Joe Russo Gives Live-Action Hercules Update, Reveals TikTok Influence

Joe Russo Gives Live-Action Hercules Update, Reveals TikTok Influence
Joe Russo Gives Live-Action Hercules Update, Reveals TikTok Influence

The Russo Brothers are currently set to produce a live-action adaptation of the classic animated film Hercules, and according to the brothers, the film will be more experimental than past live-action adaptations, as it will be inspired by the social media platform TikTok.

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One of the biggest criticisms against past Disney live-action remakes has been their adherence to the original format and actions of their animated predecessor. According to Joe Russo in an interview with Variety, their Hercules film will be “a little bit more experimental in tone, a little bit more experimental in execution.”

“I think they’re excited to see what we can all bring to it in a way that isn’t just a reinterpretation of the animated film,” Russo also said.

When it comes to being inspired by TikTok, Russo noted that the upcoming live-action remake will still be as musical as the animated film was and will try to stick to the unconventional approach that the original film also did. In that regard, Russo said, the team behind the film is looking to modern-day social media for how audiences absorb things like musicals.

“There are questions about how you translate it as a musical,” said Russo. “Audiences today have been trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks like and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit on how you execute a modern musical.”

The original film, which starred Tate Donovan (Rocketman) in the titular role, was a musical retelling of the iconic Hercules legend. It follows the son of Zeus after he is stripped of his immortality by Hades in an effort to ensure he would be able to conquer Mount Olympus in 18 years’ time. Hades’ plans don’t go as successfully as he intended, as Hercules is left with his superhuman strength intact, leading him to go on a journey to protect his home along with humanity.

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The animated film is notable for going through constant retooling over the many years of development, with 18 credited writers contributing to the final product and Ron Clements and Jon Musker directing. The cast for the original film also included Danny DeVito (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), James Woods (Videodrome), and Susan Egan (Steven Universe).

Hercules joins a growing list of animated films from the Disney catalog to be getting the live-action treatment from the studio, including MulanAladdin, and The Lion King.

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