Disney is not shying away from live-action films of beloved animated characters. Maleficent and Alice will soon be joined by Belle, Cinderella, and Mowgli.
Variety reported that Bill Condon (Dream Girls) will direct a live action version of Beauty and the Beast for Disney. Not much else is known about the project as of now.
A lot more is know about Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella which released a teaser trailer last month. Cinderella stars Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, and Lily James as Cinderella and opens March 2015. Branagh directed the original Thor and more recently Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Cinderella producer Simon Kinberg said in an interview when asked if the new version of Cinderella would be similar to the animated version:
“It’s a more dramatic version, but it’s got so much heart and sweetness and fun and magic to it; I mean Ken [Branagh] did a really incredible job, and the actors are ridiculous.”
You can read more of Kinberg’s interview at Collider.
The third Disney film getting a live-action reboot – or in this case a live-action, animated mix – is The Jungle Book. Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf) is set to direct the tale of an orphaned boy raised in the jungle by animals. No Mowgli has been cast yet but Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Nupita Nyong’o are all attached to the project as voice talent. The Jungle Book is set for an October 2015 release date.
I think a live-action Cinderella is a no-brainer and has a large chance of success with audiences. The Jungle Book intrigues me, especially if it is a magical blend of live-action and animation in the tradition of Mary Poppins. I have a much harder time picturing Beauty and the Beast as a live-action film but I love the story and am willing to give it a shot.