Disney Giving Live-Action Treatment To Slew Of Classics

Disney’s been bursting at the seams of late with all the revenue generated by its movie franchises, from the record-breaking run of Frozen to the record-breaking opening weekend ($170 million) of Maleficent.

So, what does the family-fun empire decide to do? It’s giving the live-action treatment to a slew of old animated classics, that’s what. After previously announcing upcoming live-action versions of Cinderella, Cruella (DeVille of 101 Dalmations infamy) and The Jungle Book, Disney just divulged its plans to turn Beauty and the Beast into a live-action movie, too.

And the director that Disney has on board to take the helm of Beauty and the Beast, Bill Condon, is no stranger to the fantasy genre, according to Variety. In addition to the two most critically acclaimed Twilight adaptations, Condon also has directed Gods and Monsters and Dreamgirls. And remember Chicago? Yeah, Condon wrote the script, so he’s no slouch in musical theater circles, either.

It’s not as though these movies haven’t already gotten at least cursory spin-off treatments. The Beauty and the Beast Broadway adaptation won a Tony Award for best costumes in 1994, three years after the animated version got an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture (it won for Best Animated Feature). The movie alone grossed $375 million for Disney worldwide, ushering in a movement of fans who can still, to this day, recite its score, lyric by lyric. Just try not to sing along:

And some of the movies are closer to finished than others, of course. Disney’s already pushing about a trailer for its live-action version of Cinderella, due out in March 2015, which stars Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett and Lily James.

Jon Favreau is on board to make The Jungle Book‘s live-action version, and Kenneth Branagh’s got his hands all over Cinderella. For Beauty and the Beast, Condon will be working with producer Mandeville Films, with Evan Spiliotopoulos writing the screenplay. It seems to be Spiliotopoulos’ genre, too. His past writing credits include Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, The Lion King 1 1/2, The Jungle Book 2 and Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure.

You can expect a live-action musical with realistic effects ranging from a beast who can sing perfect harmony to a candelabra who can summon his charms to command a whole staff of animated inanimate objects.

But, Disney’s got so much more than just these live-action spinoffs to boast about. It’s got four new Star Wars movies in the making.

[Image courtesy of Disney]

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