As part of its ongoing celebration of the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros. Studios, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has commissioned short film adaptations of six classic movies from its vault.
These 20-minute shorts, which will be available to stream on Max later this year, will update the films through today’s more diverse and inclusive understanding of the world, with what WBD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team calls “representative casting, storytelling and narrative.”
Six filmmakers have already been chosen by a committee that includes WBD senior vice president of DEI in North America Karen Horne alongside individuals from Warner Bros. Pictures, Visual Communications, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, Urban World, Sundance Indigenous Lab, Outfest and ReelAbilities Film Fest. The filmmakers, who will receive a budget through which they can derive their own compensation, will begin production this summer and be mentored by a group of established producers and directors, including Greg Berlanti (The CW’s Arrowverse), Angel Manuel Soto (Blue Beetle), Blitz Bazawale (The Color Purple), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Danis Goulet (Night Raiders) and James Lebrecht (Crip Camp). Ali Afshar (American Wrestler: The Wizard, Holiday Harmony, A Christmas Mystery) will serve as a consulting producer on all of the projects.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to work with WBD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team to expand opportunities for a broader range of talent to realize their dreams at Warner Bros.,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairs and CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy said in a joint statement. “We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this studio’s 100-year legacy than investing in the next generation of great storytellers, and we look forward to seeing these iconic movies through their eyes.”
The six filmmakers and their reimagined classics are Robin Cloud (Calamity Jane), Regan Linton (Jack and the Beanstalk), B. Monét (A Star is Born), Monica Moore-Suriyage (The Adventures of Robin Hood), Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz (Rebel Without A Cause) and Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire (The Prince and the Pauper).
“The impact of Warner Bros.’ films over the last century has been tremendous – they have shaped our culture and our understanding of the world around us,” WBD chief DEI officer Asif Sadiq said in a statement. “In celebration of the studio’s 100th anniversary, we are thrilled to empower these talented filmmakers to create a modern and diverse reimagining of these iconic productions as both a tribute to the original work and as a mechanism to remind us of the power we have to tell stories and depict people in an inclusive and fulsome manner.”