Thomas Mann has joined the cast of Disney's live-action Lady and the Tramp remake as Jim Dear, aka. one of Lady's two human owners. The Kong: Skull Island and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl actor's onscreen wife - who is known as simply Darling - will be played by Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Angie Tribeca) in the film.
The Mouse House's original 1955 animated classic Lady and the Tramp (an adaptation of the Ward Greene story Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog) is told from the perspective of the eponymous Lady - an American Cocker Spaniel - and her fellow dogs. As a result, the film never reveals the true names of her upper-midle-class owners since, from Lady's point of view, the husband-wife duo only ever refer to one another by their affectionate nicknames, e.g. "Jim Dear" and "Darling". It appears that the live-action re-imagining of the movie will likewise find a way around ever revealing the characters' true names, in keeping with that approach.
Variety is reporting that Mann has now joined the live-action Lady and the Tramp cast, which (in addition to the aforementioned Clemons) also includes Tessa Thompson as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux as the voice of The Tramp. Other now-confirmed cast members here include Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty) as Jackie, a gender-swapped version of Lady's Scottish Terrier friend Jock from the 1955 animated film. A voice actor for Jock's companion, the aging bloodhound Trusty, has yet to be cast for the remake.
Lady and the Tramp tells the tale of Lady, who was raised as a pup by Darling and Jim Dear, but finds herself on the outs when her human owners decide to have a baby of their own. Along the way, Lady meets and is gradually courted by the Tramp, an ownerless and charming rascal of a dog who has long managed to avoid being captured by the local dog-catchers. Disney's live-action retelling of the story is being directed by Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie), written by Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess), and will be released through the company's as-yet unnamed streaming service when it launches in Fall 2019.
All in all, the live-action Lady and the Tramp has already put together a pretty rock solid cast of human actors (with both Mann and Clemons having gotten their big breaks on the indie film scene) and vocal performers for its CGI animal characters alike. It's also nice to see Disney honor its commitment to hiring people of color for the cast and not only as part of its voice actor crew, either. Beyond that, Lady and the Tramp is a smaller fairy tale that should have an easier time standing out on Disney's streaming service than it might have otherwise, had it been forced to compete with the studio's upcoming bigger-budgeted and larger-scale offerings in theaters.
We will bring you more details on Lady and the Tramp as they become available.