Disney's live-action Lady and the Tramp remake has now found their Lady, with Tessa Thompson signing on to lend her voice to the beloved cocker spaniel. Thompson has already put together a rather stellar year, starring in indie hits Sorry to Bother You and Annihilation, while also being cast in Sony's Men in Black spin-off, reuniting with her Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth. This casting only proves that Thompson is a true force to be reckoned with, as she now continues to broaden her range by taking on one of the most iconic animated characters in history.
This remake of Disney's 1955 animated classic will blend CGI and live-action elements, with Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) directing from a script by Andrew Bujalski (Support the Girls). Disney has not yet set a release date for Lady and the Tramp, but this remake will forgo a theatrical release and debut on the upcoming Disney streaming service, which is slated to launch by the end of 2019. Given how fast the cast is coming together, it's possible that Lady and the Tramp could be one of the first movies to debut under this still-unnamed streaming service, but if not, it will most likely arrive sometime in 2020.
Collider reports that Thompson is voicing Lady, the American cocker spaniel who lives with a well-off family in Manhattan. She joins the previously cast Justin Theroux, who will voice Tramp, a mongrel who lives on the street and forms a surprising connection with Lady. The cast also includes Kiersey Clemons as Darling, Lady's owner and one of the human/non-CGI roles in the film, while Ashley Benson is voicing Jackie, a gender-swapped version of Jock. In the original animated movie, Jock was a Scottish terrier, who, along with the bloodhound Trusty, were Lady's neighbors, although it's not clear if Jackie will be different breed of dog. This report also reveals that Benedict Wong, best known for playing Wong in Doctor Strange and Avengers: Infinity War, has been cast to voice the bulldog Bull, one of Tramp's fellow strays.
The casting of Thompson falls in line with a report from June, which revealed Disney was actively looking to cast people of color for this remake. While that report was never officially confirmed, the studio is seemingly following this edict, with the casting of both Clemons and Thompson, and there are still several more characters to be cast from the original that could go to people of color. Live-action roles from the original that have still not yet been cast are Darling's husband, Jim Dear, and Aunt Sarah, who watches after Lady's home (and the baby) while Darling and Jim leave for a trip. Remaining voice roles include Lady's other neighbor dog, the bloodhound Trusty, the Pekingese named Peg, Tramp's other stray friend, and Aunt Sarah's cats, Si and Am.
With Disney's commitment to casting people of color, it will be interesting to see how this cast continues to unfold, both in the live-action and voice roles alike. Thompson has gone from a relative unknown, after being cast in the 2014 indie hit Dear White People, to being a bona fide star with box office draw, who will return as Valkyrie in next year's highly anticipated Avengers 4. It seems there is no limit to both her range, and the constantly intriguing choices she makes with the roles she chooses to pursue.