Soon Disney will have too much content on their hands. Between their own films, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm, it only seems necessary that they have multiple platforms to utilize. So it will be interesting to see which projects land where.
One project that will have a theatrical release treatment is an untitled animated title from Crazy Rich Asians writer Adele Lim and Moana producer Osnat Shurer. More on the report below.
Deadline says the project between Lim and Shurer is being set up for the directorial debut of Disney veterans Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins. While the plot is being kept a secret, the film will have an Asian element running through it and a female protagonist. Now the team is in the process of casting the lead. In addition, the film will be released in theaters as opposed to being put on Disney’s streaming service.
Shurer’s involvement suggests that it could be similar to Moana, at least thematically. In that film, we followed the strong-willed titular character, who embarks on a fantastical oceanic adventure to save her island from destruction. However, it won’t be a musical.
As for Lim, she has become a highly sought writer after coming off penning the script for Crazy Rich Asians. The film, which as grossed over $200 million on a $30 million budget, helped redefine Asian representation in the entertainment industry.
Briggs served as a story artist on Zootopia and Tangled. He was also the head of story on Big Hero 6 and Frozen. Wellins was a story artist on Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and Tangled. Now it may look like another Moana with two white guys directing an animated film with a woman of color lead, but we have to remember the efforts that went into Moana. The Disney animation team took an entire crew to research the island. Not only that, but they assembled a story trust team of native Polynesians to develop the story. So they have shown that they will go to great lengths to be culturally sensitive.
I can only hope that the team makes some additions to the team. We’ve already spoken to some members of the Disney story team who would be perfect for a film like this. But I am just saying this as an outsider. The film is still in the early stages of development, it’s possible that these additions could be made. It will be interesting to see if the film will have a broad Asian scope or if it will be more ethnically focused. Guess we will just have to wait and see.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as more news on this comes out.