A full 23 years has passed since The Walt Disney Company last adapted Jack London's classic story White Fang, and apparently that's just enough time for the studio to start moving forward on a remake.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news about the developing adaptation,and says that Disney has already found a pair of talented filmmakers to move the project forward. According to the report, Jose Rivera, who earned an Academy Award nomination in 2004 for his screenplay The Motorcycle Diaries, has been tapped to pen the script for the movie, and cinematographer Lance Acord will be making his directorial debut with the film. While that may sound like he's a newbie, the truth is that he's partially responsible for some of incredibly beautiful and visually fantastic films. He's best known for his collaborations with Spike Jonze, having worked as the Director of Photography on Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where The Wild Things Are. He most recently worked with Mad Men star John Slattery on his directorial debut, God's Pocket, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
White Fang was first published all the way back in May 1906, and it has been adapted into a feature film five times before, the first made in 1925. The story is set in the Yukon Territory of Canada and follows a young wolf cub as he grows into an adult and works to survive in the harsh environment. The 1991 movie, directed by Randal Kleiser and starring Ethan Hawke, centered one just one part of the story where a young man rescues the wolf from a group of dogfighters and tames him. It's unclear exactly what direction Jose Rivera will be going with the narrative his screenplay, but it is known that he will be setting the story in modern times.
Kleiser's White Fang was one of Ethan Hawke's earliest performances and was made just as the actor's star was rising following the release of Dead Poet's Society in 1989. The film wasn't exactly a blockbuster when it came out, but it did manage to do fairly well given it's budget. Made for just $14 million, it wound up pulling in about $34 million domestically - which was enough for the studio to greenlight a sequel: 1994's White Fang 2: Mystery of the White Wolf. Of course, you may not remember that movie, because it didn't feature Ethan Hawke returning in the lead role and wound up making only a little over $8 million in returns.
Should this new version of White Fang go the same narrative route as the 1991 film, which talented up and coming young actor would you want to see take the lead role? Or do you think they should go in a completely different direction with the new movie? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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