Disney’s Live-Action Hercules Won’t Be A Direct Remake, According To The Russos

Hercules, Phil and Pegasus

Disney’s been having a lot of luck over the last decade with producing live-action remakes of its animated movies, and last week, we learned that Hercules is being added to this particular slate. However, if you’re expecting to this movie to closely resemble the 1997 original, akin to the most recent versions of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, you’d be sorely mistaken.

Marvel Cinematic Universe heavyweights Joe and Anthony Russo have boarded the live-action Hercules as producers, and judging by their recent comments, they’re looking to shake things up a bit with this retelling. As Anthony Russo explained:

Well, I think you always have to bring something new to the table because from our perspective as storytellers, it’s not compelling for us to do a literal translation. We’ve already done that with our Marvel films. We don’t do literal translations of the comics because we feel like if you want that story you can go read that story. We’re going to give you a different story. I think we’ll do something that’s in the vein of the original and inspired by it, but we also bring some new elements to the table.

So while it doesn’t sound like the live-action Hercules will be radically altering the formula of its animated predecessor, like what Maleficent did with Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty, it sounds like there will be a handful of differences to make it stand out from its animates predecessor. That makes me think the new Hercules will be similar to what we’re getting with the live-action Mulan, which is following the same basic beats of the animated Mulan, but has changed a handful of things up, like most of the supporting cast.

Because Hercules is so early into development, it’ll be a while until we learn any specific details about it. The Russos even admitted during their interview with Collider that they don’t if the live-action adaptation will be a musical, although they did clarify that music will still play an important role. As for why they boarded Hercules, here’s what Joe Russo had to say:

Both us and our kids are Hercules fanatics. And we had heard that Disney was interested in revisiting it and we’re in love with the original. And we made a case as to why we felt we would be right to produce that film and here we are.

David Callaham, whose credits include The Expendables and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is writing the live-action Hercules’ script. There’s no word yet on who will direct or star in the feature, although Glee’s Amber Riley has expressed interest in playing one of the five Muses, who helped narrate Hercules’ heroic journey in the animated movie.

The cast of Disney’s original Hercules included Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar, Bobcat Goldthwait and Matt Frewer. The movie was met with mostly positive reception, it slightly underperformed at the box office, making over $252 million worldwide. Hercules was the third-to-last entry in the Disney Renaissance, with Mulan and Tarzan wrapping up the era.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more news concerning Hercules, and feel free to learn what’s still lined up to arrive in theaters later this year with our 2020 release guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.