Disney hasn’t had much luck with live-action movies that weren’t at least partially based on their rich library of animated, live-action, and hybrid classics. And even some of those– ‘Christopher Robin’, ‘Pete’s Dragon’, ‘Dumbo’– haven’t done that well. But outside of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, Disney’s live-action offerings have tended to be colossal duds– ‘John Carter’ alone is considered the biggest flop in film history. Add ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Tomorrowland’, and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ on top of that, and it’s a pretty crappy track record.
Hopefully, that will come to an end with the release of ‘Knights’ a new live-action, theatrical film that is in development. ‘Knights’ will “follow a headstrong young woman who joins a knight on his quest to destroy a world-threatening artifact before it falls into the wrong hands.” It is being written by Matt Orton, who penned the screenplay and produced last year’s ‘Operation Finale’ which starred Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. ‘Knights’ is still in the early stages, but it is eyed as a theatrical release, not a Disney+ original.
Disney also has in the works, ‘The Sword in the Stone’, a live-action adaptation of the 1963 animated film based on the legend of King Arthur, with director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and ‘Game of Thrones’ writer Bryan Cogman attached, and ‘The Merling Saga’ with Ridley Scott attached. In January, Joe Cornish’s ‘The Kid Who Would Be King’, distributed by 20th Century Fox (so… technically Disney) was a huge flop. In 2017, the more adult-skewing ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ was also a flop. Obviously, ‘Game of Thrones’ proves there is an audience for fantasy among adults, and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ shows that kids are also open to these themes. But maybe King Arthur specifically isn’t the way to go.
Since ‘Knights’ is in the earliest stages of development, it may be a while before we learn anything more about it, but check back for updates as they become available.