Ice Cube
Ice Cube and Disney Studios are teaming up to develop a modern-day Oliver Twist musical Jason Kempin / Getty

Revamping old classics seems to be somewhat of a trend in Hollywood these days, what with Disney gearing up for a long-awaited Mary Poppins sequel and having numerous live-action adaptations in the works. Now, the studio is looking to develop Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist into a modern-day musical starring Ice Cube.

The rapper-turned-actor will play an interpretation of original character Fagin, the leader of a group of child pickpockets, in the reboot. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new movie will be "crossing many genres, including hip-hop".

Aside from Ice Cube, no other cast members have been confirmed yet, however, Tony-winning director Thomas Kail – the man behind hit Broadway show Hamilton – is on board to helm. Marc Platt (La La Land) and Jeff Kwatinetz (Barbershop: A Fresh Cut) are set to produce, alongside Ice Cube, working under his Cube Vision banner. The Ride Along star is said to be writing the script with Kwatinetz.

Oliver Twist tells the story of a young orphan boy who escapes from a strict workhouse and meets the Artful Dodger, who it turn introduces him to the "delights" of a criminal lifestyle. But as Oliver dives deeper into a world of pickpocketing, trouble and more hardship awaits.

The book was first published in 1838 and went on to inspire a West End musical in 1960 which led to the full-length film by Columbia Pictures eight years later. In 1988, Disney gave the story the animated treatment, telling the story through animals, in Oliver & Company.

Since then, the same studio released a live-action adaptation featuring Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Wood in 1997. Most recently, film-maker Roman Polanski teamed with Sony for a retelling starring Mark Strong and Ben Kingsley.

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