When I wrote about the planned CGI-remake of Bambi back in January, I wondered when Disney was going to release details about its next remake. A bit over two months later, we know: The studio is planning on a live-action/CGI-remake of 1973’s Robin Hood:
Much like The Lion King, the new version of Robin Hood will “feature the characters as anthropomorphic, this time in a live-action/CG hybrid format,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will also be a musical. The original version famously portrayed the noble thief of Sherwood Forest as a fox, while his gang of merry men were illustrated as other animals. Little John was a black bear, the Sheriff of Nottingham was a wolf, Friar Tuck was a badger, and perhaps most memorably, Prince John was a thumb-sucking, jewel-encrusted crown-wearing lion.
Carlos López Estrada, best known for directing 2018’s Blindspotting, will take on the Robin Hood remake. Kari Granlund, who wrote Disney’s recent Lady and the Tramp remake, is on board to pen the script. It’s unclear when Disney is looking to start the project, but production around the world has shut down as people social distance to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Disney’s most recent remake was a miss: The studio’s take on Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle stories, Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr., did not do well at the box office. Before that, 2019’s Lady and the Tramp was released directly to Disney+ and not in theaters. I started watching it and got bored (though I really loved the casting of Ashley Jensen as the voice of the excitable Scottish Terrier, Jock, in a gender-switch for the character). Next up is Mulan, which had its March release date pushed back to July. As The Robin Hood Verge article notes, releasing films only to Disney+ is a great way to get new subscribers. And, right now, while it’s a necessity because, releasing movies only on Disney+ also gives current subscribers reasons to keep their subscriptions.
I rewatched the animated Robin Hood for the first time in years a couple of years ago and enjoyed it more than I did when I was younger. I think it gets forgotten by a lot of people because it’s not one of the princess movies of the ’30s or ’50s: Maid Marian isn’t the protagonist, and there’s more focus on the friendship between Robin Hood and Little John. I’ll watch this when it comes out. I thought the CGI of The Lion King was less distracting than some of the CGI in The Jungle Book. (I still haven’t watched Dumbo, because I know it’s going to make me cry, and I don’t want to do that right now!)