Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson has already won an Oscar. Now, he’s coming for more hardware partnering with Disney to direct a live-action version of The Aristocats.
The popular 1970 animated movie is about a family of fabulous felines who live in Paris. When their owner dies, they will inherit a fortune, but when the owner’s jealous butler finds out they’re coming into money, he spirits them off into the countryside. The cats must work with a tomcat to get back to Paris.
The original film made $191 million, and that’s by ’70s standards. It also popularized the theme song and the track “Ev’ry Body Wants to Be A Cat.”
The new version, which already has a script by Will Gluck and Keith Bunin, will follow the live-action CGI success of remakes of animated Disney films like The Lion King, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast and the upcoming reboot of The Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey as Ariel.
Thompson will executive produce and oversee the music on the movie, along with his business partners, Roots frontman Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman. They will produce under their banner Two One Five Entertainment.
The musical legend made his jump into directing with his 2021 documentary Summer of Soul, which examines the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, and despite boasting big names like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simon, and Gladys Knight, didn’t garner the same attention as Woodstock which took place at the same time.
In 2021, he told Pitchfork how he lived with the documentary for months to ensure its production was perfect.
“I kept this on a 24-hour loop for about six months straight. Slept to it. Traveled to it. It was the only thing I consumed. I didn’t watch any movies, television shows. Nothing. If something hit me, I wanted to get it organically,” he said. “While the master reel was being reprocessed and digitized—which took like five months—anything interesting I saw, I noted. When I felt that I had enough goosebump moments, I curated it like I curate my DJ sets or like I curate a show. I work backward. Always start with the ending first, and then work my way to the front.”
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