Hercules: Who Should Star in Disney's Live-action Remake?

Scene from Disney's Hercules.

Last week, it was announced that Disney was planning a live-action remake of Hercules.

The original 1997 animation featured the voice of Tate Donovan as the Greek hero, sending him on a Gospel-scored journey to defeat the evil Hades (a scene-stealing James Woods).

So, we wanted to ask a question: who should play the title character in the upcoming reboot? We've put our heads together and come up with six suggestions...

 

1. Armie Hammer

Here's an actor possessed of exactly the right bearing and height to portray Disney's titular hero. More than that, however, Hammer has, in the past, demonstrated the right facility with comedy to do justice to a Disney character.

He brought a nice sense of irony to Disney's mega-budget The Lone Ranger, bouncing nicely off Johnny Depp as Tonto. And, on the more grown-up side of things, he showed an excellent flair for farce in Ben Wheatley's bullet-ridden Free Fire. Add to that the sincerity of his performance in Call Me By Your Name, and we can imagine Hammer going from zero to hero with ease.


2. James Norton

Rumors are flying that Happy Valley and Grantchester actor James Norton may be poised to take over the role of James Bond from Daniel Craig. Before we get there, however, we'd put the case forward for him portraying Hercules.

He's certainly got the square jaw and aquiline features to suggest a Greek hero, and he can portray likable characters with skill, as his role in last year's Little Women proved. (He portrayed the on-screen husband of Emma Watson's Meg, John Brooke.)


3. Sam Heughan

What better qualification to portray a classical, mythological hero than a leading role in a historical/fantasy series? OK, so there's a few more things needed, but given Sam Heughan's role in hit show Outlander, plus his general look and demeanor, we could well imagine him as Hercules.

In the show, Heughan plays 18th century Highlander Jamie Fraser, who comes across time-travelling World War II nurse Claire Randall (Le Mans '66's Caitriona Balfe). Heughan's role is, by turns, rugged and romantic, and these qualities could easily translate into the realm of the Disney live-action remake.


4. Chris Hemsworth

Here's an A-lister who needs little introduction. Hemsworth shot to stardom with his role as brawny Asgardian god Thor in the Marvel series of the same name. He certainly has the physique and musculature to embody Hercules, not to mention the right sense of self-aware humor. This became apparent in the third and most recent Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, not to mention other films like Ghostbusters.

Even so, would Hemsworth consent to playing two mythical heroes in the space of one career? Maybe there would be little to differentiate between his portrayals of Thor and Hercules? Either way, it's food for thought.


5. Sam Claflin

British actor Sam Claflin might not be an obvious choice for Hercules, until one considers his role in the Hunger Games franchise. From Catching Fire onward, he portrayed former Hunger Games victor Finnick Odair, in the process demonstrating his action chops and charisma.

Plus, that Finnick hairdo might not be too far away from what we'd expect on Hercules? Consider Claflin the dark horse choice.


6. Taron Egerton

Last, but not least, a young British actor who's already proven his mettle in the realms of both action and comedy. Egerton played Eggsy in the first two Kingsman spy spoofs (the third is said to be on its way), balancing gunplay and fist-fights with nicely observed jabs at James Bond.

Egerton was also an action hero in Robin Hood, although the less said about that the better. He can also bring a sense of pathos and sympathy, as his Golden Globe-winning turn in Rocketman proved. Is it time to give Egerton a Disney lead?

Who do you think should play Hercules in the Disney live-action remake? Let us know @RegalMovies.