Guy Ritchie, who directed Aladdin, has been tapped to helm Disney’s live-action Hercules adaptation. The 1997 animated fantasy, which was based on the identical Greek epic, followed the voyage of Zeus and Hera’s son Hercules after he is taken from Mount Olympus by Hades’ evil henchmen in an effort to clear the way for him to seize the legendary Greek castle.
Hercules stars Danny DeVito as Phil, James Woods as Hades, Susan Hegan, Rip Torn, Samantha Eggar, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Hal Holbroo, and Barbara Barrie, with Tate Donovan playing the title character. The Little Mermaid directors Ron Clements and John Musker helmed the 1997 release, which received generally favourable reviews from critics and viewers alike, particularly for Woods’ portrayal of Hades.
However, the movie underperformed at the box office in comparison to other Disney productions, only earning $252.7 million globally. Hercules is still universally regarded as a classic in the House of Mouse’s collection, and it now appears to be making a significant comeback. According to Deadline, Disney is moving forward with its live-action Hercules film remake and has hired Guy Ritchie, the director of Aladdin, to helm the project. Following Dave Callaham’s early draught for the remake of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the studio is allegedly currently looking for a writer for the project. Joe and Anthony Russo, who worked together on Avengers: Endgame, will produce the live-action Hercules under their AGBO production label.
The Russo brothers and the producers of The Lion King live-action remake joined forces with Disney to start production on the live-action Hercules in early 2020, and they also suggested that it wouldn’t be a literal adaptation of the first animated film. The studio appeared to adjust its focus as the pandemic spread to finishing the projects it had already started or shot before moving forward with others that were still in the early stages of production.
It appears that Disney has resumed production on a number of projects now that theatres are reopening and its Marvel Studios films Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are once again performing well at the box office.
Ritchie is one of the select few directors in the studio to have overseen three live-action remakes, which is interesting given his selection to head Disney’s live-action Hercules feature. Given the enormous box office success of the live-action Aladdin, it makes sense that the studio would turn back to Ritchie in the hopes of replicating this success.
Ritchie now joins the likes of Jon Favreau, who directed The Jungle Book and The Lion King, as well as Tim Burton, who directed Alice in Wonderland and Dumbo. Viewers may see the original Hercules streaming on Disney+ right now as they wait for more information about the live-action film.