Earlier this month, Disney announced that Tim Burton had been tasked with bringing a live-action version of Dumbo to the silver screen. Perhaps even more surprising is how unsurprising the announcement is, given the continuous string of reboots audiences have been subjected to over the past decade.
With the release of Cate Blanchett’s live-action Cinderella this month and a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast slated for next year, it would appear we’re entering the era of classic Disney films getting the real-life reboot. Here are a few of our wishlist match-ups when it comes to directors helming live-action Disney movies.
The Fox and the Hound (directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg)
Over the years, Seth Rogen and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg have given us some of the most bromantic films around: Superbad, Pineapple Express, 50/50, This is the End. Given their impressive track record, it would only make sense for them to tackle the timeless film of star-crossed friends, The Fox and the Hound. Rogen and James Franco could co-star as the titular fox and hound; throw in some jokes alluding to marijuana use and you’ve got a hit on your hands.
The Little Mermaid (directed by Woody Allen)
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I wonder what The Little Mermaid would look like from the guy’s perspective?” Let’s recast Prince Eric as a precocious twentysomething and focus on the tribulations of having a romantic relationship with an attractive sea-based mammal. Take out the musical numbers and replace them with commentary on post-modern relationships, while Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne and Emma Stone could do Eric and Ariel serious justice. Plus, if Stone is in it, people have to like it.
Mulan (directed by Quentin Tarantino)
Some Disney stories were just meant to get the R-rated treatment. Mulan has all the quintessential traits of a Quentin Tarantino classic, so he’s the ideal candidate to handle the reboot. Action scenes would become at least 150 per cent bloodier, and perhaps Samuel Jackson could take a stab at voicing everyone’s favourite wise-cracking dragon, Mushu.
The Sword in the Stone (directed by Christopher Nolan)
No one helms a trilogy quite like Christopher Nolan. The man behind the acclaimed Batman Begins trilogy could add a darkness to The Sword of the Stone tale, and maybe even spin it into a King Arthur franchise. It’s got tortured protagonists, trials to face before becoming a hero, and plenty of older male characters for Michael Caine to play. It’s a match made in reboot heaven.
The Aristocats (directed by Wes Anderson)
As if a film about jazz-loving felines wasn’t quirky enough, Wes Anderson could bring the concept into a modern setting by replacing jazz with contemporary indie music. Stop-motion animation similar to 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox would help maintain The Aristocats’ surreal nature, and Anderson regulars like Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray could voice the romantic leads of Duchess and O’Malley.
Mary Poppins (directed by Michael Bay)
Sure, why the hell not? It doesn’t matter what iconic story you charge Bay with, he’s going to steer that ship into the nearest iceberg and make it a disaster. Cast Megan Fox in the title role and see which way Bay’s signature creative direction takes things. (Maybe the children will be reimagined as sword-wielding robots and it’ll be Fox’s job to end the cybertronic war before the children’s parents get home from work?)