'The Aristocats': Questlove To Direct Live-Action Hybrid Remake Of Disney Animated Film The Playlist

Last year, we saw Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson win an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for his fantastic acclaimed musical doc “Summer of Soul” which focused on the Harlem Culture Festival in 1969. The composer, filmmaker, producer, musician, historian, and travel/culture enthusiast (a true modern renaissance man) has been reportedly courted by Disney to tackle another one of their live-action remakes. A report from Deadline has revealed that Questlove is set to direct the Paris-set “The Aristocats” for Walt Disney Studios, a hybrid remake incorporating both CGI and live-action elements.

READ MORE: ‘Lilo & Stitch’: Zach Galifianakis Will Star In Disney’s Live-Action Remake From ‘Marcel The Shell With Shoes On’ Director

Hiring a musical historian and beloved drummer of the group The Roots for the film is a bit of genius on the part of Disney. Given how important jazz music is to the film, which features numerous musical numbers, and Questlove’s passion for it could help introduce a whole new generation to the underrated genre. We’re also hopeful that Questlove will be ironing out the racist tropes seen in the original film. Unlike a lot of the other Disney remakes, “The Aristocats” likely won’t have the same amount of people up in arms about it getting remade and allowing them to make various changes to modernize the story/characters. Then again, we previously saw what happens when studios tinker with musical cats as Andrew Llyod Webber‘s musical “Cats” got a recent theatrical treatment and was pretty much an abomination to our eyes. It’s less likely we’re looking at cat-human hybrids this time around.

Questlove will be directing from a script penned by Will Gluck and Keith Bunin.

If you’re not familiar with the 1970 release helmed by director Wolfgang Reitherman, you can read the official synopsis for the animated film from Disney below:

In the heart of Paris, a kind and eccentric millionairess wills her entire estate to Duchess, her high-society cat, and her three little kittens. Laughs and adventure ensue as the greedy, bumbling butler pulls off the ultimate catnap caper. Now it’s up to the rough-and-tumble alley cat, Thomas O’Malley, and his band of swingin’ jazz cats to save the day.

The next big releases from Disney will be David Lowery‘s “Peter Pan & Wendy” heading to Disney+ on April 28 and “The Little Mermaid” remake on May 26 starring singer Halle Bailey as the beloved mermaid princess, Ariel.

Other remakes/sequels on the horizon from Disney include Marc Webb‘s “Snow White” with Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot in lead roles set for March 22, 2024, Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins‘ (“Moonlight“) prequel “Mufasa: The Lion King” coming out July 5, 2024, a live-action remake of “Lilo & Stitch” from filmmaker Dean Fleischer Camp (“Marcel The Shell With Shoes On“) is gearing up to shoot in Hawaii, and Guy Ritchie is attached to direct “Hercules” with the Russo Brothers producing. There have also been plans at the studio to develop “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Bambi,” “Robin Hood,” and “The Sword In The Stone” into live-action remakes as well.