Disney Attaches Justin Theroux to ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Remake

Matthew Loffhagen
Disney
(Photo: Disney)

Hey, so apparently, Justin Theroux has been cast as the Tramp in the upcoming “Lady and the Tramp” reboot.

If you’re anything like me, this news has probably caused you to scratch your head. And not just because of the fleas!

Really, Disney? A “Lady and the Tramp” reboot?

Why?!

It’s not like I’m not a fan of the original. The animated “Lady and the Tramp” is a charming little movie that’s a quintessential example of the kind of romance films that typified its era in Hollywood.

Watching this now is like entering a time capsule to a simpler time, when all a movie needed in order to be successful was a pair of likable leads who could slowly fall in love over the course of a series of mishaps.

“Lady and the Tramp” perfectly pastiches the films of its era, before science fiction took control of the Hollywood landscape and relegated these kinds of movies to life under the slightly bashful “Rom-Com” banner.

That said, as delightful as “Lady and the Tramp” is, I can’t say that I’ve heard people crying out for a remake.

Getting On the Disney Bandwagon

This is one of the many oldschool animated classics that Disney is attempting to wring extra money from by commissioning tonally inappropriate live-action adaptations.

These films aren’t necessarily guaranteed hit, but once Disney managed to get Bill Murray for the “Jungle Book” movie, it was inevitable that we’d be getting more of these things.

Tim Burton’s “Dumbo” seems like a stupid enough idea. I don’t want to think about how twisted and cynical the “Lady and the Tramp” film will become.

There are different shades within the Disney Reboot pantheon. Some, like “Cinderella”, try to play things straight, evoking the oldschool nostalgia of the original.

Others, like “Malificent”, take things as far as possible in the opposite direction. The audience is shamed for ever deeming to judge a woman with horns who turns into a dragon and tries to murder a princess. She had good reasons, apparently!

I’m not sure I’m ready for an edgy reimagining of “Lady and the Tramp”, in which the film makes a pointed commentary about relationships in the 21st century. Something tells me this entire endeavor will be eye-rollingly cynical.

After all, it’s “Lady and the Tramp”. A movie with almost zero relevance in the modern pop-culture psyche. The only thing most people remember about this film is the meatball spaghetti kiss.

Grit in the Spaghetti

With such an overlooked property, the only way to make the movie grab people’s attention is to make it some kind of subversion of the original.

But as the message of “Lady and the Tramp” is that love is nice, I can’t imagine what gritty ideas are bouncing around internally within Disney.

Even if “Dumbo” doesn’t derail the current plans for a slew of cheap Disney cash-grabs, I get the feeling that “Lady and the Tramp” will kill the formula. Or at least damage it to some degree.

A live-action “Lady and the Tramp” reboot is a sign of Disney’s hubris.

There’s no way this can end well.

I’m just hoping they drop the Siamese cat song…

Oof, that’s problematic.