Disney has lined up another "live-action" remake of a beloved animated classic. The studio is reportedly putting together a remake of the hit 1970 film The Aristocats, best known today for the Sherman brothers song "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat." Will Gluck, who directed Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, is co-writing and producing, reports Deadline.
The new movie is inspired by the original film, which followed a group of aristocratic cats from Paris about to inherit a fortune from their owner. After the woman's jealous butler kidnaps them to hold them for ransom, they get lost in the countryside. On their way back to Paris, they meet the smooth-talking alley cat named Thomas O'Malley.
The Aristocats was based on a story by Tom McGowan and Tom Rowe and was the last film project Walt Disney personally approved before his death. It was directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and was an instant box office success. Since the film has remained one of Disney's more popular projects from the 1970s, the company has tried to continue the story before. There was a TV series planned in 2000 and a direct-to-video sequel planned in 2005, but both projects were ultimately scrapped.
Not too much is known about the "live-action" remake as it is still in very early development. It will likely be similar to the Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book remakes since The Aristocats features animal characters. Disney also hasn't decided if the project will go straight to Disney+ or will hit theaters first. Gluck will co-write with Keith Bunin, who worked with Pixar on Onward. Gluck is producing under his Olive Bridge Entertainment banner. Gluck's other credits include Easy A, Friends with Benefits, Annie, and Peter Rabbit.
The original Aristocats is available on Disney+. In October 2020, it was one of the films to get a short content disclaimer added due to offensive stereotypes. The Aristocats has drawn attention because of a cat character called Shun Gon, who is seen in the "Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat" number. The song also features a line referencing Chinese stereotypes, which will likely be changed for the remake. Disney also made a major change in the Lady and the Tramp remake, where "The Siamese Cat Song" was replaced by a completely new song.