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You probably got the memo that Disney is dedicated to remaking some of their classic animated films in live-action. So far we’ve seen a live-action Alice in Wonderland (with a sequel on the way), a live-action Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent), and a live-action take on Cinderella. And there will be plenty more where those came from. Now the Mouse House has added another title for this treatment with the announcement of a live-action Sword in the Stone.
First off, we so called this one.
But secondly, The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the news in revealing that Bryan Cogman, who’s a writer and producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones, will pen the script for Disney, which Brigham Taylor is on board to produce. If you’re familiar with Cogman’s body of work, then you know this guy knows his way around the fantasy genre. In addition to the world of Westeros, he is also helping to transform Magic: The Gathering into a movie and he already finished his adaptation of the young adult fantasy novel The False Prince.
The Sword in the Stone is an animated Disney film from 1963 that was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and features the voices of Karl Swenson (Merlin), Junius Matthews (Archimedes), and Rickie Sorenson (Arthur/Wart). It was loosely based on the T.H. White novel The Once and Future King, telling of a young King Arthur and his encounter with the wizard Merlin. Of course, with this being a Disney creation, it was a lot more lighthearted. After the King of England, Uther Pendragon, dies with no heir to his throne, a sword appears lodged in an anvil in London with an inscription saying that anyone who pulls it out will be the new king. Twelve years later, a young orphan stumbles on the home of Merlin, becoming his pupil and setting him on the course to pull out the sword in the stone.
Just so you have an idea of some of the other animated-turned-live-action Disney films that are coming down the road, here they are: The Jungle Book (with Scarlet Johansson, Idris Elba, and more), Mulan, a prequel to Aladdin called Genies, Pete’s Dragon (with Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford), Alice Through the Looking Glass (with Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp), Beauty and the Beast (with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens), Winnie the Pooh, Pinocchio, Tink (with Reese Witherspoon) based on Tinker Bell, and a film version of the Fantasia sequence called A Night On Bald Mountain. Oh yeah, and there's also Maleficent 2 in the works.
Outside of Disney, there was the live-action Snow White and the Huntsman that will continue at Universal with The Huntsman, and the studio also has a live-action Little Mermaid in development, though director Sofia Coppola dropped out. So, yeah, The Sword in the Stone shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. This trend doesn't seem like it's going to end anytime soon, so expect more projects like these to be announced in the near future.