Fear thee not, you holders of Disney stock who might have been nervous with this summer’s Lone Ranger bomb. 2015 is coming, and it’s now bringing with it the Jon Favreau (Iron Man) directed live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book. Disney announced Friday that the film will hit theaters October 9, 2015, which means their lineup of major releases for the year is currently looking like this:
Cinderella – March 13
Avengers: Age of Ultron – May 1
Tomorrowland – May 22
Inside Out – June 19
Ant-Man – July 31
The Jungle Book – October 9
The Good Dinosaur – November 25
Star Wars: Episode VII – December 18
That’s two Pixar movies (Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur), two high-profile reimaginings of animated classics (more on that below), two Marvel superhero movies (including the sequel to the third highest-grossing film of all time), a film directed by one two-time Oscar winner and starring another (Tomorrowland), and the rebirth of Star Wars. Wow.
Disney also dated the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which will be out May 27, 2016. The first live action Alice, which was directed by Tim Burton and starred Johnny Depp, kicked off what Disney is clearly hoping will be another trend on the order of comic book movies or teen fiction adaptations: revisiting its ample library of animated classics with new live action versions. In addition to the aforementioned Cinderella and Jungle Book, Disney is revisiting Sleeping Beauty in the form of Maleficent, out next May the 30th, is at work developing a Cruella de Vil movie, and also has the more generically fairy-tale movie Into the Woods out September 25, 2014.
Given that roughly half of that list features a Wicked-style revision from the original villain’s perspective, it’s worth asking exactly what sort of Jungle Book fans might expect. Favreau’s being coy on the subject for now, but did have this to say when his attachment to the project was announced:
I can’t say that much, but there is an interesting take [on ‘Jungle Book’] that could be very cool, and the hope is to relaunch a family brand with certain mythic elements. It is my first real family film since Elf, and there are action elements and visual effects that I feel like my experience on the Iron Man films are going to be useful.