Disney's next "live-action" remake will reportedly be Bambi. The company has begun the process of adapting the animated classic into a CGI spectacle, rendered as if it is real. There is no telling when the movie might be released.
Disney has seen huge box office pay days with remakes of its animated classics in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter learned that the company had its sights set on Bambi next.
So far, the remake is in its very earliest stages. Screenwriters Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Lindsey Beer have been hired to write the adaptation. Robertson-Dworet is best known for co-writing Tomb Raider (Warner Bros.) and Captain Marvel, one of the latest hits from Disney-owned Marvel Studios. Beer wrote the upcoming Chaos Walking and Netflix's Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, among other things.
Bambi was originally released in 1942, and it followed the life of a young fawn learning to live in the forest. The coming of age story is often cited as one of Disney's most tragic and heart-wrenching tales, as it depicts the loss of Bambi's parents.
Insiders at Disney said that the remake of Bambi would be in the same style as the recent takes on The Jungle Book and The Lion King. So far the industry has not even found a convenient shorthand for this style, which is obviously not live-action but is realistically animated.
However, Disney does not expect Bambi to strike the same chord as these last two hits did. The story is smaller in scope, and the studio is reportedly weary of trying to make the movie too epic for its own good. Instead, it will be a "companion piece" to the other animal-centric movies.
Financially, this remake is a sound investment. Last year, The Lion King pulled in about $1.65 billion when it was released, and Aladdin crossed the billion-dollar mark as well. However, critics have not necessarily loved these do-overs, arguing that the whimsy and nuance of the originals is lost in a photo-realistic translation — particularly when it comes to animals.
"The thing is, there's no way to watch the new Lion King and not think of the old one, even if the new one is the only one you've seen. Every time a clunker dropped, I wondered if there was a version of the movie where it actually worked," Sam Adams wrote for Slate.0comments
Still, the movies are obvious hits for families with small children, and the audience scores reflect that. On Rotten Tomatoes, The Lion King currently has a score of 53 percent with critics and 88 percent with audiences.
Hopefully, Disney will soon balance that scale. Bambi is on the way, but first Disney has "live-action" remakes of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan coming down the pipeline.