, which started to gain more popularity after the release of Cinderella (2015), which was directed by Kenneth Branagh as the biggest live-action adaptation of the 1950’s original movie. It was this romantic fantasy live adaptation that grossed over $542 million worldwide, Branagh’s highest-grossing film to date as a director.
Due to this benchmark, ever since then, the studio has not stopped this trend, and with the end of 2023 right around the corner, Disney has reportedly geared up to have more live-action remake lineups from the studio in the near future. Moreover, The DisInsider report also confirms that new adaptations from Disney’s catalog are also joining this cinematic universe as live-action feature films, which are now officially in the works and include the following projects without an official release date:
- Princess and the Frog
We would like to emphasize that all the new projects that were announced recently are still in early development at Walt Disney Studios, with no director, producer, or screenwriter attached yet. As a result, there has been no additional confirmation, but on the bright side, there has been some speculation circulating on the web! If you recall, back in January 2022, Jennifer Lee revealed that Stella Meghie, writer and director of Tiana, will return to develop a live-action adaptation of The Princess and the Frog.
Additionally, in August 2023, a live-action adaptation of Tangled was rumored to be in development, with Florence Pugh in consideration for the role of Rapunzel.
Of course, all these are just pure conjectures and details about them will be disclosed later. We would also like to clarify that there is no doubt that Disney has cultivated its name as a world where nostalgia meets innovation. But over the years, many have started sensing that these live-action adaptations have lost their magic by becoming uninspiring, thoughtless, and lacking creativity. The caliber of these live-action remake productions has been constantly declining, and they are now being considered as money grabs.
Although certain remakes have received more attention than others, viewers have started not to regard these with the same love as their animated forebears. To say the least, it will be tough for Disney to keep up with the audience’s interest, and they will have to make some special considerations with their direction and writing in order to build up to the hype that they were initially able to create when they started their expansion with live-action adaptations. For the time being, one can only hope for the best as things move forward.
Besides, the DisInsider report emphasizes that the studio will keep developing the remakes that have already been announced, adding them to the list of planned remakes that includes:
Snow White (March 22, 2024)
This musical fantasy film will be directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson. it is a live-action remake of Walt Disney’s 1937 animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which itself is loosely based on the 1812 fairy tale of the same title by the Brothers Grimm. The film stars Rachel Zegler as the title character and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. The film elicited pre-release controversies during marketing, with criticism about its story changes and color-blind casting, as well as non-dwarf actors playing originally dwarf characters.
To this, Rachel Zegler later made a statement about the changes from the original film:
“The original cartoon came out in 1937 and very evidently so. There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her… Weird! Weird. We didn’t do that this time… We have a different approach to what I’m sure a lot of people will assume is a love story just because we cast a guy in the movie, Andrew Burnap, great dude. It’s one of those things that I think everyone’s going to have their assumptions about what it’s going to be, but it’s really not about the love story at all, which is really, really wonderful.”
Mufasa: The Lion King (July 5, 2024)
It is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Barry Jenkins, written by Jeff Nathanson, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pastel Productions.
It is intended to be the live-action photorealistic computer-animated prequel to the similarly created 2019 remake of The Lion King (1994). Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and John Kani reprise their character roles from the remake and are joined by Aaron Pierre and Kelvin Harrison Jr., who voice their young versions of Mufasa and Scar, respectively. Development on a prequel to The Lion King was confirmed in September 2020, with Jenkins attached to direct and Nathanson finishing a draft of the script. Pierre and Harrison Jr. were announced as the voice cast in August 2021.
Moana (June 27, 2025)
Taking inspiration from the 2016 American animated musical fantasy action-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This live-action remake is scheduled for release in 2025, with Johnson reprising his role, while a spin-off series is scheduled to premiere on Disney+ sometime later.
Lilo & Stitch – TBA
This science-fiction film will be a live-action/CGI remake of Disney’s 2002 animated feature film of the same name.
The film will be directed by Dean Fleischer Camp, written by Chris Kekaniokalani Bright, and produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich. It will star Maia Kealoha as Lilo Pelekai and Lilo & Stitch creator Chris Sanders, reprising his voice role as Stitch from the original animated continuity. Zach Galifianakis, Sydney Agudong, Billy Magnussen, Kaipo Dudoit, Courtney B. Vance, and original continuity cast members Tia Carrere, Amy Hill, and Jason Scott Lee will also star.
Hercules – TBA
On April 29, 2020, it was reported that a live-action remake of Hercules is being developed by Walt Disney Pictures, with Jeffrey Silver and Karen Gilchrist, who previously produced the CGI remake of The Lion King, set to produce the film. Joe and Anthony Russo will also serve as producers on the film through their AGBO banner, while Dave Callaham will write the script.
On May 7, 2020, the Russo brothers stated that the remake will not be a “literal translation” as they want the film to have new elements yet still be “something that’s in the vein of the original and inspired by it”.
In June 2022, it was announced that Guy Ritchie, who had previously directed Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, had signed on to direct the film. Joe Russo told GamesRadar+ that the remake will pay homage to the original with a more modern spin on it and revealed that it will also be a modern musical inspired by TikTok.
Bambi – TBA
Details about the plot have not been confirmed, but in January 2020, it was announced that a photorealistic computer-animated remake was in development, and we are certain it will be based on the 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Austrian author and hunter Felix Salten.
The Sword in the Stone – TBA
Based on the 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Austrian author and hunter Felix Salten. The remake will be based on the novel of the same name by T. H. White, first published in 1938 and then revised and republished in 1958 as the first book of White’s Arthurian tetralogy, The Once and Future King.
Robin Hood – TBA
In April 2020, it was reported that Disney was developing a live-action/CG hybrid remake of Robin Hood featuring the same kind of anthropomorphic characters as in the 1973 film, with Kari Granlund writing, Carlos Lopez Estrada directing (after previously directing the Academy Award-nominated Raya and the Last Dragon), and Justin Springer producing. The remake was set to be released exclusively on Disney+.
The Aristocats – TBA
Details aren’t confirmed, but a live-action remake is currently in development, with Questlove attached to direct. The film is based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe and revolves around a family of aristocratic cats and how an alley cat acquaintance helps them after a butler has kidnapped them to gain his mistress’s fortune, which was intended to go to them.
Hunchback – TBA
A live-action remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was announced in January 2019. The script was set to be penned by David Henry Hwang, with Menken and Schwartz returning to write the music. Josh Gad, David Hoberman, and Todd Lieberman were set to produce, with Gad being possibly considered to play Quasimodo. The film, titled Hunchback, would draw elements from both the animated film and Hugo’s novel. In January 2021, Gad stated that the project was still in the works and that he and the studio were “getting closer” to making it happen.
In May 2023, Menken suggested that development on the live-action remake had stalled owing to the original movie’s content and themes: “It’s a tough one, because the Hunchback movie, Hunchback story involves a lot of real, real issues that are important issues and should be explored to be discussed. And there has to be an agreement about how we deal with those issues. You know, do we do a Hunchback without ‘Hellfire’? I don’t think so … So it sits in this limbo right now.”
Side Note: Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Frozen, and Tarzan are all available to stream on Disney Plus, along with all the other live-action feature films and animated television shows.