It’s been less than a week since the Walt Disney Company announced their latest live-action reinvention of one of their classic animated films (and that movie was Genies by the way, a prequel to Aladdin, in case you missed it) and they’ve already announced another one: this time, it looks like Disney is going back to the well of Arthurian myth and legend for a live-action treatment of their 1963 classic The Sword in the Stone. They’ve also tapped someone to write the screenplay who is more than a little bit familiar with the realms of sword and sorcery, in the form of Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman. Cogman teased his new job via Twitter, showing himself trying to pull the sword out of the stone in front of King Arthur’s Carousel at Disneyland, with the tagline “research.”
The original animated film was somewhat based loosely on T.H. White’s novel of the same name, which ultimately became part of the author’s multi-book epic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King. It’s likely that this new live-action version will hue closer to that original novel more than the original animated film, if only because kids are bit more sophisticated these days (that, and they need to entertain their parents who are going to be the ones taking them).
I imagine stuff like the kid version of King Arthur and a goofier version of Merlin the Magician will still be key elements, however, because this is still Disney after all. The Sword in the Stone joins other live-action Disney remakes or prequels to their animated classics like Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Winne the Pooh, Mulan, Tinkerbell, portions of Fantasia and Pinocchio. I’m not missing any am I? They didn’t suddenly announce a live-action version of The Aristocats when I wasn’t looking, I hope.