Disney's live-action remakes have become a franchise unto themselves, with success rivaling Marvel or Star Wars. Later this year year we'll get the live-action prequel Cruella with Emma Stone, while new versions of of The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio (with Tom Hanks) after that. Several other remakes have been rumored that may or may not come to pass, but one that we know for sure is at least being worked on is a new Hercules produced by the Russo Brothers.
It was nearly a year ago that the first reports came out that indicated a Hercules remake was in the works. And unlike many of the rumors regarding such films we have heard, this one was eventually confirmed by Joe and Anthony Russo who are producing the film for Disney. Now Joe Russo has gone on the record with the LCB podcast to say that, while things are still early, the project is moving forward, as the script is actually very nearly done. According to Russo,
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!
The impending script has been written, unless there have been unannounced changes behind the scenes, by David Callaham. He also wrote Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as well as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2. As is stated above, it's still very early, and more than likely this expected script will go through a lot of changes and rewrites before it's really ready to go in front of cameras.
Disney's live-action remakes have taken a variety of different forms. We've seen films like Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King that were incredibly faithful, some might say to a fault, to the animated original. Others have been vastly different. The Russo's have indicated that Hercules won't be a strict remake, but what it will be remains to be seen.
Hercules is apparently an important movie to Joe Russo, which means he'll certainly want to make this remake something fans will love. At the same time, Hercules is perhaps the least sacred of the Animated Disney films to be given the live-action treatment, which may give the movie more freedom to try new and interesting things. It may still be early, but the project is clearly still on track.