Disney's original catalog of films has transported audiences to many different points in history -- and it looks like the studio is exploring the Middle Ages. According to a new report from Deadline, Disney has begun developing Knights, a live-action family-adventure movie that would be set in the European Middle Ages. Knights is reportedly being written by Matt Orton, whose screenwriting credits include the Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley-led film Operation Finale. The film is reportedly being eyed for a theatrical release, as opposed to being released exclusively on the upcoming Disney+ streaming service.
Knights is described as an original story, which will center on a headstrong young woman who joins a knight on his quest to destroy a world-threatening artifact before it falls into the wrong hands. The project is still regarded to be in early development, but executives overseeing the project include Jessica Virtue and Chaz Salembier.
Virtue's upcoming projects with the studio include the live-action adaptations of Mulan and The Little Mermaid, as well as the 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella. Salembier has worked with Disney since 2015, and his projects include Cyrano the Moor and the upcoming Disney+ remake of Lady and the Tramp.
This is actually one of several Medieval-related projects that Disney is currently developing, including a reboot of Sword in the Stone directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and written by Game of Thrones alum Bryan Cogman. There's also a Ridley Scott-directed adaptation of The Merlin Saga, which was last reported to begin filming sometime this fall.
This announcement of Knights going into development comes at an interesting time for Disney as a whole, as the company's acquisition of Fox was finalized earlier this year. In addition, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed back in April that he will be stepping down in the coming months.
“I’m expecting my contract to expire at the end of 2021. I’d say, ‘This time I mean it,’ but I’ve said that before,” Iger said in April. “I’ve been CEO since October of 2005, and as I’ve said many times, there’s a time for everything, and that will be 2021. [That] will be the time for me to finally step down.”
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