Disney's remake machine has geared up quite a bit, and the next few years will see multiple live-action remakes of its classic cartoons, using CGI technology not available when the originals were first made. Box office hits with Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and now Christopher Robin, Disney is prepping no less than four live actions films for 2019, including The Lion King, Dumbo, Aladdin, and Lady and the Tramp. Now comes word of a principal casting for the latter film, with news that Tessa Thompson will voice Lady in Lady and the Tramp.
But before fans get too excited, you should know unlike, say The Lion King or Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp will not be arriving on the big screen. All three are live-action/CGI hybrids, but Lady and the Tramp is being held back from the mainstream market. Instead, it will be released as part of the exclusive content to be found on Disney's forthcoming streaming service, nicknamed "Disneyflix."
Disneyflix is expected to release four to six original Disney moves a year, on top of such shows like the forthcoming as yet untitled Star Wars series from director by Jon Favreau, and the reboot of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. That they would hold back an A-list classic title from the box office to help populate the streaming service offering suggests just how serious Disney is about getting subscribers out of the gate.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thompson is one of the last pieces to fall into place:
Tessa Thompson will voice the upscale Cocker Spaniel opposite Justin Theroux's Tramp in Disney's live-action/CGI hybrid remake of Lady and the Tramp... Ashley Jensen is set to play Scottish Terrier Jackie, while Doctor Strange star Benedict Wong has been cast to voice English bulldog Bull. Kiersey Clemons will play the human character Darling, the owner of Lady.
The original cartoon film was released all the way back in 1955 in the middle of what was known as Disney's "Golden Age" (1937-1967.) The plot revolves around the famous class-crossing love story between the pampered Cocker Spaniel named Lady and the streetwise mutt named Tramp. Lady, ignored after her staff have a baby, accidentally escapes, only to be rescued, and taught the ways of the feral dog by Tramp. Their love scene over a plate of spaghetti, set to the song "Bella Notte," is one of Disney's all-time iconic cartoon moments.
As for who will be behind the camera:
The Lego Ninjago Movie filmmaker Charlie Bean is directing the remake, which is expected to debut on Disney's upcoming digital streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019. Andrew Bujalski wrote the script. Jessica Virtue and Chaz Salembier are overseeing for Disney.
Lady and the Tramp will be the second heavy on the CGI animal effects film for 2019, with The Lion King also arriving next year. Dumbo is also an animal-centric release, but at least that's really more just about one elephant than an entire pack of pachyderms.
No release date is set for Lady and the Tramp, though this is expected to change once Disneyflix has an official launch date.