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By Mahita Gajanan
Updated: March 20, 2017 12:35 PM ET | Originally published: October 11, 2016

The Beauty and the Beast remake waltzed its way to a record-breaking $170 million opening weekend at the box office, showing that Disney’s recent push to turn its most iconic stories into live-action features is paying off.

Beauty and the Beast follows The Jungle Book, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland as live-action remakes from Disney that have proven successful: Alice in Wonderland, released in 2010, made over $1 billion at the box office while The Jungle Book, released in 2016, brought in a similar haul at the worldwide box office. Now, Disney is doubling down on live-action feature films, and bringing back fan-favorite heroes like Mulan and Aladdin to theaters.

While the trend of remaking animated classics isn’t new, many of the upcoming remakes—including Mulan, The Lion King and Aladdin—come from Disney’s famed Renaissance period, which started in 1989 and captivated a generation of viewers with songs and characters that remain influential today.

Check out the list of movies you’ll soon see in live-action.


Beauty and the Beast

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, pulled in a record-breaking $170 million on its opening weekend.


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The tale of a Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in her father’s place during a war, Mulan returns to theaters on Nov. 2, 2018. Disney plans to launch a global search to find an actress to play the lead character, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rumors of whitewashing swirled when a person who claimed to have read the Mulan spec script said the movie would feature a white male lead—however, a source close to the film told Vulture that “all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”

Viewers will notice one difference between the 1998 animated film and the new version right away: director Niki Caro has said the live-action movie will not be a musical, shattering hopes of a live rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”

“It’s a big, girly martial arts epic,” Caro told Moviefone. “It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.”


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A remake of the 1992 animated film, which won Oscars for Best Score and Best Song, is in the works at Disney with director Guy Ritchie set to helm, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Many of the movie’s musical elements will stay the same, although it is unclear how the Genie—voiced by the late Robin Williams in a career-defining role—will be portrayed.

Although Disney has not announced the premiere date for Aladdin, the company put out a casting call in March for lead characters Aladdin and Jasmine that explicitly notes the characters are Middle Eastern. Producer Dan Lin told Collider that he and Ritchie want to make a movie that’s authentic to the world of Aladdin and includes diversity.

The Lion King

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The beloved characters of Simba, Nala, Mufasa and Scar will presumably return in a live-action/CGI version of the The Lion King, which became one of the biggest animated films ever when it was released in 1994. In September, Disney announced that The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is set to direct.

In February, Favreau confirmed that Donald Glover was cast play Simba in the upcoming film. James Earl Jones—who voiced Mufasa in the original animated movie—will return to reprise the fatherly role.

Cruella (101 Dalmatians)

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The origin story of villain Cruella de Vil is the focus in Cruella; according to The Hollywood Reporter, Emma Stone is in talks to play the dog-obsessed villain. It’s the second time Cruella De Vil will be portrayed in a live-action movie—Glenn Close played her in the 1996 movie 101 Dalmatians and the 2000 follow-up 102 Dalmatians.

Peter Pan

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Disney is developing a live-action film about J.M. Barrie’s best-known character with David Lowery set to direct and co-write the script, according to EW. Peter Pan has seen several live-action adaptations over the years, including 1991’s Hook, a 2003 version by the same name, and 2004’s Finding Neverland.

Tinker Bell

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Reese Witherspoon is set to play the beloved fairy who loves Peter Pan in Tink. Victoria Strouse, who co-wrote the screenplay for Finding Dory, will pen the script.

The Sword in the Stone

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Brian Cogman, a writer-producer for HBO’s Game of Thrones, is set to write a live-action remake of The Sword in the Stone, a Disney animation from 1963 that tells the story of a young King Arthur.


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Pinocchio might have the chance to truly become a real boy in this remake based loosely on the original morality tale of the puppet who is brought to life. Writer Peter Hedges is attached to the project, which is still in early stages of development at Disney.


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Tim Burton is set to direct the live-action remake of Disney’s Dumbo, the 1941 classic about a circus elephant teased for his large ears. According to Disney, the script has expanded on the original story with some added changes, including the introduction of a human family.

Winnie the Pooh

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Hundred Acre Wood will come to life with an adult Christopher Robin returning to revisit his old haunts. Alex Perry is set to write the adaptation, which is still in very early stages of development, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rose Red (Snow White)

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Disney is planning a revisionist take on the classic fairytale by detailing the story of Snow White’s sister, Rose Red, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rose Red appeared in the Grimm brothers’ original fairy tale, though she had no relation to the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; in the retelling, Rose Red works with the dwarves to bring Snow White back to life after she eats the poison apple.

Prince Charming (Cinderella)

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Prince Charming comes to life in this live-action feature focusing on the handsome prince—although it is unclear whether the plot will center on the beau of Snow White or Cinderella, since they share the same name in both original animated films.


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