Hercules is going the distance. Disney has announced that the animated film will be the latest animated classic from the studio to receive a live-action remake. The news was first reported in The Hollywood Reporter.
Dave Callaham, who wrote the script for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, is set to write the script, and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo are set to produce the movie.
As of now, there’s no director on the project, and casting is not expected to come soon either. Hercules is just the latest Disney animated movie to receive a live-action remake. It joins a list that already includes Cinderella, The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, Aladdin, and the yet-to-be-released live-action version of Mulan.
The original movie told the story of Hercules, the heroic legend of Greek mythology, and combined elements of different Greek myths, infusing them with a gospel soundtrack. The film, which was released in 1997, was directed by Ron Clements and Jon Musker.
It’s unclear how closely this new adaptation will hew to the original. The Disney live-action remakes have varied in how much they remained faithful to their source material. Some, like The Lion King and Aladdin, have been fairly straightforward live-action adaptations. Others, like the new Mulan, have taken an entirely new approach to their source material. Mulan even cut the songs that were featured in the original movie.
Just last year, Disney decided to bring Hercules to the stage, adapting it into a musical that was presented by the Public Theater at the Delacorte in New York’s Central Park. The new stage adaptation also featured new songs written by original composer Alan Menken and original lyricist Dave Zippel.
The original film’s voice cast included Tate Donovan, Danny DeVito, Susan Egan, and James Woods. The new movie, however, doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it’s likely a few years away from hitting theaters.
Meanwhile, the newest Disney live-action remake, Mulan, is still months away from a theatrical release. The film was originally slated to be released at the end of March, but its release was postponed following concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, Mulan is set to hit theaters on July 24, according to The Verge. The move suggests that Disney has some confidence that audiences will be ready to return to theaters by that time, although release dates for some films have already had to shift several times in response to changing information about the pandemic.