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Here’s Every Disney Live-Action Remake on the Way

In addition to Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and their own Walt Disney Animation Studios, the House of Mouse has found itself yet another lucrative, audience-pleasing franchise: live-action adaptations of their own classic animated films of yesteryear. It started with the billion dollar success of Alice in Wonderland in 2010, followed by Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and most recently Beauty and the Beast, with each film proving to be a huge hit. Because of that enormous success, Disney has a metric ton of new live-action adaptations set for release in the near future, with three of them even hitting theaters all this year! And there are way more where those came from. So if you’re finding it hard to keep track, here’s every live-action adaptation of a classic Disney animated film that Walt and co. have in the works.


Directed by Tim Burton, who got this modern animated remake train going in the first place with Alice In Wonderland back in 2010, Dumbo stars Michael Keaton, Eva Green, Colin Ferrell, and Danny DeVito in a new take on Walt’s 1941 classic. Just the image of “sad clown Dumbo” in the trailer is enough to make us cry, and get us to buy a ticket. Dumbo hits theaters on March 29, 2019.


Starring Mena Massoud as the titular “street rat” and Will Smith as the Genie, this Guy Ritchie-directed version of the enormously successful 1992 animated film comes out on May 24, 2019. Given that Guy Ritchie is directing, we fully expect at least one shot of Aladdin in gym clothes, punching the air.

The Lion King

The original 1994 film was one of the most successful animated films ever, and the shining jewel in the ’90s era Disney crown. To be honest, this one can barely be counted as a live-action remake, as there are no live-action elements to speak of. But we’ll go ahead and count it, because man, those critters look pretty real! With an all-star cast doing the voices, this one is gearing up to be another $1 billion dollar behemoth. Directed by Jon Favreau (who helmed The Jungle Book), the Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19, 2019.


Directed by Niki Caro, this redo of the 1998 animated film based on the Chinese folk tale is currently filming in Asia and New Zealand, and has a 2020 release date. The original Mulan script featured a white male lead, if you can believe it, but Disney wisely scrapped that idea and used an all-Asian cast. It’s currently set to release on March 27, 2020.

Lady and the Tramp

Unlike The Lion King, the animals in Lady and the Tramp will be real and not CGI, probably for budgetary reasons. Lady will be voiced by Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux performs for the Tramp, and this remake of the beloved 1955 classic will be the first live-action remake set for the new Disney+ streaming service, debuting sometime in 2020. Be sure to watch with a loved one and plate of spaghetti and meatballs.


Technically the second remake of 101 Dalmatians (remember the ’90s one starring Glenn Close?), Cruella will focus on the younger days of the villainous Cruella de Vil, with Oscar winner Emma Stone in the title role. I, Tonya‘s Craig Gillespie is currently slated to direct this reimagining set in the ’80s punk rock era.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney’s 1996 animated film adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo novel wasn’t as beloved as other “Disney Renaissance” hits of the era, but it’s got a live-action version in development regardless. According to Deadline, Tony-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang is set to write the screenplay for Hunchback, and Alan Menken and Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz will write the music.

The Little Mermaid

Given its iconic status, this ranks as one of the most anticipated projects on the list. Alan Menken, who co-wrote the original score, will return to collaborate on the new music with Hamilton’s own Lin-Manuel Miranda, who recently starred in Mary Poppins Returns and composed songs for Moana. We expect this one to happen sooner rather than later. Put some of those new Aquaman underwater effects to good use!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This was Walt Disney’s first animated feature film, so they have to get this one just right. A live-action version was announced back in 2016 by The Hollywood Reporter, from writer Erin Cressida Wilson, and with La La Land’s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul attached to write new music. Disney might want to wait a few more years on this one, if only to let the memory of Snow White and the Huntsmen fade away.


A couple years back, Disney announced that a live-action Pinocchio was on its way, from Paddington director Paul King. But recently, news broke that this version had been shelved. We think it’s only a matter of time before Disney goes back to the drawing board for this one though, given its iconic status, so no need to wish upon a star.

Night on Bald Mountain

This one would be based on the super creepy but (but super badass) segment from the 1940 classic Fantasia, about a winged giant demon named Chernabog who lords over a small village and sets his minions upon it at night. Not much has been heard about the project since it was announced way back in June of 2015, so the status is murky.

Peter Pan

Disney actually has two competing Peter Pan films in development! In 2016, Pete’s Dragon’s David Lowery was hired to create a live-action recreation of the 1953 classic. But then there’s also Tink, which was set to star Reese Witherspoon as Tinkerbell, in a Maleficent-style reimagining of the classic story from the fairy’s point of view. Who knows which will get the green light?

The Sword in the Stone

It looks like this young King Arthur tale, which first hit theaters in 1963, is getting the live-action treatment from 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, with a script from Game of Thrones co-producer Brian Cogman. Though not yet official, it appears this one could be heading to the Disney+ streaming service.

And Sequels!

In addition to all of those, Disney has sequels for Maleficent and The Jungle Book in the pipeline. And if you think they’ll run out of titles to remake any time soon, I remind you there’s still Tangled, Princess and the Frog and Frozen, among many, many others. This train has only just left the station.

Images: Walt Disney Company

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