After 'Maleficent,' Disney to remake more animated classics

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) in Disney's "Maleficent" directed by

Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) in Disney's "Maleficent" directed by Robert Stromberg. (Credit: Disney / Frank Connor)

'Maleficent," Disney's live-action spin on "Sleeping Beauty," may well be the sleeper hit of the summer movie season. In its first two weekends, "Maleficent" has grossed $127.4 million, and it shows no signs of nodding off.

The movie's success was a wake-up call to Disney to develop a live-action Disney remake of "Beauty and the Beast," which fits right in with the studio's plans for remakes of two of its other animated classics:

 

"Beauty and the Beast" (release date TBA)

DIRECTOR Bill Condon ("Dreamgirls")

CAST No one has been signed yet, but Kristen Stewart's name has been popping up as a top contender for Belle.

THE STORY Since news of the movie broke June 5, details are still sketchy, but according to Hitfix, Condon will be drawing from Disney's 1991 animated movie and the smash Broadway musical to retell this tale as old as time. Evan Spiliotopoulos, who wrote the upcoming summer movie "Hercules" starring Dwayne Johnson and the direct-to-video Disney sequels "Tarzan 2" and "The Lion King 1 1/2," will write the screenplay for "Beauty and the Beast," Variety reports.

 

"Cinderella" (March 2015)

DIRECTOR Kenneth Branagh

CAST Lily James (Ella), Richard Madden (Prince Charming), Cate Blanchett (the Wicked Stepmother), Helena Bonham Carter (Fairy Godmother)

THE STORY After the death of her merchant dad, young Ella gets treated like dirt -- and sweeps up her share of it, too -- in the home of her wicked stepmom and stepsisters. Someday her prince will come.

Disney began flirting with "Cinderella" in 2010, after the success of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." At that time, Mark Romanek ("One Hour Photo") was set to direct, and Amanda Seyfried was announced to play Ella.

 

"The Jungle Book" (October 2015)

DIRECTOR Jon Favreau (the "Iron Man" films)

CAST The voices of Scarlett Johansson (as Kaa, a python), Idris Elba (the tiger Shere Khan) and Lupita Nyong'o (Radha).

THE STORY Like the 1967 animated movie, this new "Jungle Book" will follow Mowgli (still not cast), a young boy raised by wolves, whom the evil Shere Khan sees as a threat. The film is expected to be a mix of live action, visual effects and computer-generated animals. But it's a jungle out there in Hollywood: Warner Bros. is reportedly working on its own "Jungle Book" movie.

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