Ahead of the official release of the latest live action remake from Disney in Jon Favreu’s The Lion King and as The Little Mermaid gets underway with casting news, attention turns to what’s coming next from the entertainment giant.
It’s obvious that the studio is looking to its back catalogue to make the most of the properties it owns and another animated classic that’s now in talks for a live action remake is 1985’s The Black Cauldron. According to our sources, it’s just one of many titles that Disney is considering redoing at the moment and as with some of the other ones we’ve reported on lately, it’s only in the very early stages of development, so we don’t have any word on casting just yet.
It’s certainly an interesting idea, though, as the movie is a much forgotten flop for Disney that’s spoken about as the animated classic that almost killed the studio. At the time of its release in 1985, the project had a huge budget of $44 million; giving it the title of the most expensive animated pic ever made back then. But after earning just $21.3 million domestically, the movie was a big loss and put Disney close to bankruptcy.
With its basis in Welsh mythology, the film’s a loose adaptation of the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. If you’re not familiar with this little-known Disney animation, The Black Cauldron is set in the mythical land of Prydain during the Early Middle Ages and focuses on the evil Horned King who wants to get his hands on an ancient magical cauldron that will help him conquer the world. The hero of the piece is a pig keeper named Taran who’s joined by princess Eilonwy and Gurgi, a dog-like creature as they set out to destroy the cauldron to prevent the king from taking over the world.
With its human-led cast, large-scale visuals and interesting imagery, it’s not difficult to see how The Black Cauldron could look on the big screen with the live action treatment – especially if it interested a director with a particular style. In fact, one of the animators on the original film was none other than recent Dumbo helmer Tim Burton in his first stint as a Disney animator. Working on this project, his drawings and ideas were deemed too dark for the animation studio, but it could definitely be an interesting pic for the director to return to and make the movie in his image.