Disney Is Developing A Live-Action Atlantis: The Lost Empire Film: EXCLUSIVE

Disney’s live-action adaptations sub-genre continues to grow with another of their films, Atlantis, in the early stages of development.
Atlantis Header

Disney’s live-action adaptation sub-genre continues to grow with another of their films, Atlantis, in the early stages of development.

In the last few years Disney has been focused on adapting a number of their popular animated movies into live-action films. The release of Disney’s live-action Mulan film has been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mulan is a major step away from the original animated film without the musical numbers and animal sidekicks, along with being the first adaptation to earn a PG-13 rating


It has also been recently reported that two other live-action adaptations are in the works at Disney, with Hercules and Robin Hood. The billion dollar success of the live-action Aladdin adaptation has even led to a sequel being developed, so the direction of the Mouse House is clear.

Atlantis To Rise For Disney

Disney is not slowing down and we here at The Illuminerdi have recently learned from our sources that Disney is developing an Atlantis: The Lost Empire live-action adaptation. The original Atlantis: The Lost Empire animated film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, with the screenplay written by Tab Murphy. It was released in 2001 and grossed $186 million worldwide. 

Atlantis Mansplaining

Atlantis, unlike many Disney animated films wasn’t a musical, instead it was an adventure movie with obvious Jules Verne influences. Atlantis may not have performed as well as other Disney films at the box-office, but it has become a cult classic.

The Story Behind Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Atlantis: The Lost Empire, set in 1914, follows a young underappreciated academic, Milo Thatch, who is trying to find a way to prove his deceased grandfather, Thadius Thatch, was right about the ancient society Atlantis. An old friend of Thadius’ gifts Milo with an ancient book Thadius found on an expedition, and funds Milo’s search for the lost city of Atlantis. Milo and a crew of adventurers set off on an expedition to find the ancient civilization, but soon learn Atlantis is not actually an extinct civilization like they expected. 

Atlantis Characters

Milo and the crew meet the inhabitants of the unexpectedly thriving city including their princess, Kida. Milo helps Kida discover the truth of The Heart Of Atlantis, the mysterious power source that has kept the city and its people safe and alive since it sank into the sea hundreds of years ago. However, the crew that Milo traveled with has more nefarious plans for the ancient power source. 

The expedition crew includes a number of interesting characters including an Italian demolitions expert named Vinny Santorini, a French geologist nicknamed Mole because he acts like the underground creature, Dr. Joshua Sweet the team medic a usually upbeat fast-talking man of African-American and Native-American descent, Audrey Ramirez, a Puerto Rican teenage mechanic and the youngest member of the crew, as well as Wilhelmina Packard the sarcastic old battle axe radio operator for the crew. 


Part of the movie’s cult following is due to the unique animation style that was used. The animation was largely based on the style of Mike Mignola, the comic book artist who created Hellboy. The movie also featured an Atlantean language that was created for the film by Marc Okrand, who also developed the Klingon language for Star Trek which is used in the television shows and movies. John Emerson designed the Atlantean written language. The Atlantean “A” is notably designed to look like a treasure map of the city leading to the placement of The Heart Of Atlantis. This action-packed adventure film should be a fun live-action adaptation.

Are you excited about a live-action Atlantis: The Lost Empire adaptation? Who should direct? Who do you want to see cast in the movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.


Picture of Caitlin Tyrrell

Caitlin Tyrrell

Features Manager & Producer with The Illuminerdi. Caitlin has a deep love for storytelling of every kind. She is a huge fan of television, animation, and film, but Star Wars, the MCU, and Critical Role hold a special place in her heart.