Anthony Russo has assured fans the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s Hercules will be more than just a shot-for-shot remake — and may not even be a musical.
Russo told Collider that he and brother Joe signed on to produce the film because their kids are “Hercules fanatics”.
He hinted that the movie won’t be a faithful adaptation like Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King and may even eschew direct musical numbers in a similar way to the upcoming Mulan remake.
Russo said that “music will certainly be a part of it”, but said they are currently mulling how best to use the songs.
He added: “I think you always have to bring something new to the table because from our perspective as storytellers, it’s not compelling for us to do a literal translation.”
Russo pointed to the fact he and his brother’s work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t ever taken the form of direct adaptations from the comics.
The 50-year-old filmmaker said a similar approach will be taken to adapting Hercules from the 1997 Disney animation, which starred Tate Donovan in the title role and featured the voices of Danny DeVito and James Woods.
“I think we’ll do something that’s in the vein of the original and inspired by it, but we also bring some new elements to the table,” Russo added.
Russo stressed that the movie is currently in early development, with screenwriter Dave Callaham — who has the Expendables films, Shang-Chi and Wonder Woman 1984 under his belt — tapped to pen the script.
The 1997 take on Hercules received strong critical reviews, but was something of a box office disappointment, earning just $253m (£204m) worldwide, much less than previous 1990s hits Pocahontas and The Lion King.
One of the most recognisable figures in Greek mythology, Hercules has continually been revisited in cinema — most recently by Dwayne Johnson in the 2014 film Hercules.
The new Hercules project is one of a number of live-action remake projects currently gestating over at Disney, including a new take on The Little Mermaid and the recently announced Robin Hood.
Hercules, meanwhile, is available on Disney+ along with a huge variety of other Disney animations.