When you create a TV show that becomes a phenomenon, one that almost single-handedly paved the way for a new era of cable dramas, as widely acclaimed and frequently referenced as Breaking Bad, it’s almost near-impossible to find a ladder that you can’t climb, or in this case, a beanstalk.
In a market that has proven time and time again that reboots and reimagined stories are destined to be successful, it seems that tales of the past will be surfacing more frequently than ever before, and now it appears that fairytale hero Jack will get a chance to make his way up the beanstalk once again.
A new Deadline report suggests that Disney has acquired Beanstalk, a new revisionist take on the classic English folk tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. The take is based on an outline written by Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul creator Vince Gilligan and the script will be written by Emmy winner Thomas Schnauz (who also wrote for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul). Vince Gilligan and Mark Johnson will produce, and Gilligan will possibly direct (though it’s too early to be certain).
This isn’t the first time Jack’s story will have been brought to the big screen – even in recent years. In addition to a feature appearance in the 2014 stage-to-screen adaptation of Into the Woods, Bryan Singer (X-Men: First Class) directed Jack the Giant Slayer in 2013 (a reimagining of the tale in its own right), and while the flick netted just over $2 million of its production budget worldwide, it was a decent (albeit flawed) movie that showed some people are still interested in the classic story. And since both of Schnauz’ Emmys were won from writing on Breaking Bad, pairing himself with Gilligan could be a perfect match to successfully revise Jack – in a way that hasn’t been seen before.
Disney has been on live-action-adaptation spree ever since Cinderella hit the box office and was a critical and commercial hit ($458 million Worldwide), already announcing brand new installments of Dumbo, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast in an effort to double-dip with live-action versions of classic animated classics. While some will scoff at live-action adaptations of iconic cartoons, it’s actually refreshing to see Disney has found a way to bring live-action fairytales back to the forefront, especially when their animated films (Tangled, Frozen, Big Hero 6) are also performing well at the box office – with no sign of slowing down.
To that end, Disney is smart to pair with a creator like Gilligan – who has a knack for developing projects that already revere. Bringing Gilligan and Schnauz in to tackle Jack’s next venture up the beanstalk could be a good way to quell skepticism and validate a live-action reimagining.
Sharp filmmakers make it possible to appeal to a much wider and mature audience – who might not be interested in animation, but would will respond to relatable human beings on screen. The news could also mean that recent Disney animated films have a shot at live-action adaptation. After all, Frozen’s Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff (not to mention Jack’s beanstalk) already made an appearance on Disney-owned ABC’s fairytale series Once Upon a Time!
We’ll keep you up to date as we hear more about Beanstalk. Until then, viewers can get their live-action fairytale fix when Beauty and the Beast releases in U.S. theaters on March 17th, 2017.