Josh Gad Has A Good Reason For Dashing Our Hopes About Him Joining Disney's Hercules Live-Action Movie


While we're still waiting for Disney's next big live-action remake in Mulan, a lot of focus is currently on one that isn't even quite official yet. Disney has yet to confirm that a Hercules live-action remake is in the works, but reliable sources have indicated that Joe and Anthony Russo are producing the film for the House of Mouse, and so you can be sure the fan casting has begun, and one name that's popped up a lot is Josh Gad as Hercules' hero trailer, Philoctetes.

Philoctetes, Phil to his friends, is a satyr who was voiced by Danny Devito in the original animated film. It seems that a lot of people seem to think that Josh Gad, who has a strong relationship with Disney, should take on that role in the remake, but Gad himself is not one of them, because he thinks the role should be played by the man who brought the character to life the first time around, Danny DeVito.

While fans on social media seem to like the idea of Josh Gad as Phil, there are also a lot of people who think Danny DeVito should reprise his animated role. It's not a shocking pick, In the animated movie, Phil isn't so much voiced by Danny DeVito so much as Phil is the animated version of the actor. DeVito isn't playing a role in Hercules, he's playing himself, just the most exaggerated version of himself that we've seen since Taxi.

Danny DeVito as Phil was very much an attempt to recapture the Robin Williams' Genie magic, Bring in a popular, funny, comedian, and let them just be themselves and be hilarious. Phil is less successful in that, though Hercules is just less successful as a whole, it's not DeVito's fault.

While Danny DeVito is a strong choice, it's also no shock why people would think of Josh Gad for the role as well. Gad and Disney have been basically joined at the hip since the first Frozen movie. He's currently working with the studio on a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, reboot/sequel as well as a Disney+ prequel series that will follow Gaston and Le Fou from the live-action Beauty and the Beast. His next film is Disney's Artemis Fowl, which just made the jump from theaters to Disney+. Adding another big movie would be no big deal, it's just more Disney.

Seeing Josh Gad do a Danny DeVito impression may or may not work well, but it's just as likely that Phil could end up being handled differently in a live-action remake. Again, like the Genie, Will Smith's live-action version, while still being inspired by Robin Williams character, played to Will Smith's comedic strengths rather than trying to simply copy Williams. The same thing could, and probably should, be done with Phil.

Unless, of course, they actually do end up casting Danny DeVito in the role. If you want the live-action version of Phil to be a sarcastic lech from New Jersey, really, there's nobody else who should be considered for the part.

Disney's live-action remake slate currently has Mulan rescheduled for this summer, with 101 Dalmatians prequel Cruella set for 2021. After that, we're expecting to see The Little Mermaid, which was in pre-production before Hollywood went into lockdown. Hercules might be the next movie after that. We've heard that Lilo & Stitch and Robin Hood are also be in line for the remake treatment as well. Which one will arrive first may likely depend on which one has a script ready to go first.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.