According to entertainment reporter and industry insider Daniel Richtman, Disney is currently working on a live-action adaptation of The Black Cauldron, the financially under-performing and critically disastrous animated film of the 80s. And while exciting to hear, this isn’t too surprising to learn about, as We Got This Covered first told you last year that a remake was in the works.
While Disney has yet to officially announce anything, Richtman’s claims correspond to a few of Disney’s recent business decisions. In 2016, the media conglomerate re-acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, a series of books written by the American author Llyoyd Alexander on which the original animated film was based.
That adaptation, based largely on two of the five books in Alexander’s series, tells the fantastical story of a young pig keeper who teams up with a princess to prevent an evil king from coming into possession of the titular Black Cauldron, a magical object which bestows upon its owner the power to raise an army of warmongering demons.
Produced in 1985, The Black Cauldron marked a sharp departure from Disney’s usual MO. Not only was the film, unlike the vast majority of its predecessors, based on a contemporary story rather than one or other age-old, public-domain fairy tails, but its story and art design were also much darker and scarier than audiences were expecting.
As many parents were unwilling to take their kids to the film, the box office suffered terribly and the financial strain and cultural backlash eventually motivated Disney to auction off their rights to the story. Still, the tainted legacy of The Black Cauldron was not all bad for the company. For one, it led them to return to making movies about fairy tales, a strategic move that led to the so-called Golden Age of the 90s.
Of course, The Black Cauldron is hardly the only live-action Disney film in development. At the moment, the Mouse House is also hard at work on their Emma Stone-starring reboot of 101 Dalmatians, titled Cruella, as well as an adaptation of 1997’s Hercules, which is set to be produced by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo.