Walt Disney Pictures is reportedly developing a live-action remake of its 1985 animated film The Black Cauldron. Disney re-acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, the five-part novel series penned by Lloyd Alexander that inspired the animated feature, in 2016. Published between 1964 and 1968, the fantasy series — The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King — was first optioned by the studio in 1971. The animated feature, largely inspired by the first two novels but having little resemblance to Alexander's works, will receive a re-do, according to scooper Daniel RPK.
It's not yet known whether Black Cauldron is being eyed for a theatrical release or a bow on Disney+, where the studio premiered its live-action Lady and the Tramp. Disney is also developing a live-action Lilo & Stitch for the streaming service.
Disney's animated Black Cauldron followed the magical adventure of assistant pig keeper Taran and his allies — Princess Eilonwy of Llyr, minstrel Fflewddur, wood creature Gurgi, and Hen Wen, a pig with the ability to predict the future — who banded together to keep a maniacal monarch, the evil Horned King, from possessing the Black Cauldron and using its demonic powers to raise an army of the dead and conquer the world.
Once the most costly animated film in history, The Black Cauldron was a commercial failure criticized by then-Disney studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said the too-dark animated film lacked the "humor, pathos, and the fantasy" strongly present in Alexander's works. Calling its story a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Katzenberg admitted it was "heartbreaking" seeing "such wonderful material wasted."
After scoring billion-plus box office hauls with live-action re-imaginings of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Disney will next translate beloved 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid — credited as the start of the renaissance era that redefined Disney animation after its prolific animated feature division was jeopardized by the failure of The Black Cauldron — into a live-action musical.
Other upcoming live-action remakes include Peter Pan & Wendy, the Emma Stone-starring Cruella, and Hercules, produced by Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
Fantasy, magic, and fun are all brewed together in Disney's legendary adventure The Black Cauldron. Whoever releases the mysterious Black Cauldron's power will be invincible! The fearsome Horned King will do anything to possess it, but he is challenged by the most unlikely adversary: a young assistant pig keeper named Taran, who dreams of doing heroic deeds. With a motley team of the brave Princess Eilonwy, a minstrel named Fflewddur Fflam and Hen Wen, a remarkable pig who can predict the future, Taran embarks on a quest to stop the Black Cauldron's evil once and for all. Will he have the courage to succeed?
Disney's animated The Black Cauldron is available for streaming on Disney+.