Since the launch of its dedicated streaming service Disney Plus, the Walt Disney company has been churning out live action remakes of some of its most beloved classics. So far it has been a mixed bag of hits and misses but after the latest D23 Expo, the company is gearing up to produce more live action remakes with emphasis on quality and creativity.
In other words, you do not want to miss these upcoming releases. The problem though is that most of these films are to be released only on the Disney Plus platform. So you will need a Disney Plus VPN if you do not have the service available in your region.
So let’s get into the list of most awaited titles in the roster of upcoming live action releases by the beloved entertainment company:
Snow White (1937)
An all-star lineup of cast and crew has been assembled for the remake of this Disney classic from the 1930s. In order to make a live-action version truly worthy of the modern Disney aesthetic, Director Mark Webb (The Amazing Spider Man) and composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman) are teaming up.
The character of the iconic princess who escapes a terrible fate to find courage and strength with the help of seven friendly dwarfs is to be played by actor Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) while Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) will take up the role of the villainous queen.
The executives at Disney are taking pains to recreate this story for the modern age. When initial news of this remake was released by Disney, a level of controversy was stirred up due to the depiction of the seven dwarfs in the classic film.
Actor Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) criticized the plan to recreate the story with the role of the dwarfs unchanged. However, Disney execs were quick to reassure audiences that the subject matter would be handled respectfully.
Peter Pan (1953)
The beloved children’s story by author J. M. Barrie has delighted generations of children, and spawned many adaptations. The original Disney animated adventure introduced the world to the cunning but comical Captain Hook and his crew of pirates who are nemeses of Peter Pan and the Darling children.
There has been a modern live action adaptation of this story, called Hook (1991), produced by Steven Spielberg and starring the legendary Robin Williams. But this will be Disney’s first attempt at adapting the animated film into live action. The details are quite tantalizing though.
The remake is set to focus on two leads, Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) and Wendy (Ever Anderson), as they confront the challenges thrown at them by Captain Hook, to be played by Jude Law (Captain Marvel).
The film will expand the tale by presenting Wendy’s version of the adventures they had in Neverland as well as more backstory on the history between Hook and Peter Pan. And of course, we will get to see the Lost Boys depicted on the screen again.
Robin Hood (1973)
The story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men holding court in Nottingham forest where they rob the rich and give to the poor has been adapted into films, plays and television series many times over. But this timeless story resonates with people stronger than ever before.
The Disney animation from the 70s was a triumphant mix of adventure and comedy with the art style inspiring artists and memesters alike even to this day. As far as the live action remake is concerned, the titular character of Robin Hood will once again be depicted as an anthropomorphic fox.
The remake will have a mix of live action and CGI animation and is set to be directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada (Blindspotting) and written by Kari Granlund (Lady and the Tramp). The remake will be a musical similar to the original.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
This live action remake of Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale of a mermaid hoping to make it to the human world is set to be released in May 2023. The titular character is portrayed by R&B singer Halle Bailey of the band Chloe x Halle.
The film will feature music from the original composer of the film from the 80s, Alan Menkin. Moreover, the award-winning Broadway composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) will also be contributing additional songs.
The remake has used sophisticated CGI technology to recreate the undersea home of Ariel, the little mermaid, which was so memorably designed in the original film. The Disney execs have emphasized that they want the audience to be wowed by the visual feast that is the setting of the story.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
This tale of a hunchbacked bell ringer, living in the towers of the cathedral of Notre Dame is haunting and beautiful in its sombreness. The story is based on the novel Notre Dame de Paris by French author Victor Hugo.
The animated Disney adaptation was remarkable for the profundity of its lyrics in songs such as Heaven’s Light and God Help the Outcasts. Fun fact – a live action adaptation of this story starring Salma Hayek and Mandy Patinkin was made in 1997, a year after the Disney animated film was released.
Disney is recreating this story as a combination of the animated film and the original novel. The original composer Alan Menkin will be helming the musical direction of this film, while it is being produced by actor Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast).
The Greek demigod Hercules is the favorite mythological superhero of our times. He was memorably adapted into a Disney lead in the eponymous 1997 animated adventure by Disney. His character was portrayed as a heroic young man, out in the search for his identity and his ultimate destiny in the world of Greek gods and men.
The animated film had music by musician Michael Bolton, who sang the ‘hero’s journey’ anthem called Go the Distance. The art style skillfully incorporated classical ancient Greek motifs as depicted in mosaics and pottery from that era, as well as in the stunning architectural marvels that last to this day.
The live action remake is set to be released theatrically so we can expect a big budget extravaganza as Hercules goes through each of the seven trials in his quest to be recognized by the residents of Mount Olympus. The remake will be produced by the Russo brothers (Everything Everywhere All At Once) who are no strangers to big budget action adventure films.
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
This beloved alien landed on big screens at the start of the new millennium and stole hearts for his antics and, strangely, his humanity. Lilo and Stitch is an animated film set in the islands of Hawaii. As such, it presented a region which had not been depicted with such detail in a Disney film before.
Lilo and Stitch was a pioneering film in more ways than one. It depicted the Pacific Islander culture well before Moana (2016), and centered the loving bonds of sisterhood eleven years before Anna and Elsa did in Frozen (2013).
For this live action remake, Disney is planning on recruiting director Jon Chu of Crazy Rich Asians fame. To solidify its credentials, the producers of the live action Aladdin (2019) are also joining the production.
It remains to be seen who will be cast in the role of Lilo; of course, Stitch will be in CGI. However, we are most looking forward to seeing the beautiful setting of Hawaii in a live action film with sunsets and surfing.
So there you have it, folks! There is a lot of great entertainment to look forward to in the coming months and years from Disney in both theaters and the streaming platform of Disney Plus. Hope you find a new classic to love in this list that we created for you.