Questlove will direct Disney’s live-action/hybrid reimagining of The Aristocats.
The founding member of the band The Roots – real name Ahmir Thompson – won the Academy Award last year for Best Documentary for Summer of Soul.
The Aristocats will be the Grammy winner’s feature film directing debut and he will also produce and oversee the music for the movie, per Deadline.
The new film will be based on the 1970 Disney animated feature about Duchess, a Persian cat and her kittens Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse who are set to inherit their owner’s fortune.
The greedy butler intervenes and ships the cats off to the country – where they meet a charming alley cat named Thomas O’Malley.
Aristocat: Questlove will direct Disney’s live-action/hybrid reimagining of The Aristocats (pictured March 2023)
Cool cats: The new film will be based on the 1970 Disney animated feature about Duchess, a Persian cat and her kittens Marie, Berlioz, and Toulouse who are set to inherit their owner’s fortune
The Persian cats get an eduction on life on the streets, courtesy of Thomas O’Malley and his friends as they make their way back to the city to reclaim their home before it’s too late.
Questlove’s Two One Five Entertainment alongside Tarik Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zohlman will produce the script from Will Gluck and Keith Bunin.
Questlove’s Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and started its run towards winning the Oscar in 2022.
Last month, The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon star revealed why Will Smith wasn’t included in the Grammy salute to 50 years of hip hop.
Smith, 54, was slated to take to the stage at LA’s Crypto.com Arena alongside his 1990s collaborator Jazzy Jeff, but was mysteriously absent on the night.
LL Cool J introduced the segment, charting the roots of the genre to a party in The Bronx in August 1973, when a DJ played the beats the laid the groundwork for hip-hop.
The tribute featured hip-hop artists from multiple generations – from Grandmaster Flash all the way to Lil Uzi Vert, with many fans showering praise on the tribute on social media.
And while Smith is rebuilding his reputation after he slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, that isn’t the reason he wasn’t part of the hip hop tribute.
Thomas O’Malley: An alley cat guides Duchess and her kittens home before its too late
Oscar winner: Questlove’s Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2021, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and started its run towards winning the Oscar in 2022
Questlove told Variety: ‘I’ll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week.
‘There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will.’
And even though Questlove was at the 2022 Oscars – he totally missed Smith slapping Rock – despite his award being the one Rock was presenting.
‘Of course, that happened in the cyclone of a whole other situation with two very good friends of mine,’ he said on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon shortly after the Oscars. ‘I really wasn’t aware of that.’
Groovy cats: Roquefort the Mouse helps Thomas get Duchess and the kittens back to their home
The Roots drummer said he was practicing Transcendental Meditation at the time his category was announced, during which time the incident between Smith and Rock occurred.
‘It’s weird to say, because they tell you ahead of time, “This is your category,” so in that moment, you’re either going to be full of anxiety or, for me, I’ve been meditating for the last two years,’ he said.
‘When the commercial break was happening, I was just meditating, so when I opened my eyes, I didn’t realize – why is everyone so quiet? Like, I literally was not present for that whole entire moment.’
He continued, ‘But in my mind they’re just doing a sketch or whatever and I’m like, “OK, Ahmir, remember to thank your mom, dad,” so I was not present at all, I was just in a blank space.’
Questlove said as he was ‘walking to the stage’ he was ‘kind of putting two and two together and realized that that was a real moment’ between Smith and Rock prior to delivering his acceptance speech.