Disney’s Live-Action Remakes Don’t Pay The Original Creators

The Lion King

Disney has seen enormous financial success from their tactic of remaking their animated classics in live-action, but the response from critics and audiences alike has been much more mixed. It’s generally agreed that the new versions can’t top the original films, of course, but the relative creativity and entertainment value of the remakes is not the only controversial element about them. For instance, it’s known that the creators of the old movies don’t receive any fee for having their original works remade.

The latest filmmakers to talk about this are Gary Wise and Kirk Trousdale, the directing duo behind Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. They spoke with Collider and opened up about how they didn’t receive any money from the studio for the 2017 BatB reboot, which earned Disney a whopping $1 billion at the global box office.

Wise said:

“I didn’t get a red cent from the new Beauty and the Beast. No, there was no financial to it. And the fact that we got credit was a surprise to me.”

Trousdale agreed that their credit on the remake came as a nice surprise, given how they’d been ignored financially on the project, though he knows it’s likely only thanks to their friend Don Hahn that it happened.

“I got invited to the premiere at the El Capitan, which was a surprise. I know Don Hahn [who produced the original Beauty and the Beast] pulled strings to make that happen,” Trousdale said. “And I’m sitting there with my girlfriend and the credits went by was like ‘Holy crap there I am!’ Don worked his magic with that as well.”

Previously, Aladdin co-writer Terry Rossio expressed his disdain for how Disney is treating the original creators with these remakes when he tweeted that he and writing partner Ted Elliott received “zero compensation” for the 2019 reimagining. “Not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park,” he joked.

Mulan co-director Tony Bancroft has likewise been critical of Disney‘s remakes, so it’s unlikely he or his team have been compensated for the upcoming remake, starring Liu Yifei, which is due to hit streaming on September 4th for the premium price of $29.99.