Of course you can, but why when there is a whole culture that is under represented, not make the effort do something new. Yes it is lazy.
Lazy, yes. Lucrative? Most certainly! Look, I, too, think that the live-action remakes of the Disney animated classics range from "Why?" to "Woefully Creepy" (Lion King?) but the simple fact of the matter is .... they make money. They are practically a license to print money. And that's why Disney does them.
As for as being lazy, the original Disney animated classic (The Little Mermaid) was lazy, as it was just another adaptation of a fairy tale. There is something that has been unsettling that people seem particularly angry about this particular cash grab, don't you think?