The success that Disney has had in Hollywood blockbusters over the past few years covers multiple franchises, some of which can be described as "universes" -- stories which overlap and share settings and characters. As much as audiences love Marvel and Star Wars, though, Disney will always be most strongly associated with the animated fairy tales that its name was built on, and the company has taken care to keep that tradition alive.
In addition to creating new animated films featuring magic and princesses, Disney has been adapting some of its most beloved classics to live-action, with some successes in the bag already and a great deal of hype around the upcoming remakes, such as Aladdin and The Lion King. Some fans have wondered if this is headed to another interconnected universe: Could these films begin to cross over with each other?
But Disney's chief of live-action film production, Sean Bailey, made it clear in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that introducing the legacy characters to each other isn't the aim. "Just as Marvel has Iron Man and Thor and Captain America, maybe Belle and Cinderella and Mowgli and Simba are our superheroes," he said. "But we're not going to interconnect them in a universe anytime soon, I promise."
Bailey added with a laugh that Simba, the leonine star of The Lion King, isn't in 2020's Jungle Cruise, which is inspired by the Disneyland ride. This may come as a relief to some fans and a disappointment to others, but the idea of Simba as the superhero of his own world is an appealing idea on its own.