Count me in as a major fan of the underrated Disney classic Lady and the Tramp. If you don't count the scene where the Tramp offers Lady the last meatball as romantic as anything in Titanic, we can't be friends. Following in the footsteps of the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Lion King, Disney may be working on its next animal love story remake very soon. A Lady and the Tramp live-action remake may happen, and, honestly, I'm more excited for a new rendition of "Bella Notte" than I am for "The Circle of Life."
The Hollywood Reporter says that Charlie Bean, director of The Lego Ninjago Movie, has signed a deal with Disney's impending digital streaming service to direct a live-action/CG hybrid remake of 1955's Lady and the Tramp. The streaming service is set to launch in the fall of 2019, and its future plans include producing four to six movies a year. The Disney-owned Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars brands will also offer content through the new outlet. Jon Favreau, who directed Disney's Jungle Book remake and is currently working on The Lion King, has already been hired to work on a live-action Stars Wars TV series. It sounds like the streaming service is already in amazing shape, especially because such a big-name remake is now linked to it.
Clearly sticking to what has worked in the past when it comes to Disney remakes, the project has also signed on producer Brigham Taylor, who worked on The Jungle Book. Andrew Bujalski, who previously worked on low-budget indie films, will write the Lady and the Tramp script.
When news of the Disney streaming service first broke in February, Deadline reported that the outlet will first launch as a "domestic service" and then eventually become available to overseas audiences. It's unclear how long the service will run before it is open to foreign users, but given the scale of some of its TV shows and movies, I would assume it'll open to all audiences fairly quickly.
Although response to the news on Twitter includes the usual skepticism about another Disney remake, some fans seem genuinely excited for the upcoming film.
Other people reacting to the announcement brought up points such as other Disney remakes they'd prefer to see and which of the original film's moral messages should be changed.
Pricing for the streaming service hasn't been finalized either, but depending on how high the price goes, it could veer off interested young fans without the little kids who may be the target audience of many of the outlet's works. In addition to its plans for Lady and the Tramp, the streaming service is reportedly looking into remaking the 1963 Disney film The Sword in the Stone as well.
While both titles are recognizable to major Disney fans, it does make sense that Lady and the Tramp and Sword in the Stone would be reserved for the streaming outlet rather than theatrical releases. Although they're both popular, they don't exactly attract as many positive opinions as some of the past few years' remakes, such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, have.
Disney also has remake productions of Aladdin and Mulan in the works. The studio also releases the Mary Poppins sequel Mary Poppins Returns later this year. With Lady and the Tramp now added to that calendar of future debuts, it's clear that we have to keep a close eye on Disney in the next few years. Let's hope that new projects aren't swept to the side amidst this burst of remakes.
Until we get a hint of how committed to the parts the lead dogs will be in this remake, I'll be watching Lady and the Tramp's spaghetti scene on repeat.