Oliver Twist, the time-honored saga from Charles Dickens, is bound for the big screen once more with a, ahem, twist.
This time, Disney is fanning the flames of a live-action version, and has now enlisted both Ice Cube and Thomas Kail, the Tony-winning director of Broadway hit Hamilton, for this new interpretation. As you’ve likely already gathered from the addition of Kail, the Mouse House is angling this particular version of Oliver Twist as a modern musical, one in which Cube will play the infamous part of Fagin, the ringleader of a London gang who introduces our titular orphan to the seedy world of pickpocketing and theft. Hardship, murders and secrets ensue.
By casting the N.W.A rapper-turned-actor, who most recently produced the rather excellent Straight Outta Compton, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Disney is aiming to broaden the scope of the traditional Dickens story, incorporating new music genres including hip-hop and more. While we fully expect the focus to remain on the orphaned Oliver, who swaps life as an exploited child laborer for the cobbled streets of Victorian London, news that the Mouse House is ready to fine-tune the story for a modern era is intriguing in and of itself. Moreover, we understand that Thomas Kail will make his feature film debut with Disney’s Oliver Twist, though there’s currently no mention of when the camera will start rolling.
Looking further afield, Ice Cube will next be seen in Fist Fight, and is all but set to reprise his role as James Payton for action threequel Ride Along 3.