Disney is making a live-action version of its 1997 animated movie Hercules, produced by Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, according to a new report. Writer David Callaham, who scripted the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, will be writing the screenplay.
According to THR, which broke the news, the Russos are producing (rather than directing) the film through their production company AGBO. The Russo brothers most recently produced Extraction on Netflix.
The initial Hercules film is, of course, loosely based on Greek myth, and sees the son of Zeus kidnapped and taken to Earth, where he's trained into a hero by the satyr Phil (Danny DeVito). Hercules (Tate Donovan) has to stop Hades from unleashing the Titans on Mount Olympus. The film was part of Disney's 1990s renaissance, following some less successful movies in the 1980s.
Disney has been rolling out live-action remakes of its animated classics on a near-constant basis for the last few years. Other than Endgame, The Lion King was the highest-grossing movie of 2019, grossing over $1.6 billion. Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, also broke a billion at the box office.
On Disney Plus, The Lady and the Tramp was one of the service's big launch exclusives. This year, Disney plans to release an Eddie Murphy-free live-action version of Mulan in July, assuming theaters are reopened by then.
When will Disney run out of films to remake?
Disney has a way to go on exhausting its back catalogue of 2D animated movies, but you'd be surprised how many adaptations are in production. Live-action versions of 101 Dalmations (Cruella), Peter Pan (Peter Pan and Wendy), Robin Hood and even Lilo & Stitch are all in the works.
While purists will argue that there's no beating the gorgeous animation of the original movies, it's clear that others like seeing these familiar stories translated to live-action. Hercules, too, is arguably a better fit for live-action than Jungle Book or The Lion King, since it's not as heavy on talking animals.