Disney’s remake of The Lion King is set to dominate the box office this weekend, with experts predicting that it could rake in between $180 million and $192 million in its opening weekend, which would put it on track to become the best domestic opening in history for the month of July.
The Lion King is the latest in a slate of live-action remakes of some of Disney’s most beloved tales. The updated version of the 1994 movie stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones and Alfre Woodard and draws inspiration from the animated classic.
The release of The Lion King follows the premiere of a live-action version of Aladdin in May, with Will Smith filling Robin Williams’ shoes as the genie, and a remake of Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton, in March. That film expands on the original narrative by adding a human family to care for the beloved circus elephant. Between these films, Toy Story 4 and Avengers: Endgame, Disney has dominated the 2019 box office, and as of the year’s halfway point had brought in more than double any other studio.
Disney is set to release several more remakes of animated favorites, and many, including Mulan, come from the company’s famed Renaissance period, which started in 1989 and captivated a generation of viewers with songs and characters that remain influential today.
Here’s every live-action movie Disney has planned through 2020.
Write to Mahita Gajanan at email@example.com.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (October 18, 2019)
Four years after Maleficent came raked in $758 million at the global box office, Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning are returning for a new Maleficent movie, with a cast that includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ed Skrein, Juno Temple and Harris Dickinson.
The sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, will see Maleficent (Jolie) and Princess Aurora (Fanning) find new alliances along with enemies as they fight to protect their enchanted forest kingdom and everything that lives within it, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Filming on the Maleficent sequel began last May, during which Fanning celebrated with a behind-the-scenes look at her and a horned Jolie on set.
Mulan (March 27, 2020)
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 March 27, 2020. Chinese actor Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, will portray the iconic warrior in Disney’s live-action remake. 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 live-action version right away: director Niki Caro has said it 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.”
Disney released the first picture of Yifei as Mulan on Aug. 13 to announce that production had begun on the film.
Cruella (101 Dalmatians) (December 23, 2020)
The origin story of villain Cruella de Vil is the focus of this Disney live-action movie, Cruella, scheduled to release on Dec. 23, 2020 . Emma Stone is set to play the dog-obsessed villain in a film directed by I, Tonya director Craig Gillespie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s the second time Cruella De Vil will be portrayed in a live-action movie — Glenn Close played the character in the 1996 live-action 101 Dalmatians and the 2000 follow-up 102 Dalmatians.
Peter Pan (TBD)
Disney is developing a live-action movie 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.
Reese Witherspoon is reportedly 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 for this Disney live-action movie.
The Sword in the Stone (TBD)
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.
Pinocchio might have the chance to truly become a real boy in this Disney live-action movie 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. Paul King, who helmed the Paddington movies, was recently announced as the project’s director.
Rose Red (Snow White) (TBD)
For this live-action movie, 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) (TBD)
Prince Charming comes to life in this live-action movie 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.
The Little Mermaid (TBD)
“After an extensive search, it was abundantly clear that Halle possesses that rare combination of spirit, heart, youth, innocence, and substance — plus a glorious singing voice — all intrinsic qualities necessary to play this iconic role,” director Rob Marshall said in a press release.
Production on the live version of the underwater classic is slated to begin in 2020. More castings are expected to be announced soon.