Following The Lion King, Mulan, and Aladdin, to name a few, Disney’s 1973 classic animated film Robin Hood is the latest movie to get a live-action remake. This one, however, is going straight to Disney Plus.
Much like The Lion King, the new version of Robin Hood will “feature the characters as anthropomorphic, this time in a live-action/CG hybrid format,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie will also be a musical. The original version famously portrayed the noble thief of Sherwood Forest as a fox, while his gang of merry men were illustrated as other animals. Little John was a black bear, the Sheriff of Nottingham was a wolf, Friar Tuck was a badger, and perhaps most memorably, Prince John was a thumb-sucking, jewel-encrusted crown-wearing lion.
Carlos López Estrada, best known for directing 2018’s Blindspotting, will take on the Robin Hood remake. Kari Granlund, who wrote Disney’s recent Lady and the Tramp remake, is on board to pen the script. It’s unclear when Disney is looking to start the project, but production around the world has shut down as people social distance to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Robin Hood isn’t the first movie to be made a Disney Plus exclusive, but it is a sign of how Disney is thinking about its films. The Lady and the Tramp also became a Disney Plus-only title when the service launched in November 2019. Titles that aren’t going to generate an impressive return on investment in theaters (The Lion King and Aladdin both surpassed $1 billion at the global box office) make more sense as streaming exclusives. This builds up Disney’s streaming library and gives subscribers a reason to continue shelling out for the service.
The company is already looking at ways to streamline movies to Disney Plus. Artemis Fowl, originally set to have a theatrical release, will now debut on Disney Plus as a streaming exclusive. Executive chairman and former CEO Bob Iger told Barrons that more movies could become Disney Plus exclusives.
Disney recently announced that it has surpassed 50 million paid subscribers, thanks to launches in the UK, India, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland. Although Disney Plus did delay the launch of its service in France due to government concern that it would put too much strain on bandwidth, the app is now available there, too.
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