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Dirk Libbey

Amid Princess And The Frog Live-Action Remake Rumors, Keith David Comments On His Involvement

Tiana and Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog.

The Disney live-action remake train is showing no slowing down. The recent live-action Little Mermaid made over a half billion dollars at the global box office, and while that’s actually a number on the low side when compared to films like Aladdin and the Lion King, it’s certainly no small feat. Recent reports indicate that another Disney Princess, The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana, is currently in line to get her own live-action film. One assumes that if the movie happens it will include an original cast, but it sounds like Keith David would be more than willing to return.

Keith David voiced Dr. Facillier, aka the Shadowman, in the original The Princess and the Frog and he posted to Twitter following the news that Disney was reportedly looking at giving that film the live-action remake treatment. He doesn’t know anything about the project, including if it’s even real, but that’s because nobody has asked him to play the role in live-action. David said…

I’m not sure if this is true, but I do know that Disney has not asked me to reprise the role of Dr. Facilier!

Disney has announced several live-action remakes that are in various states of development, from a live-action Snow White movie which will be out next year, to other projects that are still in the works from Lilo and Stitch to Tangled. However, the recent report from DisInsider that Princess and the Frog was getting the live-action treatment has not been confirmed. It’s unclear how far along such a project is or when we might see it.

A Princess and the Frog remake certainly makes a lot of sense. The movie is possibly more popular now than it has ever been before. The original animated film is also set to get some sort of sequel series on Disney+, though that has been delayed into next year. We’re also seeing The Princess and the Frog becoming a big part of Disney Parks with Tiana’s Bayou Aventure taking over Splash Mountain at both Disney Land and Walt Disney World. Based on what we know about Tiana's Bayou Adventure, its story will follow, not retell, the events of the movie. For the record, most of the original voice cast is returning for the new ride, but Keith David has yet to be announced

It’s not exactly a shock that nobody has called Keith David to reprise his role. As absolutely excellent as Keith David was in The Princess and the Frog, there has seemed to be little interest from Disney regarding using original voice actors in remakes. The only time that has happened so far was when James Earl Jones lent his epic voice to Mufasa in the Lion King remake as he had done in the original. 

The thing is, Keith David has an equally epic voice, and Disney could do a hell of a lot worse than casting him in live-action. While a lot of the original voice cast has likely “aged out” of the roles today, there’s no reason David couldn’t play Facilier in live-action. 

Of course, there could also be other reasons that nobody has reached out to Keith David. While we’re calling this reported film a live-action remake, not all of Disney’s “remakes” have actually been that. Some have been prequels, some have been sequels, and some have taken the original premise, but reframed it in some way. It’s possible that whatever live-action Princess and the Frog project might be in development might be, or could become, something like that.

While Disney has officially announced several of its live-action adaptations, it has yet to confirm The Princess and the Frog is one of them. Even if such a film is in development, it could end up getting scrapped for any number of reasons. If, and when Disney does confirm it, we’ll likely learn more about what it is, and whether there’s a chance Keith David could return. 

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