NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 08: Owen Wilson attends Paramount+'s 'Secret Headquarters' New York Premiere at Signature Theater on August 08, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
The Original Idea For Emperor's New Groove Featured A Lot More Owen Wilson
Mark Dindal’s curious Tex Avery-inspired slapstick Disney film “The Emperor’s New Groove” may not be widely remembered, but it was one of the company’s better products of the 2000s. This wacky adventure that saw an Incan emperor transformed into a llama was revealed to initially be a more serious drama called “The Kingdom of the Son” and would have starred Owen Wilson.
Roger Allers, co-director of the 1994 “The Lion King,” shared, “Owen Wilson was the lead, the llama herder, Pacha. I think he had just done ‘Bottle Rocket,’ so no one really knew him, but he had this kind of slow, drawly way of speaking, which felt like an equivalent of someone from out in the sticks.” Wilson was to co-star opposite David Spade’s emperor character.
“The Kingdom of the Son” was a “The Prince and the Pauper” style story where a citizen and a member of royalty swapped roles; however, the original film fell apart as the writers couldn’t make the story work. The idea was altered, but Wilson was replaced since the new version of Pacha was a serious, older character, and the actor couldn’t provide the more patronly voice needed.