Disney Announces Live-Action ‘Bambi,’ Bringing A Dwayne Johnson SNL Sketch To Life

in Disney, Movies & TV

Credit: SNL

Well, folks, it’s happened: Disney has announced they are moving forward with another adaptation of one of their classic, Golden-era films. This time it’s Bambi, Disney’s fourth feature-length animated picture, about a baby deer struck by tragedy when a hunter shoots his mother.

The venture was initially announced in 2020 when Disney tapped writers Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Lindsey Beer to join the project. At this time, Disney also brought on Depth of Field as producers.

Who Will Direct Disney’s Live-Action Bambi?

Bambi with Mom from 1942
Credit: Disney

Related: OP-ED: Disney’s Next Live-Action Remake Should Be ‘Oliver and Company’

Now, in the first news since then, we are learning that they have asked Sarah Polley, who recently won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Women Talking.

It is unknown yet what direction this film will take, especially given that, like The Lion King, the word “live-action” is being used loosely: The characters in Bambi are all animals, save one Hunter who never appears on the screen.

This means that Disney will have to animate the entire picture using CGI – it will just be CGI styled to look as much like real animals as possible without entering the uncanny valley.

How Will the Live-Action Version Differ from the Original?

Live-action Bambi
Credit: SNL

Related: Classic Disney Movie’s Legacy Up in the Air, ‘Bambi’ Horror Film In the Works

There’s no telling how Disney might edit or rework the script of this film to make it more modern – or long enough for a live-action feature – but Dwayne Johnson did make some good suggestions a few years ago, back in 2016.

You may remember his Saturday Night Live sketch:

Related: Live-Action ‘Bambi’ Cast Has Been Selected

In this SNL sketch in 2016, Dwayne Johnson gave us a taste of what a gritty reimagining of Bambi might have looked like – a commentary on the darker details they’d begun adding to adapted stories like Maleficent.

This story featured an older, anthropomorphized version of Bambi, played by Dwayne Johnson. Bambi, along with his friends Thumper (Vin Diesel (Taren Killam)), Flower (Tyrese Gibson (Jay Pharoah)), and Feline – AKA “girl Bambi” – (Michelle Rodriguez (Cecily Strong)), decides enough is enough. They storm the hunting lodge responsible for Bambi’s mother’s death, taking the hunters out with their own guns.

However, given that the film’s director is, in fact, Sarah Polley and not Furious 7 director James Wan, we sadly doubt this is the direction that the live-action Bambi will be taking.

Whatever direction it does take, we’ll simply have to wait and see – having just signed a director; it will probably be a while before the live-action Bambi truly begins to take shape. Be on the lookout for casting announcements in the coming months.

Who would you like to see play the roles in the live-action Bambi? Do you think this is a good idea for the company’s next film? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments.

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