Disney’s live action remakes of classic cartoons – every film currently in the works

A comprehensive list of all the Disney animated classics we know are getting a live action reboot

Disney live action movies make big money. In 2016, The Jungle Book picked up a near $1 billion at the box office. Beauty and the Beast has now made history with the most successful opening weekend for a musical, non-sequel and PG film, making over $170 million in ticket sales in the US alone. The combined draw of nostalgia for adults and exposure of the classic films to younger audiences combined with lavish special effects has proven a winning formula.

This is great news for Disney fans because it means the studios have plans to recycle many more of their classics. At least 16 new live action remakes are currently in the works, at varying stages of production – and here they all are.


Release date: March 27, 2020

Disney put out an international casting call for the remake of the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan in late 2016. Now they’ve confirmed the lead will be played by Chinese actress Liu Yifei.

A lot of critics have expressed fears that the new film could become another example of Hollywood whitewashing Asian culture, with an initial script leak revealing that a “30-something European trader” would become the male lead. However, Disney told Vulture that although they purchased this version of the script, they would be omitting this diversion from the original.

The bad news for some is that the Mulan live action remake will not be a musical. In addition, the 2018 release date has been pushed all the way back to 2020, so there’s a while to wait.

The Little Mermaid

Release date: TBC

The live action adaptation of the 1989 original will likely be delayed due to the release of a rival live action release of The Little Mermaid by Kingsway Productions in 2017. The Disney version will bring in Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda as a producer. Rob Marshall will direct.

Though no casting decisions have yet been made, Lindsay Lohan took to Instagram to offer herself up for the lead role, Ariel. Audra McDonald, who also stars in Beauty and the Beast, has expressed her desire to play the villain, Ursula.

Snow White

Release date: TBC

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was Disney’s first feature length film, released in 1937. Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the big screen adaptation of The Girl On The Train, has been drafted in to write the remake script.

The film will feature some new songs penned by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (who wrote the lyrics to smash musical La La Land), alongside classics like ‘Whistle While You Work’.

Rumours also suggest the remake could also wrap Snow White’s sister, Rose Red, who features in the original Grimm fairy tale, into the story.

Marc Platt will produce the re-boot.



Release date: 24 May 2019

The Aladdin re-boot will deviate slightly from the original, with a non-linear plot line exploring the Genie’s origin story. Will Smith replaces Robin Williams as the Genie.

Naomi Scott will play Jasmine, and Mena Massoud will play Aladdin. Marwan Kenzari plays Jafar.

Guy Ritchie will direct.

The remake will definitely be a musical.

The Lion King

Mufasa in ‘The Lion King’

Peter Pan

Release date: TBC, probably 2020 or later

Yet another live action reboot is scheduled for J.M.Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who never grew up, this time under the Disney label. David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon) will direct the new film. James Whitaker (A Wrinkle in Time) will produce the movie. The script is apparently still in the works, so it’s unlikely we’ll see Peter Pan anytime soon, but Whitaker promises it will be a “big, rollicking adventure.”


Release date: TBC

If the Peter Pan live action reboot wasn’t enough to satisfy your Neverland appetite, Disney are also planning a spin-off live action movie focussing on everyone’s favourite sassy fairy, Tinker Bell.

Reese Witherspoon is attached to play the lead character, and is also rumoured to be producing the film.



Release date: TBC (2018)

Disney made a live action remake of 101 Dalmations in 1996, and followed up with a sequel in 2000. However, Disney is now making plans for a live action re-boot that, like Maleficent, focuses on the arch villain, Cruella De Vil.

Though Meryl Streep was originally planned for the leading role, this character will now be played by Emma Stone. Aline Brosh McKenna, who wrote The Devil Wears Prada, has written the spin-off screenplay.

Omega Underground report that the film could be set against the late ’70s London punk scene.


Release date: March 29, 2019

Tim Burton, who directed the big budget live action remake of Alice In Wonderland in 2010, will return to the Disney chair to direct Dumbo, due for release next year. Filming for the tale of the flying circus elephant is thought to start this Spring.

Colin Farrell plays lead Holt Farrier, whilst Danny DeVito steps into the role of circus owner Medici.

Michael Keaton will play ringmaster villain Valdemere, but some reports indicate that the character may be portrayed as more of a misunderstood individual than out-right bad guy.

Eva Green, who will play the tightrope walking Colette, has worked with Burton twice before.

Christopher Robin

Release date: 17 August 2018

Disney’s live action reboot of the Winnie The Pooh animated series will focus on a grown-up Christopher Robin returning to the Hundred Acre Wood. The Hollywood Reporter writes that “Robin has grown out of the joyful imagination he had as a young boy and is now a businessman who prioritizes work over his wife and daughter.

“With his home life on the brink, the last thing his life needs is the return of Pooh, who needs his help in finding his friends again. Robin has to find a way to help both sides or risk losing everything he holds dear.”

Christopher Robin will be played by Ewan McGregor, and Hayley Atwell, his wife Evelyn.

The Hundred Acre Wood will also play host to Chris O’Dowd (Tigger), Toby Jones (Owl), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh), Peter Capaldi (Rabbit) and Brad Garrett (Eeyore).

The Sword In The Stone

Release date: TBC

Very few details are available for Disney’s plans to remake the 1963 animated classic The Sword In The Stone. However, what is certain is that the writer, Bryan Cogman, has a strong track record of Medieval fantasy work behind him – he trained as a writer on Game of Thrones. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will direct.



Prince Charming

Release date: TBC

Limited details on this planned venture; but Disney has purchased a script by Matt Fogel for a live-action film that focuses on Prince Charming’s brother, who fails to live up the family name.

Night On Bald Mountain

Release date: TBC

Not your classic Disney live action revival. Night On Bald Mountain is a sequence from Disney’s Fantasia film which focuses on a dark winged creature who can raise spirits from the dead. They then set about causing mayhem with nightmarish results. Currently in development.

Kim Possible

disney live action movies

Release Date: TBC

Kim Possible, a Disney Channel classic, is set to get the big screen treatment, although there are few details available currently. The Disney Channel announced the movie on Twitter, and asked followers for their recommendations for who should play the titular heroine.

The Jungle Book 2

Release date: TBC

Following a huge box office win with 2016’s live action adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling classic, plans for The Jungle Book 2 are in no way surprising. Jon Favreau returns as director.

Maleficent 2

Release date: TBC

Likewise, Maleficent will also reportedly see a sequel. The original is a fresh take on the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, shifting focus to the misunderstood villain, played by Angelina Jolie. Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge) will direct.

Mary Poppins Returns

disney live action movies

Release date:
December 25, 2018

Ok, so Mary Poppins Returns isn’t technically a live action remake, but it is a big Disney nostalgia trip. Emily Blunt plays the practically perfect nanny, who helps a now-adult Michael Banks following a personal loss. Watch the trailer here.