The buzz around Barry Jenkins’ involvement in the next chapter of Disney’s live-action Lion King saga is certainly electrifying. Amid mixed reactions to Jon Favreau’s 2019 adaptation, Jenkins’ unique approach promises a fresh take on Mufasa’s tale. Known for his Academy Award-winning work on *Moonlight* and *If Beale Street Could Talk*, Jenkins excels in exploring intricate family dynamics, a perfect fit for the epic background of the Pride Lands.

But Jenkins isn’t the only director who could breathe new life into classic Disney tales. Imagine a scenario where some of Hollywood’s most distinctive voices take the reins of Disney’s beloved stories! As we venture deeper into this thought experiment, let’s pair some celebrated directors with a few Disney classics still awaiting their live-action debuts.

First up, picture Baz Luhrmann—a master of vibrant visuals and dramatic flair—at the helm of *The Hunchback of Notre Dame*. With his penchant for bright, lavish spectacles as seen in *Moulin Rouge!* and *The Great Gatsby,* Luhrmann could transform the vivid contrast of the Festival of Fools against Frollo’s dark obsessions into a visual masterpiece. The resulting film would be a sensory banquet, and an emotional roller coaster that even Victor Hugo would applaud.

Next, consider the nuanced storytelling of Greta Gerwig directing *The Rescuers*. Gerwig, celebrated for her grounded, deeply human works like *Lady Bird* and *Little Women*, could bring a new dimension to the adventures of Bernard and Bianca. Through her lens, the film’s criminal capers and heartwarming undertones of friendship and courage could achieve newfound emotional depth, revitalizing a cherished franchise.

Now, who could tackle the daunting darkness of *The Black Cauldron* better than Guillermo Del Toro? Known for his gothic fantasies like *Pan’s Labyrinth* and *The Shape of Water*, Del Toro’s affinity for eerie, fantastical elements would be a match made in heaven for Disney’s most infamous flop. His collaboration with Disney could finally do justice to this misunderstood gem, creating a fantasy epic to rival all others.

For *Bambi*, Lee Isaac Chung, acclaimed for *Minari*, comes to mind. Chung’s deft handling of natural settings as an immersive character could brilliantly portray the ethereal beauty of Bambi’s forest world. His direction could bring an artful, poignant touch to the universally loved story of growth and loss in the animal kingdom, offering a serene yet captivating viewing experience.

Lastly, envision Damien Chazelle—the visionary director behind *La La Land*—taking on *Hercules*. Chazelle’s flair for expansive storytelling, infused with music and ambition, aligns seamlessly with Hercules’ mythic journey. This collaboration would spotlight the Muses’ lively inspiration, Hercules’ heroic trials, and Hades’ intricate schemes, capturing both the whimsy and the gravitas of the original animated film.

Which director and Disney story pairing excites you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to spread the magic by sharing this article with fellow Disney fans! Let’s keep the conversation going and dream up some more magical matches.

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