The “Hercules” live-action adaptation has been in the works for some time. It was initially reported in 2020, with “Avengers: Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo attached as producers and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” author Dave Callaham penning the script.
According to the most recent story from Deadline, additional writers will be working from Callaham’s draught, while the Russos will continue to produce via their independent production firm AGBO.
“Hercules” is the most recent animated picture from Disney‘s Renaissance period of the 1990s to have a live-action adaptation. The 1994 film “The Lion King” was remade in 2019 with Beyoncé and Donald Glover in the key roles in a competent but largely similar film.
Other notable live-action Disney adaptations include Bill Condon’s 2017 version of “Beauty and the Beast,” Niko Caro’s song-free version of “Mulan” in 2020, and Guy Ritchie’s 2019 “Aladdin.”
The live-action Disney remakes have not always been hailed as aesthetic triumphs, and have frequently been criticized for missing some of the magic that Disney imparted in its musical, 2D animation films in the 1990s.
Still, they’ve been enormous moneymakers. Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of “Aladdin” grossed more than a billion dollars at the box office, and the most recent version of “The Lion King” is frequently acknowledged as the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Even though it’s too early to say what the live-action version of “Hercules” will look like, there are a few things we can hope for. Retellings of Greek myths are common, but the 1997 Disney movie that the new movie will be based on is a success, thanks in large part to its great soundtrack, funny script, and great supporting characters.
Danny DeVito did a great job with his voice as Phil, the grumpy satyr who taught the hero-to-be how to be a hero. It also brought to life Susan Egan’s character Megara, the sarcastic damsel who “won’t say she’s in love.”
Importantly, the stylish Muses played great music with soul and gospel influences in the original “Hercules.” I’m not a purist when it comes to remakes, but it seems to me that if the live-action “Hercules” doesn’t have some of the things that made the original great, like great characters, witty comedy, and unique musical elements, it could end up being just another hollow rehash of a better classic. I hope Ritchie and Disney will show me that I am wrong.
No release date has been confirmed for “Hercules.”