Every Disney Live-Action Adaptation Due For Release

Mike P Williams
·Contributor

There’s no question that over the course of 2015 we’ve become overwhelmed with the number of announcements for Disney’s live-action adaptation plans.

But they’ve good reason though, as their recent track record speak for itself – ‘Alice in Wonderland’ scooped over $1 billion; last year’s ‘Maleficent’ earned a cool $758 million; and current release ‘Cinderella’ is on $513 million.

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So to make your life easier, here’s a rundown of every live-action adaptation Disney have planned for the foreseeable future.

(Note: stated release dates are US, as many of the UK’s are yet to been confirmed.)

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The Jungle Book (2016)

Director: Jon Favreau.

Cast:  Neel Sethi, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Christopher Walken, Lupita N’yong’o, Bill Murray.

Release date: 15 April, 2016.

Lowdown: Favreau’s live-action version has the benefit of a big budget and cutting edge CGI, so expect some gorgeous-looking talking creatures. Oh, and there’s a top notch voice cast supporting newcomer Neel Sethi (as Mowgli), who’s the only ‘real’ actor appearing on-screen.

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Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Director: James Bobin.

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Sheen, Alan Rickman, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Release date: 27 May, 2016.

Lowdown: There’s not been huge talk about the follow-up to Tim Burton’s 2010 hit, but this is a sequel that’ll bring back the same actors from the first. It’s also set for a fancy RealD and 3D IMAX release.

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The BFG (2016)

Director: Steven Spielberg.

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Jermaine Clement, Mark Rylance, Bill Hader.

Release date: 1 July, 2016.

Lowdown: A new Spielberg film is always something to get excited about, but more so because he’s got a great record when it comes to family friendly stories with heart – just take a look at ‘E.T.’, ‘Tintin’, and ‘War Horse’.

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Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Director: David Lowery.

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban, Wes Bentley,

Release date: 12 August, 2016.

Lowdown: An interesting adaptation that no one seemed to be crying out for; this update of the 1977 live-action cum animation will feature an entirely CG Elliot (that’s the dragon), with some key elements to the story also altered for a more modern take on the tale, such as its setting.

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon.

Cast: Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Dan Stevens, Ian McKellen, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Release date: 17 March, 2017.

Lowdown: Arguably one of the most anticipated live-action releases on Disney’s roster, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens leading is an enticing prospect. It’ll be interesting to see whether Condon puts a spin on the age-old narrative and gives it a modern, feminist touch.

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Mulan

Director: n/a

Cast: n/a

Release date: n/a

Lowdown: If done right, this could be a fantastic, epic retelling of the Chinese folktale. Some fans are concerned studio bosses may ‘whitewash’ the casting, but there’s no reason to do so with the worldwide talent available to Disney.

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Winnie the Pooh

Director: n/a

Cast: n/a

Release date: n/a

Lowdown: Still in the early stages of development, it seems like this will be the first feature film where we’ll see Pooh as a CGI character accompanied by a grown up, real-life Christopher Robin and (presumably) his CGI animal pals such as Piglet and Tigger.

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Pinocchio 

Director: n/a

Cast: n/a

Release date: n/a

Lowdown: There’s barely anything to go on with this one, bar rumours. Originally itwas set to be directed by Tim Burton with Robert Downey Jr. as Gepetto. However, that idea’s now a distant memory, but more recently Ben Stiller has been linked to direct. Could we see him reunite with his ‘Tropic Thunder’ star/Marvel mega hero? Probably not.

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Dumbo

Director: Tim Burton

Cast: n/a

Release date: n/a

Lowdown: Only announced in March of this year, Burton is attached to helm this blend of CGI and live-action. Written by ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon's’ Ehren Kruger, there’s bound to be more on this in the coming months. Hard to imagine a CGI Dumbo, isn’t it?

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The Little Mermaid (?)

It’s hard to know what to make of this news which hit last summer. Sofia Coppola was linked as its director, but since then we’ve heard nothing and the project seems to have fizzled out. No mention of her affiliation on IMDb (or anywhere else, for that matter) suggests it’s, ahem, dead in the water.

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Picture credit: Disney, Cosgrove Hall Films