Disney have found huge success in remaking their animated classics into live action, with the likes of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast raking in billions at the box office. Fans are perpetually wondering which animated movie will be next in line, with recent rumors continuing to swirl that it will be 2001’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Well, unfortunately for those wishing to see The Lost Empire realized in real-life, co-directors Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale are now putting these rumors to bed.
“I’ve heard, so far, the only rumor of Atlantis being tackled as a live-action movie has been strictly on the internet,” Kirk Wise said of the ongoing speculation. “I haven’t gotten any independent corroboration of that.”
“I’ve actually heard the opposite, that at the last big convention where Disney rolls out their five-year plan [D23 Expo], that Atlantis was not on the docket,” Gary Trousdale added.
Even if Disney does decide to give Atlantis: The Lost Empire the live-action treatment (which is surely bound to happen eventually) it would not have Wise and Trousdale jumping for joy, with neither director being particularly enamored by this remake approach.
“I sort of have mixed feelings about the live-action remakes,” Wise said. “On the one hand, it’s great to have been involved in movies that have had so much longevity and have created so much affection in the audience that they’d be excited to see a new adaptation of the movie, but sometimes I found myself saying, ‘Just go watch the old one, it’s still good.'”
Trousdale added, “My completely objective and non-varnished opinion is that the animated ones are better anyway – every single one of them. But that’s just me.” To that, Wise said, “It’s not just you.”
Clearly, Disney does not share these feelings, with the studio planning on bringing remakes of The Little Mermaid, Robin Hood, Hercules, and Peter Pan all to live-action life in the near future.
Set in 1914, Atlantis: The Lost Empire follows Milo Thatch, a lowly museum employee and linguist in the early 20th century who is determined to continue his late grandfather’s search for the lost, sunken empire of Atlantis. Bankrolled by eccentric millionaire Preston Whitmore, Milo teams up with a diverse crew of mercenaries led by submarine commander Rourke. After a sea battle with a giant denizen of the deep, the explorers locate the submerged civilization. Milo falls in love with Princess Kida, the daughter of Atlantis’ aged ruler, and must choose sides when it’s revealed that some of his fellow expedition members intend to steal a mystical energy source from their hosts.
Written by Tab Murphy, and directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, Atlantis: The Lost Empire features an ensemble cast with the voices of Michael J. Fox, Cree Summer, James Garner, Leonard Nimoy, Don Novello, Phil Morris, Claudia Christian, Jacqueline Obradors, Jim Varney, Florence Stanley, John Mahoney, David Ogden Stiers, Corey Burton, and Mark Hamill.
There have been rumored plans for an Atlantis: The Lost Empire remake for some time, with the gossip being that Guillermo Del Toro was in talks to direct. This was quickly dismissed as fake news by Del Toro himself. Still, there are many holding out hope that we will eventually delve into a live-action Atlantis somewhere down the line. This comes to us from Collider’s official YouTube channel.