Disney has confirmed new release dates for two of its upcoming live-action retellings. All throughout this weekend, the annual D23 expo is going on, and as usual, the news coming out of it so far has been quite interesting. Just some of the stories thus far have included the blockbuster announcement of Hugh Jackman as Scar in the live-action Lion King remake, the official premiere date for the Marvel’s Spider-Man cartoon on Disney XD, and the confirmation that Marvel and Star Wars characters are set to appear in Wreck-It Ralph 2.
A little while ago, Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn made some news of his own, via a presentation of Disney’s upcoming release slate for the remainder of 2017 through 2019. All the Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm titles appear to be staying put at their previously=announced dates – including the recently-tumultuous Han Solo movie – but a couple of Disney’s live-action remakes have now plotted a new course.
The first of those is Dumbo, a live-action take on the classic 1941 animated film. Dumbo had yet to receive an official release date until today, but has now been penciled in for March 29, 2019. Director Tim Burton recently began pre-production on the film in London. Secondly, the live-action remake of Mulan has vacated its previously announced November 2, 2018 slot, and is on the move to 2019 as well. A particular date has yet to be confirmed for Mulan, but Disney still has open spots on its schedule on both November 8 and December 20, 2019.
While Disney has always been fond of referring to nearly all of its animated efforts as “classics,” there are few that more legitimately qualify for that category than Dumbo, only the fourth Disney animated film ever produced. Stars announced for the remake so far include Colin Farrell – in a role originally offered to Will Smith – as a widowed father who befriends the titular elephant, Eva Green as a trapeze artist at the circus, Danny DeVito as the manager of the circus, and Michael Keaton as the villainous Vandermere, who acquires the circus and thus acquires Dumbo.
Whale Rider director Niki Caro is set to helm Mulan’s live-action redo, which unlike the 1998 animated original will not be a full-on musical, although at least some songs will likely be included. Mulan was briefly a source of controversy late last year when a spec script surfaced that starred a white character, but Disney was quick to clarify that the final film will feature all Chinese characters. Taking over Mulan’s old November 2, 2018 date will be The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
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