Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the Oscar-winning director of “Summer of Soul,” is helming a remake of “The Aristocats” for Disney.
Similar to “Sonic the Hedgehog” or “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” the adaptation of “The Aristocats” will be a blend of live action and CGI.
Thompson, the drummer of the Roots, is also executive producing and overseeing music for the film. As previously announced, “Peter Rabbit” filmmaker Will Gluck and Pixar’s “Onward” writer Keith Bunin are adapting the screenplay.
Tarik Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman will serve as executive producers. Gluck, via his production company Olive Bridge, is producing along with Thompson’s Two One Five Entertainment.
Originally released in 1970, “The Aristocats” centers on a family of pampered felines — mother Duchess and her three kittens Berlioz, Marie and Toulouse — who live in Paris and are expecting to soon inherit a massive fortune. But when their owner’s jealous butler learns of their inheritance, he kidnaps the cats, who are forced to team up with a smooth-talking alleycat to reclaim their riches. The film, which popularized the songs “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat” and the theme music “The Aristocats,” was commercially successful with $191 million at the box office.
Disney has given numerous animated films the live-action treatment, including “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Mulan” and “Dumbo.” Remakes of “The Little Mermaid,” with singer Halle Bailey playing Ariel and Melissa McCarthy portraying the evil Ursula, as well as “Lilo and Stitch” are also in the works.
A founding member of the Roots, Questlove received acclaim as he pivoted to film by directing “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” about the untold story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. It premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2021 and took home the grand jury prize before landing the Academy Award for best documentary.