After claiming the UK’s biggest opening of 2017 so far, Disney’s Beauty And The Beast looks set to dominate the box office both here and in the US. Meanwhile, the studio is already looking forward to two of its most anticipated live-action remakes.
With more than a dozen re-makes currently in the works, the next arrival, Mulan, is easily one of the most anticipated. In a recent interview, Disney’s president of Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey, hinted as to what to expect when it arrives in cinemas in early November 2018. Unlike Beauty And The Beast, the film isn’t set to be a musical. Instead, Bailey anticipates something tougher. “Mulan is clearly an empowered female story, but we can also do something new in this re-imagining, make a little more muscular, stronger, with a touch of Ridley Scott,” he said.
Niki Caro has already been announced as director. And, with Disney determined to make a culturally authentic film, an extensive talent search is currently underway in mainland China. No less anticipated, but without a release date as yet, is Guy Ritchie’s re-working of Aladdin. While the likes of Cinderella, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast have been respectful towards their originals, Ritchie is likely to bring his trademark style to the story, something that’s not just new but, according to Bailey, a good fit for the material.
“When we talked about Aladdin, he [Ritchie] said, ‘My stories are really about street hustlers. That’s what I know how to do. And Aladdin is a classic street hustler who makes good.’ Guy’s got his own version of that story in his life. But he wanted to honour and respect the Disney of it all,” said Bailey. He added, “The idea of a highly energised Guy Ritchie Disney musical felt, like, oh we haven’t done that before.” Aladdin has just kicked off the casting phase.
Meanwhile, Jon Favreau is working simultaneously on two projects: a live action The Lion King and The Jungle Book 2. The success of Beauty And The Beast could have a bearing on how soon The Lion King arrives on our screen