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The young prince is returning to the forest.
In the latest move to turn its animated classics into live-action features, Disney has set its sights on one of its most storied: Bambi.
The studio has hired Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel, Tomb Raider) and Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Chaos Walking) to pen the screenplay for the live-action remake.
Depth of Field, the production banner run by Chris and Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano and which is coming off the success of indie darling The Farewell, will produce the new iteration.
The original movie, released in 1942, told the story of a young fawn named Bambi as he learns his place in the forest. With his two best friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, Bambi comes of age as he faces the joys and heartache — cue the loss of a parent — of growing up.
The film received three Oscar nominations — best song, best score and best sound — but was not initially held in high esteem as it is in modern times.
Insiders say the studio views Bambi as a type of companion piece to its remakes The Jungle Book and The Lion King, which were not live-action per se but certainly made to look that way. The two, both hits (Lion King generated $1.65 billion when it was released last year), were made using envelope-pushing CG technology to create ground-breaking photo-realistic and immersive worlds of nature. The studio is cognizant that Bambi is less epic in scope and story and is not aiming to shoehorn a larger narrative onto the classic tale.
The live-action remake continues to pay off for Disney as the last two outings, Jon Favreau’s Lion King and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, were billion-dollar grossers. Upcoming in the pipeline are The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey, and David Lowrey’s take on Peter Pan, titled Peter and Wendy.
Depth of Field is already working on a Disney live-action remake as it is in active development on Pinocchio which has Robert Zemeckis directing.
Robertson-Dworet and Beer are two of the most sought after tentpole writers, with upcoming credits that range from Warner Bros.’ Hello Kitty (Beer) to Fox/Disney’s Andy Weir adaptation Artemis (Robertson-Dworet) to Universal’s female Fast & Furious spinoff (both). Along with fellow writer Nicole Perlman, they run production banner Known Universe, which focuses on female-fronted genre stories.
Beer is repped by attorney firm Gang Tyre while Robertson-Dworet is repped by Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson.
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