Yes, perhaps Disney is using the term “live-action” more liberally than they should with their upcoming slate of remakes, but at least the Disney+ Lady and The Tramp will have real dogs?
Actor Thomas Mann (who is playing Jim Darling in the upcoming remake) recently spoke with our friends over at Collider about several things, including the “period” piece-ness of Lady and The Tramp, as well as the use of real dogs:
Collider: There is such an interesting trend with these Disney classics, like Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, The Lion King and now Lady and the Tramp, where we’re getting to see them in a different way. What most excites you about the way that you’re telling the story of Lady and the Tramp?
MANN: I really think it’s an enhanced version of the world that you saw before. Obviously, the human characters are a little more flushed out. They’re not these passing faces that you barely get a glimpse of. You get to know them a little bit better. And also, there are real dogs. Who doesn’t want to see two real dogs kiss over a plate of spaghetti? That is the main draw for me. You get the charisma of real dogs in there. Lady and the Tramp came out in 1955. I understand people who are like, “Don’t mess with the original,” but they aren’t re-animating it. It’s a live-action remake. So, why not?
Collider: Did you actually get to act with dogs, or were they not there?
MANN: The dogs were there. We shot with the dogs, every day. They were on set and they weren’t even trained. They found these dogs and started training them about three months before. They just wanted to find the perfect dogs. The main dog’s name was Rose, who played Lady. It was crazy because they didn’t know they were working, so they would run off in the middle of a take, and then come back over. You have to be extra patient because you have to be good every time for when they are good once. It was a lot of fun. It was so cute, every day, to just have a bunch of dogs to play with. It made the job a lot less stressful.
Collider: I’m excited about it because I love that story, but I also think it will be really interesting to see what’s done with it because it does feel like there are so many possibilities.
MANN: It’s a little more dramatic, too. I wouldn’t say that it’s a full-on drama or anything, but it’s a little more grown up, in its own way, and a little more sophisticated. It looks beautiful, in the few things that I’ve seen, from the way it was shot. The production design, alone, is pretty immaculate.
Collider: That’s so cool! I cried with the Dumbo trailer, so I’m excited to see what Lady and the Tramp looks like, as well.
MANN: Just wait! It will be amazing! These dogs are movie stars.
Disney+’s live-action Lady and the Tramp is currently in production. Charlie Bean (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) is directing, Tessa Thompson is playing Lady, and Justin Theroux is playing The Tramp.
No release date is known yet, but the streaming service is expected to launch sometime in 2019.