These days, it seems like a few weeks can’t go by without Walt Disney Studios announcing another live-action adaptation of one of their beloved animated films. After the success of such films as ‘Alice In Wonderland’, ‘Maleficent’, and ‘Cinderella’, the House of Mouse rolled out plans for ‘Alice: Through The Looking Glass’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ starring Emma Watson, Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’, ‘Tink’ starring Reese Witherspoon, ‘Mulan’, ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Night on Bald Mountain’, ‘Pinocchio’, and most recently two ‘Aladdin’ movies. At this point, kids might even see a live-action hybrid Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck movie (though I’d much rather see new takes on ‘Hercules’ and ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’). But before we get there, it looks like the studio is going back to the 60s for their latest project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has hired ‘Game of Thrones’ writer/producer Brian Cogman to pen a remake of the 1963 animated film ‘Sword in the Stone.’ The WGA Award nominated screenwriter is also currently developing an adaptation of the fantasy card game ‘Magic: The Gathering’ for Fox. However, he’s trading in doom and gloom of those franchises for presumably a more family friendly feature alongside former Disney developmental executive Brigham Taylor, who is currently producing other live-action remakes such as Jon Favreau’s ‘The Jungle Book’ and Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Haunted Mansion’.
‘Sword in the Stone’ is loosely based on the T.H. White novel from 1938 about King Arthur. In the movie, we follow the wizard Merlin as he trains the young boy who will one day remove a mythical sword from an anvil to become the new King of England. Though it initially received mixed reviews and it barely gets the focus in the company’s trademark theme parks that it used to, the classic Disney tale was nominated for an Academy Award, became the sixth highest grossing film of 1963, and was named one of the Top 10 Animated Films by the American Film Institute. But most fans will probably remember the story because Merlin plays an important role in the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ video game series. If you’re still fuzzy on the details, here’s the film’s trailer to refresh your memories:
Since we haven’t seen a good Arthurian movie for kids in a while (though ‘A Kid In King Arthur’s Court’ comes to mind), ‘Sword in the Stone’ may be filling a void that we didn’t realize was there. Although the writer and producer have been announced, not much else is known about the upcoming adaptation. It’s too early to tell whether this remake can capture the same magic as the animated version. Until we know more, what do you think about Disney’s latest live-action film? Do you think the Mouse is going to this well one too many times? And do you think that this will be a sort of ‘Game of Thrones’ musical judging by the people involved so far? Sound off in the comments below.