Snow White - release date: March 22, 2024
The next live-action remake from Disney will go back to the beginning of the company's feature adaptations to bring us a live-action of the first feature-length animated movie. Snow White has long been held as one of the most important Disney movies as it showed what could be done in the still relatively new medium of animated film. Directed by Marc Webb who directed the two Amazing Spider-Man movies, the movie will star Rachel Zegler (from West Side Story) as Snow White and Gal Gadot as the evil queen. The screenplay was also co-written by Greta Gerwig who just had the biggest hit of the year, writing and directing Barbie.
Mufasa: The Lion King - Release date: July 5, 2024
The Lion King remake made over $1.6 billion, making it far and away the most successful of the live-action remakes, so it shouldn't be a big surprise that they're making another one. This time, instead of making a live-action version of The Lion King II, they will take the Godfather sequel approach, by making the next movie half sequel/half prequel. While some of the movie will take place after the first movie's events, a large part of the movie will focus on a younger version of Mufasa becoming the king of the Pride Lands.
Moana - Release date: June 27, 2025
It hasn't been very long since we got the animated version of Moana, but we're already getting a live action version of the same story. In fact, Dwayne Johnson who voiced Maui in the animated film is planning to return to play the live-action version of the same character. Johnson is in fact, very hands-on with the development of this movie. In addition to starring in the movie, he is also producing the movie along with his production company, Seven Bucks Productions.
Lilo and Stitch
This movie also has an actor from the original movie returning to play the same character. This time it's Chris Sanders, the director of the original film who also provided the voice of Stitch for the movie. He'll be voicing Stitch in this version as well. While the movie began filming in May of 2023, we don't know yet when the movie is scheduled to come out (this is true for the rest of the movies on this list). In fact, Disney hasn't yet officially announced if this movie will be a theatrically released movie, or go directly to Disney+ as some of their live action remakes have done in the past.
Once again we'll likely see an actor from the original movie return to play the same role in the live-action version, as Danny DeVito is currently expected to return to the role of Phil in this movie. Although it's worth noting, he is being credited as the voice of Phil, so it's likely the character will be created by CGI. The movie is being directed by Guy Ritchie who directed Disney's live action version of Aladdin, and the producers have said that this will be a more original take on the same source material meaning that while we might get to see some of the characters we are familiar with from the animated version, the story itself might not be faithful to the plot of the movie. There are a lot of Hercules stories in Greek mythology to pull from, and it seems like they might want to explore some of the ones that haven't already been told.
When this one was announced, Disney described it as a companion piece to The Jungle Book from 2016, and The Lion King from 2019. So, whenever this movie finally comes out, be prepared for a renewed debate on whether or not we should count these photorealistic movies as live-action films or animated films all over again.
The Sword in the Stone
A live-action adaptation of The Sword in the Stone has been in development at Disney since 2015, with a director being announced for the project in 2018. While the progress has been slow going for the movie, we still don't have a release date for the movie or any cast announcement, it seems that Disney is still invested in making the movie happen. In fact, it would appear that Disney is very interested in developing a live-action version of the Authurian legend. In 2021, it was announced that they were developing a live-action adaptation of the Merlin series by T.A. Barron as well. It hasn't been made clear if this Merlin-focused movie would be a spinoff of the live-action Sword in the Stone adaptation, or its own project entirely separate from this one.
Yes, Disney has made a live action Robin Hood in the past. In fact, their live-action version of Robin Hood came out before the animated version, but the Robin Hood movie that is currently in development is specifically a live-action remake of the animated version of Robin Hood where all of the characters are animals. The project has been described as a live-action/CGI hybrid film meaning that it will still feature the anthropomorphic versions of the characters as well as the songs from the animated movie. The director of the movie, who has already worked with Disney before, directing Raya and the Last Dragon in 2021, has stated that the movie will premiere on Disney+, not in theaters.
We know almost nothing about this live-action movie, as it's one of the most recent ones that has been announced. In March of 2023, it was announced that Questlove was attached to direct the movie. While best known for his music, Questlove has won an Oscar already for directing the documentary Summer of Soul in 2022.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A live-action remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was first announced in 2019, and while the movie is still technically in development, the production seems to have stalled. Josh Gad is producing the movie, and may possibly be playing Quasimodo though that has yet to be confirmed. He stated in 2021 that the studio was getting closer to making the movie, but in May of 2023, Alan Menken who wrote the music for the original animated movie and had returned for the remake, said that the project had stalled, citing the mature themes of the movie and the challenges of how those would play in a live-action movie compared to the animated version. While the movie has been canceled we have no idea what the odds are if the movie will ever eventually get made.
The Jungle Book 2
In 2016, the live action remake of The Jungle Book helped to kick off the trend of live-action remakes. Its box office success meant that a sequel was quickly put into development that would adapt some of the other Jungle Book stories by Richard Kipling as well as some of the planned elements that never made it into the original animated movie. Director Jon Favreau was expected to return for the second movie, however, the film was put on hold so that he could focus on his live-action remake of The Lion King, which proved to be an even bigger success than The Jungle Book. While Favreau continues to work with Disney, his schedule has just gotten busier as he is the driving force behind The Mandalorian on Disney+. We know that a script for The Jungle Book 2 was written in early 2018, but while the movie hasn't been officially canceled, we haven't gotten an update since then.
Cruella had an interesting release, coming out during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The movie was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+, making it a bit harder to judge if the movie did well enough to get a sequel. There has been discussion of a sequel and Disney has confirmed that they are in the early stages of developing a sequel to the movie, with Emma Stone confirming that she is set to return to the role. This however all happened over the summer of 2021, all within a few months of the movie being released to the public that May, and we haven't heard any updates since. While we don't know anything about what a sequel might be about, in an interview shortly before the first movie was released, stars Emma Stone and Emma Thompson said they would like to see a Godfather II approach that would serve as both a sequel and a prequel to the original movie.
While the second Maleficent movie wasn't nearly as successful as the first one, there are still plans in the works to continue the franchise. While there have been live action remakes with sequels already, this would be the first time a Disney live action remake got a third movie. A third Maleficent movie was announced to be in development in 2021, with the first draft of the script already written. Angelina Jolie is, of course, expected to return to the title role. While the movie is still considered to be in active development, it's possible that this will be one of the ones that never ends up getting made. The dip in box office between the first and second movie was in part blamed on the five year gap between the release of the two movies, and the longer we go without any updates, the less likely a new Maleficent movie seems to be.
The live action Aladdin was among the handful of live action Disney films to get a billion dollars at the box office, so it's no surprise that a sequel for the movie is in development. While they haven't said what the second movie might be about, they have stated that it won't be a direct adaptation of either of the animated Aladdin sequels. However, there haven't been many updates recently and even the movie's original star has speculated that the sequel might not happen.
Every other Disney movie
Of course, there are rumors about pretty much every animated Disney movie eventually getting a live action remake. Recently there have been rumors about movies like Tangled and The Princess and the Frog getting live action remakes, but so far, nothing official has been announced. Of course, things like this could change daily, so it's more than likely we'll be getting those eventually as well.