Whenever Walt Disney Pictures has announced a new film in development lately, it seems like someone in the office just came in one morning and said, “Hey! Remember this animated classic from back in the day? Let’s make a live-action version of it!” ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ are just a few movies based on a beloved cartoon from the House of Mouse that are coming our way soon, but there are also projects based on ‘Mulan’, ‘The Sword in the Stone’, ‘Fantasia’, and many more in the pipeline as well. However, for their latest movie, not only could Disney be looking at a new take on one of their old hits, but they could be eying up a whole franchise.
According to Variety, Disney has acquired the rights to Lloyd Alexander’s ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ series. The five John Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novels based on Welsh mythology from the 1960s follows an assistant pig-keeper named Taran who dreams of being a hero. Along with Princess Eilonwy, the bard Fflewddur Fflam, and a creature named Gurgi, Taran has many adventures through the mystical land of Prydain where they encounter armies, royals, and mighty warriors like The Horned King. Though no producer, director, or writer has been named at this time, Disney executive Sam Dickerman is said to be taking lead on the development of the franchise.
Although, “acquired” is really the wrong word for this situation. The studio is actually re-aquiring the rights as they previously released ‘The Black Cauldron’ in 1985, which was based on the first two books of the series. Directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich, the movie has the distinction of being the first animated Disney movie to contain computer-generated images. However, that accolade didn’t result in critical acclaim as the film tanked at the box office when it only grossed $21 million worldwide after racking up a $44 million budget. But now that they have another chance at bringing this story to the big screen, maybe Disney can successfully find an audience for ‘The Chronicles of Prydain’ on the big screen with a live-action version over three decades after their first attempt.
Are you interested in seeing a live-action version of ‘The Black Cauldron’? Do you think that it will appeal to a modern audience that fancies fantasies like ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Hobbit’, and ‘Game of Thrones’? Or could you see another ‘Chronicles of Prydain’ adaptation failing like the first time around? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.