Aladdin is set to soar at the box office this Memorial Day weekend. The remake of the classic 1992 animated films stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Will Smith plays the Genie and Marwan Kenzari is the sinister Jafar. Variety reports that it’s expected to bring in at least $100 million over the upcoming holiday weekend (which marks the unofficial start of summer movie season).
The movie is just the latest in a string of live-action remakes of beloved Disney flicks. The studio has already produced new versions of Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and Dumbo. And they don’t intend to stop there.
The Lion King hits theaters July 19
The next live-action Disney remake to hit theaters will be The Lion King. The new version of the story of the young lion prince whose father is murdered by his evil uncle stars Donald Glover as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, and Beyonce as Nala. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, the King of the Pride Lands.
As of now, the expectation is that The Lion King will blow previous Disney live-action remakes out of the water when it comes to opening weekend box office. Currently, it’s tracking for an opening weekend of $180 to $230 million. That’s well above the previous record of $170 milion, which was what Beauty & the Beast made in its opening weekend in 2017.
Other remakes on the horizon
After The Lion King, Disney fans have a few more live-action films to look forward to.
A new version of The Lady and the Tramp with actual dogs and voices by Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux premieres this fall. It will be available on Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service when it launches on November 12.
Mulan, a remake of the 1998 animated movie, is scheduled for release on March 27, 2020. Crystal Liu Yifei will play the title character.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is due out October 18, 2019. While not strictly a remake, this sequel to 2014’s Maleficent is inspired by Sleeping Beauty.
Another Disney villain gets an origin story in Cruella, which will star Emma Stone as a young Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians. That movie is scheduled for December 23, 2020.
A number of other live-action versions of your favorite cartoon flicks are on the horizon, but they don’t have release dates yet. Rob Marshall is directing The Little Mermaid and a version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is also in the works. So are fresh takes on The Sword in the Stone, Peter Pan, and Lilo & Stitch. And a new version of Pinocchio with Tom Hanks as Geppetto was in development, though director Paul King has left the project, throwing its status into limbo.
Disney may also be developing a live-action version of its first-ever animated movie: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
What other animated movies could Disney remake?
Disney has produced more than 50 animated movies over the years, which means that there is still plenty of material for live-action remakes. Among the possible movies that fans might want to see:
Bambi: Bambi is an iconic character, but Disney could use a combination of CGI and voice actors to reimagine this story, much like they’re doing with The Lion King.
Robin Hood: This 1973 movie about a wily fox who steals from the rich to give to the poor seems like a fitting story to revisit in an era with an ever-widening wealth gap.
The Aristocats: The upcoming version of The Lady and the Tramp will appeal to dog-lovers, so it’s only fair that cat lovers get a remake of this 1970 movies.
The Black Cauldron: This dark, animated fantasy was a box office disaster when it was released in 1985. The studio didn’t really recover until The Little Mermaid came out in 1989. Perhaps a remake could rescue this much-maligned Disney flick?
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