‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ and What We Know so Far
It seems like ages ago we first rumblings of a Hunchback of Notre Dame remake at Disney. While the live-action remakes continue to make the studio money, we thought we’d look at one that hasn’t had a lot of movement in quite some time.
Let’s start from the beginning, in 2019, it was reported that Disney was in development on a live-action remake of Hunchback of Notre Dame with Tony winner and playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) penning the script. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz would return from the animated original to right the music. Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast) was reported to produce and possibly star.
The new film would pull from that 1996 animated film and the Hugo novel but not the stage production that Schwartz and Menken collaborated on in Europe. David Hoberman, who runs Mandeville with Todd Lieberman, has been fixated on a live-action Hunchback for over 30 years going back to when he was Disney film president. An early attempt led to the animated film and another resulted in a limited TV series on ABC.
Since then there hasn’t been next to nothing when it comes to updates on the project besides small teases from Gad. Back in March responded to a fan poster on Twitter, which provided the most updated information. “The script is one of the best I have read and hopefully the powers that be will see this love and let us make the live-action adaptation the original animated film deserves,” Gad said.
What we know about Hunchback of Notre Dame
We need to preface that the following information we heard on this project was prior to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. We support all those who are taking part in the strikes and hope the studios can facilitate a resolution soon.
Last year, we had heard the project was supposed to enter production in February 2022 under the working title ‘Macaron.’ That obviously didn’t happen and this was back when CEO Bob Chapek was still in charge.
A friend of ours, who will remain anonymous, asked Menken if any new news will come out soon for the remake and the Disney Legend simply had this to say, “Hopefully, NOT.”
Now, for the more jaw-dropping update we have and it needs to be said the following information is just a rumor we had heard from multiple sources but it is still mindful to take it with a grain of salt. I have heard that now that Bob Iger is back in the driver’s seat that it is unlikely that the project won’t move forward, as Iger is not the biggest fan Hunchback of Notre Dame and a remake isn’t in their list of priorities at this.
Things can obviously change but this is the most recent information we have on the project at this time. Disney has multiple remakes being developed including Lilo & Stitch, Moana, Hercules, Aristocats, Bambi, Princess and the Frog, and Tangled. Disney’s next live-action remake is Snow White still set to release on March 22, 2024 and Mufasa: The Lion King set for July 5, 2024.
The live-action remakes have grossed over $6.5 billion at the worldwide box office for Disney.