Disney’s Hercules live-action movie is now in development as reported by THR. The new animated to live-action remake will be produced by the Russo Brothers. The Marvel Studios veterans will only produce with no director signed as of yet. The Disney animated movie that saw a retelling of the Greek mythology of Hercules was very much part of the 90’s Disney era. A live-action Hercules should be interesting, but as with all Disney live-action remakes, I’m concerned. Probably more so with Hercules, given than a lot of its elements are made for the animated medium, rather than live-action.
The Hercules Of Myth And Legend
Hercules is a Greek tale about a half-mortal half-God character. The story originating from the mythology of the Greek Gods saw Hercules as the mortal son of Zeus, the leader of the Gods. The story goes that Zeus had an affair with a mortal woman who then bore him Hercules. Since his mother was a mortal, Hercules had some of the strength of a full God, but with the morals and values of regular people. So the story of Hercules was one that was very relatable. A hero with the power of Gods, but the compassion and kindness of humans. It makes for great storytelling, to be honest.
Hercules Has Shown Up In A Lot Of Movies
Image via Paramount Pictures.
Hercules is one of those stories that have been adapted into film and TV quite often. The original story and the character of Hercules very much exists in the public domain. So it’s cheap and efficient for studios to churn out movies about the character. Quite often. Arnold Schwarzenegger literally started his film career playing a version of the character in Hercules In New York. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson played the older and wiser version of the character in 2014’s Hercules. So he’s a pretty popular character and story to adapt.
How Disney’s Hercules Adapted A Greek Mythology Into A Pretty Good Movie
Image via Renaissance Pictures.
Disney’s new Hercules live-action movie is based on the 1997 Disney movie of the same name. The movie basically adapted the Greek myth about the character, like the previous versions before it. Given it was Disney, Zeus’ extramarital affair was modified to be more family-friendly. It was a pretty big trend at the time, adapting Greek mythological works into film and television. Similarly, The live-action TV series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys starring Kevin Sorbo, was at the height of its success at the time. Not to mention the Young Hercules series it spawned in 1998, starring a young Ryan Gosling. So Disney’s Hercules adaptation was pretty timely.
Can Disney’s Hercules Live-Action Movie Recreate The Magic Of The Animated?
Image via Disney.
The animated Hercules was tons of fun. The visuals were very much in the style of Greek art. The story followed a young Hercules wanting to be a hero. This pursuit leads him to hero-trainer voiced by Danny DeVito. After news of the Hercules live-action movie broke, fans are even rallying for DeVito to reprise his role from the animated movie. Hercules’ villain was Hades, voiced by James Woods in a scene-stealing performance.
The animated Hercules was great due to its portrayal of a heroine who was not a damsel in distress. At the same time, it also played with the idea of heroism, sacrifice, and the usual love story tropes. But much of it worked because it was an animated movie. For example, Hades had blue flames as his hair. DeVito’s character was a Satyr, a half goat-half man-creature. Hades’ sidekicks, and the comic relief of the movie where two shapeshifting beings known as Pain and Panic. Thinking about how these elements will transfer over into live-action for the modern day is making me cringe.
But to be fair, we’re still not sure what type of Hercules live-action movie this will be. While Disney’s The Lion King live-action remake was basically a shot for shot adaptation, the upcoming Mulan looks completely different, removing any cartoony elements from it. So maybe the live-action Hercules will be more of a dramatic adaptation of the original Greek tale, than the 1997 animated movie. But as I mentioned above, we’ve already had so many of those. Only time will tell how this live-action Hercules will be different.
The animated Hercules is now streaming on Disney+.
What do you think about a live-action Hercules movie? Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.