Well, this was inevitable, right? ‘Maleficent’ stomped through the box office last weekend, netting $70 million in U.S. receipts and another $100 million abroad. Although it’s a matter of debate as to whether Disney has star Angelina Jolie to thank for that or the staying power of “Sleeping Beauty” in our collective unconscious–it’s probably both–the bottom line, really, is…well, the bottom line. When a movie brings in money like that, the studio is bound to say: more, please.
And more there will be. Variety reports that Disney is moving forward on a new live-action adaptation of the Oscar-nominated 1991 “Beauty and the Beast,” itself a box office champ that brought in over $375 million worldwide. (Remember the Jean Cocteau classic, “La Belle et La Bete?” Clip below.) Bill Condon, the screenwriter behind “Chicago” and director of “Dreamgirls,” is slated to direct, no doubt in large part because of his movie musical expertise. (He also brought us both installments of “Twilight: Breaking Dawn” and last year’s underwhelming “The Fifth Estate.”)
Disney already has two live-action reboots in the works: “The Jungle Book,” to be directed by Jon Favreau, and “Cinderella,” due next March from Kenneth Branagh. And don’t forget Disney’s other live action fairy tale musical: Rob Marshall’s movie of Stephen Sondheim’s classic “Into the Woods,” starring Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep, set for Christmas Day.