Disney is looking to capitalize on the age of live-action movies, creating an era where once animated characters and stories are being brought to life with live actors. Disney has seen great success with its recent live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and is now working to move along another one of its titles, Sword in the Stone. There had already been talks of releasing the film but things hit a snag when there was silence about the progress of the idea. There had been no director and only the murmurings of a script being written by Bryan Cogman, (Game of Thrones) for the movie but Cinemablend recently released that there is now a name attached to the director’s chair! Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the director of 28 Weeks Later.
The combination of Cogman and Fresnadillo adds some intrigue to what kind of film The Sword In The Stone will be when it’s made. It could be a much darker telling of young Arthur finding the sword and becoming an apprentice of Merlin, which is what we saw in the original animated move that came out in 1963. Disney can afford to gamble on changing the feel of this classic as it has a rolodex of live remakes that they are pushing to put into theaters in the next year or two; 2019 alone will see Dumbo, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh starring Ewan McGregor.
With the recreation of some its classics, which are innumerable, and the recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets it can be assumed the next few years will see theaters continue to be dominated by these expansions of the Magic Kingdom. Until audiences start to cool off on them, of course. Then it’ll be onto the next trend.
Another interesting tidbit in all this? Merlin features prominently in the original Sword In The Stone, and is a fixture in the King Arthur mythology. Yet it was only weeks ago that rumors began to swirl that Ridley Scott was being courted by Disney to direct an adaptation of the Merlin Saga books, with the first film being written by one of the writers of the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Philippa Boyens. Now, it’s entirely possible that these projects will have nothing to do with one another, but in a time when Shared Universes are all the rage, wouldn’t be interesting if Disney could find a way to merge the two into the same world?
Otherwise, they’re going to conceivably be depicting two live-action versions of Merlin in the coming years and that could get confusing for audiences.
What do you think?