Disney has done the calculations, and their 2019 live-action remakes of childhood favorites Aladdin and The Lion King are timed perfectly to make grown adults—and a new generation of fans—cry. With so many of the animated originals getting a reboot, we put together a guide to every single one of their live-action remakes that’s out, forthcoming, or rumored. You won’t miss a thing.
As with the live-action Aladdin, Disney casting directors had their job cut out for them with Mulan, reportedly spending a year auditioning nearly 1,000 actresses for the lead. The part ultimately went to Chinese superstar Liu Yifei, who seems to have the required “martial arts skills” and “star quality.” Fans finally saw the 31-year-old in full character thanks to this arresting first image. And though director Niki Caro initially dashed fans’ dreams of musical numbers, there is still potential for a giant “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” scene. Caro told the Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.” We’ll see what happens when Mulan comes to theaters March 27, 2020.
A release date for this is extremely TBC, but Reese Witherspoon is attached to star and produce. Exactly no one is more perfect for the role of Tinker Bell. It’s supposed to be similar to Maleficent‘s “real story you didn’t know about this iconic character” take, so we’ll definitely be finding out more about Peter Pan’s salty, loyal fairy friend.
Anyone else think Cruella was woefully misunderstood? In a similar vein to Tink, Cruella would tell the story of 101 Dalmatians‘villainous diva. Can anyone do it with more gumption than Glenn Close (twice)? Well, Emma Stone is game; the Favourite actress is reportedly on board for a 1980s “punk” version of her tale. No doubt the costumes will be worth the price of admission alone. Plus: so many puppies!
Tom Hanks as Geppetto? That’s all we need to know to be all in on this 80-years-later live-action remake. It’s early days for production on the puppet that comes to life, so it won’t become a real boy until 2020 at the earliest.
The Little Mermaid (TBC)
Ariel’s story of thirst-trapping Prince Eric, after selling her voice to that glorious diva Ursula in exchange for human legs, is ripe for a remake given the 1998 original’s fishy gender dynamics. There’s a rumor that Zendaya has been offered the lead part. This is a genius move because a) we already know Zendaya is a triple threat (see: The Greatest Showman) and b) she looks amazing with red hair. Fresh off their Mary Poppins Returns stint, Lin-Manuel Miranda will help out with the music—alongside Disney musical genius Alan Menken—and Rob Marshall has signed on to direct. More importantly, though, who will play Ursula?
Lilo and Stitch (TBC)
A live-action/CG hybrid remake of the supremely adorable 2002 film about a Hawaiian girl and the alien who befriends her was announced in October 2018 via The Hollywood Reporter. It is being produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who were also tasked with the Aladdin remake. Horror screenwriter Mike Van Waes is responsible for retooling the script. A release date is up in the air but it’s possible this will debut on Disney’s upcoming streaming service.
Possible forthcoming remakes
Oliver Twist: No release date, but Ice Cube was attached to play villain Fagin.
Prince Charming: Rather than focusing on Sleeping Beauty’s kissy BF, this movie would be told from the point of view of his not-so-charming brother.
James and the Giant Peach: Novelist Nick Hornby was reported to be working on a screenplay of Roald Dahl’s fruit-focused fantasy, and Sam Mendes was in talks to helm the project.
Rumored forthcoming remakes
Peter Pan, Sword in the Stone, Snow White: All rumored to get live-action adaptations, but so far, there isn’t much information to go on.