With its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney has thousands of titles in its arsenal to pad out its upcoming streaming platform Disney+. But rather than simply offer an archive of classic titles stretching back decades, the House of Mouse is going to slap the Disney brand on 20th Century Fox’s most family-friendly hits with reboots and “reimaginings” of titles such as Home Alone, Night at the Museum, and more.
Disney chief Robert Iger announced on an earnings call with investors that the studio is developing reboots and reimaginings of Fox’s family-friendly titles like Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper by the Dozen to debut on Disney+, according to Collider.
Collider noted that a Home Alone reimagining is furthest along in development, with the Disney remake set to “turn the tables and follow a husband and wife who go to war with a young boy who has stolen something from them.” The original Chris Columbus film, which starred Macaulay Culkin as the resourceful (any maybe psychotic?) boy who is left to fend for himself against a pair of hapless thieves attempting to rob his house, was a modestly budgeted sleeper hit that went on to make $476 million worldwide and become a Christmas rerun classic. No word yet on the young star who would step into Culkin’s big shoes, but Melissa McCarthy is reportedly being eyed to star in the remake directed by Borat scribe Dan Mazer. However, Collider notes that the studio hasn’t settled on a directior yet.
The other properties were also huge box office hits, with The Night at the Museum franchise grossing nearly $1.5 billion worldwide, while the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies raked in nearly $300 million worldwide. The recent Cheaper by the Dozen movies starring Steve Martin, themselves remakes of the 1950 film, also grossed over $300 million — making all three titles easy choices for Disney to build out its family-friendly base on Disney+.
Still, it’s a little discouraging to realize that most of the original “content” on Disney+ will be remakes, reboots, or Marvel shows. Live-action remakes of Disney animated films that don’t have as strong of a nostalgia pull like Lady in the Tramp are heading to the streaming service, as are series adaptations of mid-budget hits like Love, Simon. Apart from titles like The Mandalorian, or adaptations of YA novels like Stargirl, Disney+ seems to be falling heavily on recognizable IP, which is a smart but far too safe choice in the increasingly crowded streaming wars.
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