Despite Disney’s number of live-action remakes, the studio is overlooking one film in particular that would be a perfect fit for a reboot.
Although Disney has made many live-action remakes of their animated films, there is still one classic movie that Disney has ignored: Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Set in 1914, Atlantis: The Lost Empire tells the story of Milo Thatch, a naïve museum cartographer who uses a long-lost journal to guide a team of explorers to the underwater city of Atlantis. Although there have been rumors of a Atlantis: The Lost Empire remake being in development, there has been no official confirmation from Disney. Despite this, however, now is the time to revisit history.
Over the past few years, Disney has remade many of its beloved animated films. Some of them have been very popular, such as The beauty and the Beast (2017) and Maleficent (2014), which changed the perspective of the story to focus on Maleficent rather than Sleeping Beauty. However, other live-action remakes that did little to update the original films were less successful, including The Lion King (2019) and the Lady and the Tramp (2019). Despite these mixed results, Disney plans to continue adapting some of its best-known works into live-action films and has already revealed some cast members for Peter Pan and Wendy (2022) and The little Mermaid (2023).
For all live reboots currently underway, however, there are currently no set plans for a Atlantis: The Lost Empire redo. Since the movie didn’t do well at the box office and is unlike most Disney movies, it was often overlooked. However, despite these disappointing returns, Atlantis: The Lost Empire has become cult since its release in 2001. If converted into a live-action film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire could not only gain popularity, but show audiences a lesser-known story. In addition, Atlantis: The Lost EmpireThe unique world building and distinctive characters would work well in the live action setting.
An aspect of Atlantis: The Lost Empire that would translate well to a live-action film is the unique setting it represents. While all locations in the film are richly detailed, the city of Atlantis itself is where the world-building really stands out. Atlantis features its own fictional language and ecosystem, designed specifically to survive underwater. Additionally, the design of Atlantis draws inspiration from many different civilizations to reflect its multicultural mythical origins. This, combined with the watery setting, shaped Atlantean architecture, technology, and even tattoos, provides the opportunity for a cinematic film with beautiful and unique locations.
In the same way, Atlantis: The Lost Empire also succeeds in creating strong characters for a follow-up to work with. Although Milo travels with a large crew of explorers, his key members all have well-developed personalities and diverse backgrounds, which influence their relationships with each other. Even Kida, the princess of Atlantis who is introduced much later in the film, stands out with her bold personality. A live-action remake of Atlantis: The Lost Empire would highlight this diverse cast, which forms the emotional core of the story. Not only would a remake therefore allow the filmmakers to revisit the less successful aspects of the original, but many of the laudable elements of the first film could be incorporated to provide a solid live-action foundation.
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