Questlove Will Direct Live-Action Hybrid of Disney Classic, ‘Aristocats’

Questlove Aristocats
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Questlove Aristocats
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Photo Credit: Joe Mabel / CC by 3.0

Questlove is preparing to make his feature film directorial debut with a live-action hybrid reimagining of ‘The Aristocats’ for Walt Disney Studios.

After winning the Oscar for Best Documentary last year for Summer of Soul, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will direct his first feature film with a live-action hybrid reimagining of The Aristocats for Walt Disney Studios. 

Thompson will direct, executive produce, and oversee music for the film, the script for which is written by Will Gluck and Keith Bunin. Gluck and his production company, Olive Bridge, will produce the movie alongside Thompson’s Two One Five. Tarik Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman will executive produce on behalf of Two One Five.

The film is based on the 1970 animated film about a cat and her kittens who learn that their wealthy Parisian owner has left her fortune to them in her will. Once the owner’s jealous butler finds out, he kidnaps the cats and leaves them in the French countryside, where they must team up with a street-smart tomcat to help them find their way home.

Best known as a founding member of the Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots — longtime house band for The Tonight Show — Questlove is a six-time Grammy winner who took his first leap into directing with his documentary Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. That film premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, taking home the Grand Jury Prize and beginning a string of accolades culminating in a win at the 2022 Oscars.

Thompson is one of only a handful of African American directors to win an Oscar, all of which have been in the documentary field. Roger Ross Williams became the first African American filmmaker to win in a directorial role for his short documentary Music by Prudence in 2010.

Disney’s Onyx Collective, Hulu, and Searchlight Pictures distributed Summer of Soul. Producer Fyvolent obtained the rights to the original concert material, a minimal amount of which ever saw release before then.