Walt Disney Pictures is reportedly developing a live-action remake of its 1985 animated film The Black Cauldron. Disney re-acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, the five-part novel series penned by Lloyd Alexander that inspired the animated feature, in 2016. Published between 1964 and 1968, the fantasy series — The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer, and The High King — was first optioned by the studio in 1971. The animated feature, largely inspired by the first two novels but having little resemblance to Alexander’s works, will reportedly receive a re-do.
It’s not yet known whether Black Cauldron is being eyed for a theatrical release or a bow on Disney+, where the studio premiered its live-action Lady and the Tramp. Disney is also developing a live-action Lilo & Stitch for the streaming service.
Disney's The Black Cauldron Trailer 1985
Disney’s animated Black Cauldron followed the magical adventure of assistant pig keeper Taran and his allies — Princess Eilonwy of Llyr, minstrel Fflewddur, wood creature Gurgi, and Hen Wen, a pig with the ability to predict the future — who banded together to keep a maniacal monarch, the evil Horned King, from possessing the Black Cauldron and using its demonic powers to raise an army of the dead and conquer the world.
It was the first Disney animated film to receive a PG rating as well as the first Disney animated film to be released in the Dolby stereo since Fantasia (1941). The film was released theatrically by Buena Vista Distribution on July 24, 1986 to mixed critical reviews and was a box office bomb. Following its release, Disney disowned the film for many years and did not give it a home video release until 1998. The fact that they are considering it now seems to indicate they are bereft of original ideas.