In recent years, Disney has found tremendous success with live-action versions of their classic animated tales. Maleficent was a box office hit, while Cinderella and The Jungle Book garnered both critical acclaim and plenty of box office revenue, and the first teaser trailer for next year’s highly anticipated Beauty and the Beast remake was viewed nearly 92 million times within its first 24 hours.
While Beauty and the Beast is undoubtedly one of Disney’s crowning achievements in animation, it’s worth noting that before viewers first experienced the tale as old as time, another film helped reestablish the studio after a string of under-performing releases. Released in 1989, The Little Mermaid went on to gross more than $211 million worldwide and ushered in the beginning of the Disney Renaissance, which would last for another decade. And now, a new report claims the studio might be giving Ariel the live-action treatment as well.
The news comes from Deadline, who says that Disney executives were impressed by a recent pitch and have begun holding meetings with producers that have strong ties to the studio. This project, if it were to move forward, should not be confused with another version of The Little Mermaid that Universal is working on, with Chloe Grace Moretz attached to star – that film will be based on the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, rather than Disney’s seminal animated classic.
Deadline cautions that this project is in the very early stages, so it’ll probably be quite some time before we hear anything official from the Mouse House itself. Personally, I’m hoping they opt to utilize the same technology The Jungle Book employed to make the world seem so lifelike – it seems like a perfect fit to take viewers under the sea.
In the meantime, the studio has a substantial slate lined up, starting with this week’s Alice Through the Looking Glass, followed by Pete’s Dragon in August, and the aforementioned Beauty and the Beast, scheduled for early next year. And that’s not to mention all of the projects in various stages of development, including Cruella, Dumbo, Jungle Cruise and a Mary Poppins sequel. As always, we’ll keep you in the loop as things begin to take shape.
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