Sequels, prequels, and live action movie (LAM) adaptations have become the norm of Hollywood movies. And it seems that Disney will also follow this trend as the studio lines up a number of animated movies for sequels and LAM reboots. That being said, here is a status update for six animated Disney movies, including Aladdin, Brave, Frozen, Moana, Mulan, and Tangled.
Aladdin live action movie casts its main characters
Disney reportedly encountered trouble while casting the main characters for its live action movie adaptation Aladdin. But all’s well that ends well as the studio finally found its Princess Jasmine in Naomi Scott and it’s Aladdin in Mena Massoud.
According to Mirror, Guy Ritchie (Corpse Bride, Big Fish) is directing the live action Aladdin that will be based on the script written by John August. Will Smith has reportedly agreed to voice Genie, a character that the late Robin Williams has done justice in the 1992 animated movie.
Marwan Kenzari has been linked with the role of Jafar, the movie’s main antagonist. Nasim Pedrad is also reportedly joining the cast and will play Princess Jasmine’s handmaiden, a new character created for the live action movie adaptation.
Aladdin promises to bring a whole new world to a new generation of Disney fans. The live action reboot is tentatively scheduled for release on 2018.
No Brave‘ sequel for the foreseeable future, at least none yet
Merida isn’t your typical damsel in distress princess. Come to think of it, none of this new generation of Disney princesses is your typical damsel in distress anymore. Merida, the eldest child of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, is a free-spirit who wants to write her own fate.
That being said, even with its commercial success and general appeal, not much has been heard about Brave 2. While there are limitless story lines that Merida can take on, a sequel isn’t likely to be brought up by Disney and Pixar. At least not yet.
According to Screen Rant, Mark Andrews took over the directorial duties for Brave after the original director, Brenda Chapman, opted out while in the middle of production. Andrews confirmed that he doesn’t know whether a Brave sequel is going to be made. However, the director admitted that he is not closing the door for a possible sequel, further stating that if they find the right story, a sequel for Brave is still possible.
Frozen sequel slated for 2019 release
Frozen is one of the most successful Disney films in recent history, a smashing success on the box office front and the marketing front. So it is not surprising to see that Frozen 2 is already being fast-tracked and has been assigned a release date.
According to The Telegraph, Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel will both be back to reprise their roles as Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, respectively. Jennifer Lee will return to direct the sequel and Josh Gad has also confirmed that he’ll be back to play Olaf.
While the plot for Frozen 2 is kept under tight wrap, fans and experts alike already have their favorite theories about the upcoming sequel. Some of these theories involve Elsa dying in the sequel, or Jack Frost coming over for a cameo appearance, or Olaf getting a girlfriend in the Frozen movie sequel movie. Be that as it may, fans of the Elsa and Anna are in for a treat when the sisters come back to the big screen on November 27, 2019.
Will Moana 2 be a live action adaptation reboot or a follow-up animated movie?
Moana’s voice actress, Auli’i Cravalho, attended the Disney D23 Expo that served as the launch platform for the upcoming movie Ralph Brakes the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. During one of her interviews, Cravalho discussed the possibility of her coming back to reprise her role for a Moana sequel.
It would be a travesty and a tragedy if Disney fails to follow up on the success of Moana. With a storyline as big as the ocean itself, fans of Moana can rest assured that her next adventure will take her to a whole new journey of discovery. Cravalho has stated that if she is given the opportunity, she would like to be back to reprise her role as Moana.
Now only three questions remain. Will Disney give the go signal to produce Moana 2 as an animated follow-up movie? Will Moana 2 follow the path of Aladdin and Mulan and be Disney’s next live action movie? Will Moana 2 take the reserved November 2020 slot for Disney’s next untitled animated movie? Now, if Moana 2 takes the November 2020 slot, then it is almost certain that the sequel would be a Moana animated feature film that would see Auli’i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson back in the fold to reprise their roles.
Mulan release date pushed back yet again
There was a fair amount of uproar from movie fans when Matt Damon, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Scarlett Johansson respectively starred in The Great Wall, Prince of Persia, and Ghost in the Shell. The outburst came from disgruntled fans accusing Hollywood production companies of whitewashing movies whose lead characters are anything but Caucasian.
A few weeks ago, Jennifer Lawrence has been linked to play the lead role in the live action movie adaptation of the animated Disney film Mulan. Needless to say, the news has been met with the same uproar. And the uproar is not borne out of disrespect to Lawrence’s supposed involvement with Mulan; the fans just probably want to see a Disney movie that would stay true to its original storyline.
During the Disney D23 Expo, the studio revealed that the live action movie adaptation of the animated Disney film Mulan has been pushed back yet again and is now scheduled for a November or December 2019 release. Disney didn’t specify the reason for this but fans are speculating that the show runners are finding it difficult to cast its main characters.
Niki Caro is reportedly going to direct the film while Bill Kong will stand in as an executive producer. As of this writing, the favorite to land the title role is allegedly the Once Upon a Time star Jamie Chung. Also in the running to play Mulan are Zhang Ziyi, Fan Bingbing, Celina Jade, Katrina Law, Malese Jow, and Rinko Kikuchi.
Are Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder ready for new adventures in Tangled 2?
Tangled is a retelling of Rapunzel’s story. Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi played the lead roles magnificently, not to mention they sang the songs beautifully. The story covered every angle possible and tied up loose ends rather well.
So why is a Tangled sequel taking so long to do? According to Movie Pilot, Tangled has seemingly run itself into a dead end and has become a victim of its own almost perfect storyline. The most ardent fan would certainly ask what the sequel can offer and the answer would probably be not much since Rapunzel and Flynn are now married and the antagonist is probably dead without Rapunzel’s healing powers.
Some would say that the focus should shift to the couple’s married life. Or maybe Tangled 2 can feature the couple’s little kids if they will have any in the future. While these story arcs are certainly a possibility, they would probably drown out the elements that made Tangled such a good movie. That being said, it seems like Tangled 2 will take a lot more time before Disney executives bring it up to the table again.
Is Walt Disney Studios starting a trend?
Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella have already proven that animated Disney movies can be successfully adapted to full-length live action movies. So successful, in fact, that these two films were not only critically acclaimed but they also did very well at the box office. Maleficent, while being a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, adds another twist to the traditional Disney tales, and proves that even the most hated villains in these timeless tales can be completely and successfully rehabilitated.
With the upcoming live action movie adaptations of Mulan and Aladdin, it seems that Disney will now favor live action movie adaptation as a way to reboot the original animated feature films.
While Tangled 2, Brave 2, and Moana 2 are seemingly dead in the water at the moment, to dismiss the possibility of making sequels for the aforementioned movies are plain illogical. After all, these films are already proven box-office winners. It’s just a matter of time before fans see their favorite princesses back in action again.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]