Disney's Sean Bailey Talks ALADDIN And MULAN Films; Says The Studio Won't Remake Anything Too Recent

Disney's Sean Bailey Talks ALADDIN And MULAN Films; Says The Studio Won't Remake Anything Too Recent

After the huge success of Beauty and the Beast this weekend, it's become clear that the remake train is full steam ahead at Disney, though there is a tentative boundary line; read on for more.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast remake took the box office by storm this weekend, taking in $350 million worldwide and shattering the previous domestic March record held by Batman v Superman. With the rousing success surrounding the remakes of their classic animated properties, it's no wonder the studio has a laundry list of them on the horizon; Jon Favreau's The Lion King has already begun casting, while Aladdin recently found a director in Guy Ritchie. 

In an interview with Vulture, Sean Bailey (president of Motion Picture Production at Walt Disney Studios) elaborated on why the decision was made to hire Ritchie, who is best known for his high-octane, crime-oriented films. “Guy became interested in doing a Disney movie and we talked a lot about it. When we talked about Aladdin, he said, ‘My stories are really about street hustlers. That’s what I know how to do. And Aladdin is a classic street hustler who makes good.’ Guy’s got his own version of that story in his life. But he wanted to honor and respect the Disney of it all,” Bailey said. “We never want to feel like we have a playbook to these things because we worry it’ll make us creatively complacent. The idea of a highly energized Guy Ritchie Disney musical felt like, Oh, we haven’t done that before.”

While Aladdin is holding true to its musical roots, one film that reportedly won't be is Mulan. Director Niki Caro recently told Moviefone that there are "no songs right now" in the film. While this may come as a disappointment to fans of the original, Bailey explained that the film is aiming to do something new. “Mulan is clearly an empowered-female story but we can also do something new in this reimagining, make it a little more muscular, stronger, with touch of Ridley Scott,” he said. “Obviously the idea of working with collaborators in China is an interesting opportunity too.”

Many have wondered if and where Disney will draw the line when it comes to re-adapting their animated films, and according to Bailey, the unofficial cutoff is anything after the year 2000. “We’re not looking at anything very recent, [anything] that still feels like it’s still the provenance of current Disney animation.” he said.

Are you looking forward to Disney's continued refashioning of their classic films? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out CBM's official review of Beauty and the Beast!
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