Disney’s bet on live action versions of their animated classics paid off with Kenneth Branagh’s “Cinderella.” Now the studio is developing “The Sword in the Stone,” adding to a roster of live-action remakes that includes “Pinocchio,” written by Paul Thomas Anderson, as well as “Mulan,” “Beauty and the Beast” (bowing March 17, 2017) and “Winnie the Pooh.”
Variety reports that Disney vet Brigham Taylor, who oversaw the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, will produce Cogman’s script, which awaits a director. The 1963 original, about King Arthur as a boy, was partly based on T.H. White’s wonderful must-read novel, one in a series of Arthurian fantasies titled “The Once and Future King.” (Which in turn is based on Sir Thomas Mallory’s classic “Le Mort d’Arthur.”)
Cogman contributed two scripts to season 5 of “Game of Thrones,” which George RR Martin will not be returning to next year.
Next up in Disney’s planned series of live action remakes of animated films is Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” (2016), directed by Jon Favreau with CG animals sharing the screen with a real boy, based the 1967 Disney animated classic. Also in the works is Tim Burton’s live-action “Dumbo” and “Through the Looking Glass,” a follow-up to Burton’s 2010 $1 billion grosser “Alice in Wonderland.”
Meanwhile, Disney’s studio rivals are able to adapt these public domain fairy tales too. This summer Warner Bros. is releasing Joe Wright’s “Pan,” starring Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara, beating out Disney’s adaptation of its classic animated musical, as well as Andy Serkis’s “Jungle Book: Origins,” featuring motion-capture animals (Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett) with a live-action Mowgli, for 2017. They were also developing “Beauty and the Beast.”