The Russo Brothers have given an update on the live-action Hercules film they're producing at Disney, a project that’s been in the early stages of development for quite some time. It may still be a long while yet before fans of the original 1997 animated classic get to see its mythical tale of ancient Greece return to the big screen, but it sounds like things are moving along in an exciting direction. The Russos have recently become major creative forces through their directorial work with Disney on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
For years now, Disney has made a model out of adapting some of their most beloved animated classics for live-action (or at the very least, photorealistic CGI) remakes. Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Dumbo, Aladdin, and Mulan have all been brought back in big-budget modern spectacles, to various levels of critical success. Future Disney live-action remakes in the same vein include adaptations of The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the Russos’ Hercules film.
That last project has just gotten an update of sorts from the producers themselves. During an interview on the Lights Camera Barstool podcast, the brothers were asked about Hercules and if they had any particular ideas or new information to share. While they stopped short of dropping any major revelations, Joe and Anthony confirmed that the project was still in motion and that they’re working on building it out in even bigger ways. “It’s still in development,” Joe confirmed, before going in-depth into their recent creative process.
“The script’s about to come in in a week. We’ve taken a lot of time and care with it. It’s a movie that was really important to me and my kids, something that they watched when they were young, and so we’ve got a strong emotional connection to it. Our intention is to look at everything we do and think about how can we build it out, what can you do with this that expands it, gives you different opportunities for storytelling in it. So we’re going through that same exercise with Hercules, is can we build it out, can we build a world out of this and that extends beyond it and would be compelling, and I think that’s what audiences are craving, right? They want to see something really cool that they wanna get lost in it for a decade, so that’s our mission is to provide them with that experience. It’s still early!”
While the film remains in the very early stages, the Russos’ update seems to point toward franchise potential beyond a single movie. The brothers have been incredibly successful creating more expansive stories for Disney through their work in the MCU, so it would make sense for them to be looking at ways to build out Hercules in new and exciting ways. The world of Greek myth certainly has enough content to fill plenty of screen time, should Disney decide to go down that road.
Now that Disney is starting to remake films with more niche appeal like Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame – both of which have loyal fandoms but never reached the massive success levels of The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast – fans are wondering what animated favorite could be next. A live-action Atlantis has been a popular choice among some, though there are plenty of other beloved films to choose from throughout Disney’s back-catalog. Hopefully, the live-action Hercules movie will do justice to the original.
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