Disney Producing a Live Action Hercules Movie & Eyeing a Director!
Updated: Jun 16
In 1997, Disney produced the animated film Hercules loosely adapting the mythological hero from Greek and Italian cultures. Known as Heracles in Greek myth or Hercules in Roman myths. The Disney film adapted the 12 labours as Hercules' quest to achieve a true hero status and be reunited with his birth parents Zeus and Hera up in Olympus. Whilst the original Greek and Roman myths are bit more complex and not so family friendly, Disney's loose adaptation proved to be a success and with Disney going into live action production, fans are excited to see Hercules join the ranks of the live action Disney Pantheon of heroes.
Disney is reported to be eyeing Jon Favreau or the Russo Brothers to direct the project. Jon Favreau's directory projects have included the likes of Elf (2003), Ironman (2008), Ironman 2 (2010), The Jungle Book (2016) The Lion King (2019) and most recently Disney Plus's very well received "STAR WARS: The Mandalorian".
The Russo Brothers need no introduction, The Director's of Captain America: Winter Solider, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Whilst all these are super hero projects for the MCU they can fit a Disney hero like Hercules since he fits the Superhero aspect more than many other Disney characters. The city of Thebes is even portrayed as a funny analogy to modern Megacities like New York. (bonus with Danny Devito's voice as Philoctetes really hammering in the New York feeling)
In regards to casting nothing is concrete or confirmed as of yet. Many fans agree they would love to see Danny Devito return to play Philoctetes in Live Action believing no one can live up to his performance. Some are willing to see a new take on the character with Peter Dinklage as a choice. This could be divisive among fans but many had the same opinion about Will Smith as the Genie feeling he could never live up to Robin Williams performance in the animated. But Smith definitely made the character his own. Philoctetes being played by Devito or Dinklage would be a treat for the fan ether way.
In regards to the lead roles of Hercules and love interest Megan. Some fans are hoping to see an actor of Greek, Italian or other Mediterannean origins to play the leads. Some rumours are going around of casting Ariana Grande (I know, but hear us out!) She already has the looks and similarities, the height, the acting ability (check out her Nickleodeon stuff), has the singing ability, she'd be a great fit!
6'2" Greek Australian Socratis Otto and 6'5" Italian-Armenia American actor Joe Manganiello could fit the role of the muscle bound hero. However fans have pointed out how much Disney's red haired version of Hercules looks very similar to New Zealander KJ Apa especially with his recently dyed Red Hair. Fan favourites for Megan have included the likes of Greek Canadian actress Marie Avgeropoulos and Italian American singer Ariana Grande. Either way we are excited to see another addition to the Disney Cinematic Universe (yeah we calling it that now).