George Lucas – New Film Has Nothing To Do With ‘Star Wars,’ But Shakespeare…?

When George Lucas sold Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and all of Lucasfilm for that matter, to Disney, did it ever occur to anyone that George Lucas would continue to make films? It seemed like George was retiring. Sure, we all thought that he’d have some sort of advisory role to play with the production of the new Star Wars films and their individual character spinoffs, but for the most part, it seemed like Lucas was done being in the driver’s seat when it came to major motion pictures.

Not so.

The names of George Lucas and William Shakespeare don’t usually go hand in hand, but that’s just the material that Lucas has taken up for his new film.

Now, before all of you freak out thinking that George is going to attempt a live action version of The Tempest or some-such, have no fear. Lucas is sticking to what he knows, that is, the fantasy genre. But the film he’s come up with will use William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream as its source material.

Walt Disney Studios has officially announced that its latest film will be Strange Magic, according to Cinema Blend. The film is described as a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, A Midsummer’s Night Dream.

Though, while the Shakespeare play divides its time between the mystical worlds of fairies and the human plane, Strange Magic reportedly sticks with the fairy realm exclusively.

The official press release from Disney promises elves, fairies, goblins and imps that sing popular songs from the past six decades as they battle over a magic potion.

When Disney purchased the domain name earlier this month for Strange Magic, many cinephiles guessed that the film would be the sequel to the animated Disney mega-hit, Frozen, but not so.

According to Variety, George Lucas already had the idea and the story when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney. They also state that in addition to coming up with the story, George will serve as executive producer on the production. The film will be directed by Gary Rydstrom.

The voice actors in the film are about as good as it gets when it comes to musicals. Kristin Chenoweth, Evan Rachel Wood, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio, Alfred Molina, Elijah Kelley, Bob Einstein, Peter Stormare and Meredith Anne Bull round out the cast.

Lucasfilm Animation, which did the CGI work for Rango, has done the animation for Strange Magic.

What’s surprising about this film, is that it will be released on January 23, 2015. For a major Disney animated feature – attached to no less than George Lucas – it’s fairly astonishing that this is the first the cinema world has heard about it. In fact, Disney has already released a screen capture image of some of the characters.

Strange Magic

A madcap fairy tale musical based on the work of William Shakespeare… as interpreted by George Lucas.

What do you think, will Strange Magic be a major animated hit, or the cause of another face palm by the legions of Star Wars fans when it comes to George Lucas?

[Images via ebay and IGN]