Joe and Anthony Russo are continuing to work with Disney, as they are set to produce a live-action adaptation of ‘Hercules’ via their AGBO label. Dave Callaham, who wrote the upcoming Marvel Studios flick ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ and co-wrote ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is tackling the script. It is reported that other producers are expected to participate, and that the Russos will NOT direct. They previously helmed the Disney/Marvel smashes ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. The Russo’s next directing job is the upcoming drama ‘Cherry’ starring Tom Holland which is in post-production.
Last year, both ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’ made over $1 billion each at the global box office, so while there are those who don’t particularly care for these live-action remakes, they’re not going to stop anytime soon.
Of course, the big question for fans is who will star, but it appears this picture is FAR from that stage. ‘Aladdin’ starred Will Smith, and ‘The Lion King’ featured the voices of Donald Glover and Beyoncé. Following her performance of “I Won’t Say” on Disney’s recent ‘Family Singalong’ special, many are speculating that Ariana Grande could be in the running to play Megara (“Meg”) and others are pushing for Idris Elba or Ryan Gosling to play Hercules himself. Gosling actually played a different version of Hercules on the TV series ‘Young Hercules’ in 1998-99, after the release of the animated film. Of course, he also starred in the popular musical ‘La La Land’. Elba recently starred in the not-at-all-popular musical ‘Cats’.
Disney’s animated ‘Hercules’ was released in 1997 and was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who previously co-directed ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Aladdin’, and went on to co-directed ‘The Princess and the Frog’, and ‘Moana’. The voice cast featured Tate Donovan in the lead role, Danny DeVito as his trainer Philoctetes (“Phil”), James Woods as villain Hades, Susan Egan as Megara (“Meg”), and Rip Torn as Zeus.
‘Hercules’ was distinguished by its gospel and R&B flavored soundtrack, featuring songs like “The Gospel Truth,” “Zero to Hero,” “I Won’t Say,” and the ballad “Go The Distance,” which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. (It lost to “My Heart Will Go On” from ‘Titanic’.)
Then again, the live-action ‘Mulan’ isn’t a musical, so that’s a possibility for ‘Hercules’ as well.
One other obstacle when it comes to ‘Hercules’ is that this is a mythological character that has been in hundreds of movies and most of the more recent ones haven’t done well. 2014’s ‘Hercules’, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne Johnson was a flop. That same year, the Renny Harlin-directed ‘The Legend of Hercules’ starring Kellan Lutz was also released and similarly failed. There was also a low-budget WWE movie, ‘Hercules Reborn’ released in 2014, but went directly to video.
There is a Marvel superhero version of Hercules that some have been hoping to see in the Cinematic Universe, but this probably crushes any hopes of that.
Are you excited by the thought of a live-action remake of Disney’s ‘Hercules’?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter