We know what we’ll be doing once sheltering in place is over — hitting up the movie theaters! Disney currently has so many fantastic live-action remakes of their beloved classics in the works, and we’re ecstatic to see each and every one. Plus, it gives us more to look forward to once quarantining is over. And let’s face it, the world could really use some pixie dust after this horrible pandemic.
Let’s Get Down to Business
Due to sheltering in place, Mulan’s theatrical release date had to be changed from March 27 to July 24, 2020. Hopefully, by late July, all will be well in the world again, and Mulan will become the summer blockbuster we all want and need. Some fans have been pleading with Disney to release Mulan early on Disney+, but doing so would lead to “catastrophic losses to the studio,” according to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO). Besides, we shouldn’t be greedy. Disney has already given us early release dates of Frozen II, Onward, and Artemis Fowl on Disney+. (Thanks, Disney!)
From the trailers I’ve seen, Mulan will definitely be a movie worth waiting for. Out of 1,000 actresses spanning five continents, Disney chose Chinese-American actress Yifei Liu to play Mulan, the spirited, ambitious, and heroic young woman who goes on an epic journey for the love and honor of her family. We will no doubt be impressed not only by Yifei Liu’s acting skills, but also her by fighting skills, as she is said to have performed 90% of her own stunts in the film. Although Disney is changing the story a bit by getting rid of Mushu and Li Shang, Mulan will still have a love interest in the live-action version — a handsome and confident military recruit named Chen Honghui, who will be played by New Zealand actor Yoson An.
It’s a Jungle Out There
Although we were looking forward to seeing charming Dwayne Johnson’s gorgeous smile (ok, and his biceps too) in The Jungle Cruise this summer, Disney has postponed its release date from July 24, 2020 to July 30, 2021. The film is based on the notorious ride at Disneyland, and Dwayne Johnson plays a skipper who goes on an adventure via the Amazon River with Lily, a female version of Indiana Jones, played by Emily Blunt. Even though we’re bummed that we’ll have to wait more than one whole year to see the epic film, we think it will be worth the wait — especially if it contains hilarious puns similar to the jokes the Jungle Cruise skippers at Disneyland tell.
The Fairy Tales Continue
Disney did so well with the live-action remake of Aladdin, which brought in a whopping $1 billion, that they’ve decided to make a sequel. The story will derive from one of the stories in One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle-Eastern folk tales collected in the Islamic Golden Age. Will Smith, Mena Massound, and Naomi Scott will be reprising their roles as Genie, Aladdin, and Princess Jasmine. Although there is no release date set in stone yet, we speculate that it will be May 27, 2022, since Disney has an open slot for a live-action film that day.
Two other Disney live-action remakes with classic princesses that are also in progress are The Little Mermaid and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Due to the coronavirus, the production of The Little Mermaid has temporarily stopped and there is no official release date. With a fantastic and talented cast, including Halle Bailey as Ariel and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, we’re sure production will go swimmingly once it starts up again. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is another Disney princess film in the works, and although no cast is set yet, we’re already stoked about the soundtrack because songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, from The Greatest Showman and La La Land, have been hired. We can’t wait to hear their version of “Whistle While You Work.”
Can’t Forget the Villains
Not so much of a live-action remake as it is a spin-off and prequel, Cruella is set to hit theaters on May 28, 2021. Cruella de Vil, the awful villain from 101 Dalmatians who kidnapped innocent puppies to make herself a fur coat, will be played by the talented Emma Stone. Even better, the film will be executive produced by Glen Close, who played Cruella in the 1996 live-action remake. Since this prequel will tell the story of Cruella (similar to what Disney did with Maleficent) as a fashion designer in London in the 1970’s, we are pretty stoked about finding out what drove Cruella to become the villain we all love to hate.
Even More Magic Coming Our Way
Get ready to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan and Wendy, set to release sometime in 2021. 12-year-old actress Ever Anderson will play Wendy, who is said to have a leading role in the film (finally)! Tink is another live-action spin-off film Disney will be releasing, which will be all about Tinker Bell, the feisty fairy from Neverland, and will be played by the adorable Reese Witherspoon.
Additionally, The Sword in the Stone is on the Disney live-action lineup list and has already started production in Belfast, Ireland, which is where much of Game of Thrones was also filmed. Bryan Cogman, who was a writer and producer for Game of Thrones, is the scriptwriter. (Let’s just hope he doesn’t screw up the ending or leave any Starbucks cups in the film!) Two other live-action remakes of Disney films with no official release date yet are Pinocchio and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And lastly, diving into the world of CGI, Disney will also be releasing a new Bambi and Lilo and Stitch.
With pretty much everything of Disney we know and love being closed due to COVID-19, it can be downright depressing. Even the Happiest Place On Earth itself is closed. It’s important to know that we are all in this together, even a big corporation like Disney, and the good news is we will eventually get through it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and Disney is making sure that the light will be filled with magic, adventures, and fairy tales waiting for us — a whole new world, if you will.