While Disney live-action remakes have dominated the box office over the last decade, the studio is finally coming around to tackling their 1997 animated hit, Hercules. It is still very early into development but let’s dive in and see what we know so far.
As of now, there is no official synopsis for the project; however, we expect it to follow the animated original, which follows the titular Hercules, a demigod with super-strength raised among mortals, who must learn to become a true hero in order to earn back his godhood and place in Mount Olympus, while his evil uncle Hades plots his downfall.
While we expect the main elements from the original film to remain in the remake, producing duo Joe and Anthony Russo have said this project won’t be a literal translation. “you always have to bring something new to the table because from our perspective as storytellers, it’s not compelling for us to do a literal translation. We’ve already done that with our Marvel films. We don’t do literal translations of the comics because we feel like if you want that story you can go read that story. We’re going to give you a different story. I think we’ll do something that’s in the vein of the original and inspired by it, but we also bring some new elements to the table.”
Joe Russo also hinted at a more modern spin on the project saying, “It will certainly pay homage to the original with a more modern spin on it. What Anthony and I love about the original is how funny and subversive it is. I think we try to embrace that sense of humor in the remake.“
Who is playing who?
Sadly, there is nothing official as of yet, but we have heard names of interest floating around during various stages of this film’s development. A little over a year ago we heard the studio wanted to work with superstar Ariana Grande, who would fit the role of Hercules love interest Meg. Grande is busy at the moment working on Universal’s 2 Wicked movies, which likely won’t wrap until the end of the year, so there is still a shot she could be considered as Hercules doesn’t start filming until 2024. As for the hero, we had heard names like Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman). Again, these names are no confirmation, just something we have heard. It should be noted that director Guy Ritchie and the Russo’s like bringing in talent they have worked with in the past to their new projects, so maybe we see Jason Statham, Charlie Hunnam, one of the Chris’ [Evans, Pratt, Hemsworth] in various roles.
Disney typically doesn’t bring talent from the animated projects into their live-action remakes; however, James Earl Jones became the exception when he returned for 2019’s billion-dollar smash hit The Lion King, reprising his role as Mufasa. So, why are we bringing that up? Well, Danny DeVito has expressed that he wants to return as Phil saying, “If they don’t put me in that, they don’t have a hair on their a–, I am the live-action ‘Hercules’!” Let me dive in by giving you all a little “rumor of the week”, while nothing is confirmed at this time, the expectation is the studio will bring back DeVito as Phil.
The Russo’s have said that music will indeed play a part in the remake. Joe Russo confirmed recently that the remake will indeed be a musical and how they plan on bringing the musical aspect to their modern Hercules is something they are still working on saying, “There are questions about how you translate it as a musical. Audiences today have been trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks like and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit on how you execute a modern musical.” Is his comments a good thing… we will plead the fifth for now.
Guy Ritchie, who directed Disney’s billion-dollar hit remake of Aladdin, will be behind the camera with hopes of repeating box office success. Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) wrote the initial script. As of now, there is no release date set for Hercules. . Stick with The DisInsider as we continue to cover this project and more from The Walt Disney Company.
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