During an earnings call with investors on Tuesday, Disney chief Robert Iger announced that the studio is developing reboots/re-imaginings of family-friendly hits such as Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper by the Dozen for its forthcoming streaming service Disney+.
Elsewhere, Iger said that Disney plans to continue Fox’s acclaimed Planet of the Apes franchise, and that Fox Searchlight will be making movies for Disney+, though Disney will pare back the total number of releases from Fox’s film divisions. Of course, Fox has Brad Pitt‘s space epic Ad Astra and James Mangold‘s racing drama Ford v Ferrari on the immediately horizon, while its 2020 releases include the Amy Adams thriller The Woman in the Window and Steven Spielberg‘s musical West Side Story — not to mention James Cameron‘s Avatar sequels.
As far as these development projects go, the only one I’ve heard rumblings about is the reimagining of Home Alone, which could turn the tables and follow a husband and wife who go to war with a young boy who has stolen something from them, rather than the original premise of a young boy who goes to war with a pair of inept thieves looking to rob his house.
Word on the street is that Borat scribe Dan Mazer is the top choice to direct, and Melissa McCarthy is being eyed to star, but it also sounds like everything is still up in the air, and the studio hasn’t settled on a direction just yet. Besides, it’ll all come down to who is cast as the boy at the center of the story, and the truth is that there just aren’t a ton of Macaulay Culkin-level talents running around Hollywood these days, though I was certainly impressed by Julia Butters‘ breakout turn as Leonardo DiCaprio‘s precocious young co-star in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.
The first Home Alone is one of my all-time favorite movies, but it’s certainly not untouchable, and a modern-day reboot could actually work, in that it presents all kinds of new opportunities given the technology that is available to kids these days — though all the fancy gadgets in the world might have a tough time topping the Talkboy in terms of coolness factor.
The other properties on the docket make sense for Disney+ as the streaming service sets out to make a name for itself. The Night at the Museum franchise grossed nearly 1.5 billion worldwide, while the Wimpy Kid movies took in nearly $300 million worldwide, so each child-friendly property has a strong fanbase that, in theory, would follow those titles to Disney’s new streaming service. Even the two Cheaper by the Dozen movies grossed over $300 million, and I could see Disney assembling a young, fun, diverse cast for that film, depending on how the studio chooses to ‘reimagine’ that title.
Is there anyone you’d like to see take over the Steve Martin role in Cheaper by the Dozen? What about Ben Stiller‘s part in the Night at the Museum reboot? Is there a child actor out there who you think could fill Culkin’s big (size 6, or thereabouts) shoes? Let me know on Twitter, because I’m very curious what you folks make of Disney+’s ‘raid the library’ strategy.