Live-action Disney vet Guy Ritchie is tackling Hercules next

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Photo:  JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images

Settling into his apparently comfortable role as Disney’s go-to guy to propagate its live-action remakes of existing animated classics, Aladdin’s Guy Ritchie has formally signed on to direct a remake of 1997's Hercules. The film will be co-produced by AGBO, the production company created and run by Avengers guys Joe and Anthony Russo.

Details about the project are basically nil at this point, beyond Ritchie’s involvement. Among other things, there’s been no indication about who the studio might end up casting as demi-god hero hopeful Hercules himself, who was voiced by Tate Donovan (among others) in the original movie. Danny DeVito, James Woods, and Susan Egan co-starred in the film, which has picked up a decent reputation in the decades since its release—despite being a notable dip in Disney’s box office fortunes at the time, earning $100 million or so less than the Disney animated films on either side of it, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and Mulan.

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Ritchie, meanwhile, has continued to dip into and out of Disney mode of late; he followed 2019's Aladdin with The Gentleman and then the Jason Statham-starring Wrath Of Man. He’s also reportedly got an untitled Jake Gyllenhaal movie in the works.

Dave Callaham, whose recent credits include Mortal Kombat and Wonder Woman 1984, has already done a pass on a script for the remake, although Disney is apparently currently looking for writers to offer up a different take on the material. The original film (whose story and script were credited to a whole stable of Disney writers) was a pretty traditional coming-of-age story for the son of Zeus, albeit one that livened things up by giving Herc a Greek chorus to musically narrate his journey, and an antagonist played by a motor-mouthed James Woods, at a time when that was at least somewhat more enjoyable concept to contemplate than it is now.

[via Deadline]