Oscar-Winner Questlove to Helm Disney’s Next Live-Action Remake

in Movies, Movies & TV

Kitten in The Aristocats trying to go out a door

Credit: Disney

Ready or not, more live-action Disney remakes are coming your way, and the next one will be led by an Academy Award-winning producer.

disney animated classics
Credit: Disney

A cat’s the only cat who knows where it’s at. But it seems like Academy Award-winning director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is ready to take on a challenge of feline proportions: helming the long-anticipated live-action remake of the Disney classic, The Aristocats (1970).

Coming off the success of his highly-praised directorial debut, Summer of Soul (2021), Thompson has seemingly been weighing his options about which project to peruse next. His first foray into directing led him to take home the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2021, meaning fans’ expectations were certainly high. Thompson’s pick? A buzzy collaboration with Disney, as part of the studio’s ongoing efforts to adapt their animated classics to live-action.

As reported by Deadline, Thompson has found his feature film directing debut in a live-action adaptation of Disney’s beloved animation, The Aristocats. Sources claim that Thompson is also executive producing and overseeing music for the project. The script comes from Peter Rabbit (2018) director Will Gluck and Onward (2020) writer Keith Bunin. Along with Thompson, Tarik Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman will exec produce on behalf of Two One Five Entertainment.

Aristocats scene
Credit: Disney

As Disney fans well know, The Aristocats follows a family of Parisian cats who find themselves in a sticky situation after their owner’s disgruntled butler abandons them in the countryside upon learning that the felines are set to inherit a large fortune. Duchess and her three kittens, Marie, Toulouse, and Berlioz must team up with the smooth-talking Thomas O’Malley to make it home to Paris, and encounter a cast of singing strays, troublemakers, and other eclectic characters along the way.

While details surrounding The Aristocats remake remain scarce, fans were given somewhat of an idea as to how the film will look. According to sources, the movie will feature a hybrid live-action/CGI style similar to that of 2019’s The Lion King or the more recent Pinocchio (2022).

Aristocats cats
Credit: Disney

The Aristocats is far from the first classic animation to get the live-action treatment. It’s no secret that—for better or worse—Disney has been pumping out reboots of cherished stories such as Aladdin (2019), Beauty and the Beast (2017), and Mulan (2020) since 2015’s Cinderella. These projects have been met with mixed reviews from both fans and critics who question these remakes’ necessity. However, they continue to perform well at the global box office and have clearly been successful enough for the company to greenlight new adaptations based on properties including Lilo & Stitch and the upcoming Halle Bailey-led musical, The Little Mermaid (2023)

As of now, it’s unclear when audiences can expect to see this updated version of The Aristocats hit theaters or if the project will skip a theatrical run altogether in favor of a Disney+ release. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see Thompson put his personal spin on this beloved source material, and if this new iteration of the film will perhaps address the original’s more controversial elements. But with Questlove, a renowned musician, at the helm, it’s sure to be a fun-filled trip down memory lane.

Are you excited to see Questlove’s take on The Aristocats? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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