In the immortal words of Eddie Murphy in a fat suit: HERCULES! HERCULES! HERCULES! Yes, Disney is officially making a new live-action remake of their beloved 1997 animated classic! The original was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker and was a loose retelling of the Greek myth of Hercules, the demigod son of Zeus, and how he needed to stop his uncle Hades from overthrowing Zeus and assuming control of Olympus, the home of the gods. The original was highly regarded by critics and audiences and earned an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Original Song, on top of making $252.7 million off of an $85 million budget. And Disney is not playing around when it comes to getting this new version to live up to that legacy.
Variety reports that the film is being developed by none other than Joe and Anthony Russo, the brotherly team of filmmakers behind Marvel’s Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and, of course, the biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame. Before you get too excited though, right now the Russos are just signed on to produce via their production company AGBO. No directors are attached yet, but we can hope that they’ll step behind the camera for this. The Russo name alone would almost guarantee commercial success.
To adapt this story, Disney has tapped action movie screenwriting specialist Dave Callaham to pen the film. Callaham has specialised in action films in his career, though it got off to a rough start with the mediocre Doom video game adaptation. He also co-created and penned all the Expendables movies, came up with the story for 2014’s Godzilla, did rewrites on Ant-Man, and wrote the scripts for the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and the Mortal Kombat reboot. So he really knows his way around big-budget, effects-heavy blockbusters and already has a working relationship with Disney due to his Marvel work.
Hercules is the latest in the House of Mouse’s increasingly lengthy list of live-action adaptations of their classic animated offerings like Aladdin, Jungle Book, and more. And no, that “more” should not contain The Lion King because I don’t care how Disney tries to spin it, that movie is not live-action. Better animation – even orders of magnitude better to the point of looking life-like – is still animation damn it! Aaaaaanyway, I’m actually a big fan of the original Hercules movie, more so than some other more well-known Disney classics. I think it’s hugely underrated and its tone and action will actually lend itself very well to live-action… as long as they nail Pegasus’ crazy animations. That flying horse was the best!
We should have actually had a live-action adaptation from Disney hit cinemas a month ago, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown across the world, Mulan was pushed back to 24 July. Whether it will actually make that date doesn’t seem likely right now, which is a shame as apparently the movie is incredible. With Disney’s release calendar still in flux (just like every other major film studio right now), it’s unclear when Hercules will fit into that landscape. The studio still has Cruella, Peter Pan & Wendy, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Robin Hood, The Jungle Book 2, Aladdin 2, Bambi, The Sword in the Stone, Lilo & Stitch, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame in various stages of development as well.
Last Updated: May 4, 2020