Disney is Making a Movie About Prince Charming’s Less-Popular Brother

By  · Published on July 7th, 2015

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

When Disney runs out of animated classics to remake as live-action features, they can extend the trend to revisionist spin-offs about less-popular to totally unknown side characters. That’s what they’re already seeming to do with a newly announced spec script pickup titled Prince Charming. Variety reports that this project is actually focused on the fairy tale love interest’s brother, who is apparently more of a Prince Not-Charming.

The idea could be turned into a spin-off of this year’s successful Cinderella remake, but it will likely exist on its own, as another self-mocking satire for the brand, akin to Enchanted. The script, which apparently Disney had to compete against other studios for, is written as a comedy, by Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son scribe Matt Fogel. The tone doesn’t seem to match with Cinderella, which will probably get its own straight follow-up instead.

If Prince Charming does fully focus on the brother and not just be a retelling of a fairy tale plot from the perspective of that brother (a la Maleficent and the in-the-works Tink), then it joins a few other comedies about iconic characters’ less-famous siblings or cousins. There’s Fred Claus, about the older brother of Santa, and Gene Wilder’s The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarther Brother, about a younger sibling of the famous detective (and Mycroft Holmes). And at many points, Supergirl also plays like it’s about a lesser relative of Superman – which is partly why it didn’t do well at the box office.

The concept also recalls one of Disney’s own animated classics, Robin Hood. In their telling of the medieval folk tale, the villain Prince John is portrayed as having an inferiority complex because he’s the less-popular brother of King Richard. Maybe the studio just needs to combine all these ideas in a way that allows their live-action remakes to become a shared cinematic universe. Prince Charming can be the bridge between Cinderella and Disney’s in-development live-action Robin Hood project, Nottingham & Hood.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.