Pop Culture

Disney’s Laboring on a Live-Action Hercules Remake

Disney’s live-action wheel of fortune has finally landed on Hercules. The studio has reportedly started development on an adaptation of its 1997 animated movie, tapping Avengers bros Joe and Anthony Russo to produce, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Dave Callaham, who penned the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will write the script.

A Hercules adaptation was inevitable at this point, as Disney has been on a steady, determined path to turn all of its most beloved animated classics into live-action (or at least photo-realistically animated) movies. Thus far the studio has raced through Aladdin, The Lion King, Cinderella, and more, and is currently working on an adaptation of The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey as the aquatic princess. The live-action adaptation of Mulan, meanwhile, was set to hit theaters in March, but has been pushed back to July in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hercules, a charming hit that made $252 million at the worldwide box office back in the ’90s, is a natural next step on this multibillion-dollar path. The adaptation news also arrives just two weeks after Ariana Grande smashed a cover of the Hercules number “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” for the ABC special The Disney Family Singalong.

Her cover also sparked heaps of dream-casting tweets, with fans calling for her to play Hercules’s love interest, the sardonic Megara. Grande already has the ponytail for the job, in addition to the singing and acting chops. (Remember her Broadway and Nickelodeon days?) Plus, she’s quickly landed the approval of Susan Egan, the actor who originally voiced Meg in the animated film. “Couldn’t be more perfect!” Egan tweeted. “@ArianaGrande is the greatest thing since the pocket in pita!” Sliced bread, meanwhile, is furiously texting its publicist.

So Disney probably already has Grande in a pitch deck somewhere—but who will play the film’s titular role? Per THR, it’s still way too early in the process for there to be solid casting murmurs, so right now it’s anyone’s guess. More important, it’s still too early to know who will play the Muses, the singing quintet who made the soundtrack so iconic and who are, arguably, the best thing about the entire movie. But that’s a debate for another time!

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