‘The Lion King’ comes out July 19, and there’s no doubt it will continue the reign of blockbuster remakes.
The countdown is on. After 25 years, “The Lion King” is still one of Disney’s most popular releases, so the live-action remake to be released on July 19 has its job cut out for it to live up to the legacy.
It’s just one of many remakes and reboots in recent memory, especially from Disney, and the trend continues with a vengeance for the foreseeable future. (Just look at how “Aladdin” raked in money on Memorial Day weekend, and you’ll know why!)
Let’s preview some:
THE LION KING – JULY 19
The story follows lion cub Simba, prince of the Pride Lands, on his journey to claim his father’s kingdom after being exiled by his evil uncle. News surrounding the movie indicates it’ll be one of Disney’s most ambitious projects.
With no other studio scheduled to open a blockbuster that same weekend, “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”), will be a sure-thing to win the box office, and it probably would have anyway.
With an almost-all-Black cast, the movie is sure to rank alongside “Black Panther” as a signal event in the African-American community.
Though the movie brings back only one actor from the original – James Earl Jones as Simba’s father Mufasa – the big buzz is about Beyonce’s role as Simba’s mother Nala. For two years, fans have anticipated the singer’s take on the much-loved soundtrack. But, a just-leaked clip has fans talking online that maybe Beyonce sounds TOO Beyonce.
“Her voice is too distinct for this. It doesn’t even sound like she attempted to change the sound of her voice for the character,” one person said. “I love Beyonce, I REALLY do. But that thick-a** country voice of hers better not ruin the memory of my childhood.”
We’ll see soon!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY – OCT. 11
The last time we saw the Addams Family on the big screen was in 1993’s “Addams Family Values.” Now this kooky family is instead getting closer to its magazine-cartoon roots by doing an animated movie. The story will see the characters’ lives unraveling as they face off against a reality TV host while preparing for extended family to arrive for a big celebration. The voice cast includes Oscar Isaac as Gomez and Charlize Theron as Morticia.
CHARLIE’S ANGELS – OCT. 11
In keeping with the original TV series and the two movies from 2000 and 2003, this reboot will follow a trio of crime-fighting women who are given their assignments by the mysterious Charlie. Starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska with Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart and Djimon Honsou.
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL – OCT. 18
Four years after “Maleficent” raked in $758 million at the global box office, Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning return for a new installment, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The sequel will see Maleficent (Jolie) and Princess Aurora (Fanning) find alliances and enemies as they fight to protect their enchanted forest.
MULAN – MARCH 27, 2020
The tale of a Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man to fight in her father’s place during a war, “Mulan” returns to theaters as a live-action movie in just seven months.
Chinese actor Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, will star as Mulan. Rumors of whitewashing swirled when a person who claimed to have read a script said the movie would feature a White male lead. However, a source close to the film says “all primary roles, including the love interest, are Chinese.”
This version of “Mulan” is sure to boost the Asian community’s standing in the entertainment world.
Viewers will notice one difference between the 1998 animated film and the new version right away: it won’t be a musical, shattering hopes of a live rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
“It’s a big, girly martial arts epic,” the director says. “It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.”
CRUELLA – DEC. 23, 2020
The origin story of “101 Dalmations” villain Cruella de Vil is the focus of this Disney live-action movie. Emma Stone is set to star. Glenn Close played the character in the 1996 live-action “101 Dalmatians” and the 2000 follow-up “102 Dalmatians.”
In the live-action 2015 Disney TV movie “The Descendants,” Cruella was played by Howard University graduate Wendy Raquel Robinson, best known for her work on the TV series “The Game.”
FUTURE DISNEY REMAKES
PETER PAN – TBA
TINK – TBA – Follows Peter Pan’s fairy Tinker Bell, set to star Reese Witherspoon.
THE SWORD IN THE STONE – TBA – This take on the animated original about King Arthur’s origins will be written by a “Game of Thrones” producer.
PINOCCHIO – TBA
LILO & STITCH - TBA
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME – TBA
LADY & THE TRAMP - TBA
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS – TBA
ROSE RED – TBA – This spin on the Snow White story focuses on her sister, who was in the old fairytale but not the movies.
PRINCE CHARMING – TBA – The handsome prince steps up for his spotlight, but is he Cinderella’s man or Snow White’s man? Or is he seeing them both? We don’t know yet.
THE LITTLE MERMAID – TBA - This movie may be in its early stages but it made big waves when Disney announced on July 3 that its live-action mermaid Ariel would be Halle Bailey, known for appearing on “Grown-ish” and as one half of R&B act Chloe x Halle. Production will begin in 2020.