Disney announces Jungle Book, Maleficent sequels

Angelina Jolie, who played the title role in Maleficent, will star in the sequel.
Angelina Jolie, who played the title role in Maleficent, will star in the sequel.PHOTO: WALT DISNEY

LOS ANGELES • Disney on Monday revealed casting information and titles for nine new pictures that rely on its animated back catalogue, including sequels to its hits, the current remake of The Jungle Book and the 2014 spin-off Maleficent.

The films, some already in development, include Cruella, starring Emma Stone as the villain from 1961's 101 Dalmatians, and a sequel to 1964's Mary Poppins, featuring Emily Blunt, the studio said in a statement.

Angelina Jolie will reprise her title role in Maleficent 2, with Linda Woolverton once again writing a script, while director Jon Favreau will revisit the story of man-cub Mowgli in Jungle Book 2.

Dwayne Johnson will star in Jungle Cruise, based on the ride that opened along with Disneyland in 1955.

Reese Witherspoon stars in Tinker Bell, a remake of 1953's Peter Pan, while Tim Burton helms Dumbo, a modern retelling of the 1941 classic.

Also making the list are A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle, based on the 1962 sci-fi novel, and The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, based on the 1816 fairy tale.

The company did not provide specific release dates for any of the nine pictures, but staked claims to five weekends from July 2017 through December 2019.

It has stepped up efforts to draw from its classic fairy-tale canon for live-action spin-offs since Maleficent.

It had record sales and profits last year in part due to the strategy, with pictures that included Cinderella, a live-action remake of its 1950 animated classic, and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, with an ensemble cast of Marvel superheroes.

Disney's announcement made no mention of Genies, a spin-off from 1992's Aladdin, and Night On Bald Mountain, reportedly a remake of 1940's Fantasia. Mulan, Pinocchio, The Sword In The Stone and Winnie The Pooh are all rumoured to be getting the live-action treatment.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Disney announces Jungle Book, Maleficent sequels'. Print Edition | Subscribe