Seeing as last week we got an announcement that Disney is remaking The Hunchback of Notre Dame as part of their live action remake movie trend, I thought it would be a good time to do a check on all the “new” versions of Hunchback that have been announced in recent memory.

Now in my tenure of running this blog, counting the new Disney/Josh Gad version there has been SIX “new” versions that have been announced and nothing has gotten made as of yet.

Josh Brolin picture image
Josh Brolin

The first one was the Josh Brolin version.
This was to be a “jazzy” version with Zhang Yimou slated to direct.  Now Brolin has been on and off with this one since like 2011. Back in May 2018 he said he was still trying with this version but a New York Times article back in June of 2018 used the word “was” in reference to Brolin’s Hunchback. But who knows? I’m not holding my breath for this version.  

Max Ryan picture image
Max Ryan

Then we have the Max Ryan version which was to be directed by Chuck Russell. This one I believe was announced in 2014 with the news of Russell directing being announced in 2015. I think had a 2018 release date.  But in so far nothing has come out about it. 

This version actually has a bit of a history since in was based on script from 2007 that had a cast mentioned with it. Most noticeably Monica Cruz as Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies as Frollo. This is also the version with “Figment.”  Which I think for a while was on the IMBD page.    You can read more for a bit of a summary of that 2007 concept here.  Because it’s very weird
Anyway still no news on this version. 

Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame singing "God Help the Outcast" picture image
Esmeralda singing “God Help the Outcast” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Then there is the lesser known Peter Cherin’s version. This was one was announced in 2015 as an Esmeralda POV movie. The idea was originally announced in 2013 a idea for Once Upon a Time. There has been no news of this version since 2015.   

Peter Dinklage Quasimodo picture image
Peter Dinklage

Then we have the  Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage  TV collab. This news was reported back in October 2017. So it’s still fairly new and there was a report back in May 2018  that mentioned the project.   So I assume it’s still in the works.

Idris Elba picture imahe
Idris Elba

Also back in May of 2018, Idris Elba announced he was going to take on a Hunchback version for Netflix. This was the most recent project till last week. Again not a big deal that we haven’t gotten any follow-ups yet, it’s still pretty new.  

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

That brings us to the Live-action remake with Josh Gad. I looked at Gad’s twitter and he has two posts (at the time I looked at his feed)  that hinted Hunchback. One of him reading the Disney version’s art book and one him outside of Notre Dame with text that said “the Bells bells bells” etc.

I do find a little interesting since Gad was already in a Live action Disney remake as Le Fou and he voices Olaf that maybe this version is a bit of a passion project. That Gad is the one who convinced Disney to do this and not the other way around. I could be wrong, I’m probably wrong. We will have to see.

So we have a race on our hands. Which Hunchback version will be the first to get released to a general audience? Or at least announces some casting news first?
Only time will tell.     

This is the exact reason I still have Google Alerts.

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image
Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Disney announced today that Hunchback is the next film in their roaster to get a live-action remake.  I have been waiting for this day for a long time.   

Here is what is know so far. Josh Gad is produce the film. Just a quick note back in late 2015 I did a post which discussed a fan casting that appeared in my google alerts and Josh Gad was their pick for Quasimodo
you can read it here

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

Now I couldn’t see this casting pick at the time but Gad is an actor so if he DOES follow suit like so many men who have played or have aspired to play Quasimodo to showcase their acting prowess and have a hand in the production, he might be fine in the role.
Just a note, he may not play Quasimodo but there is a trend that men spearheading Hunchback versions do so to play the  role, Gad may just want to produce, we will have to wait and see.

Another piece of information we have is they Tony- winning Playwright David Henry Hwang is writing the screenplay and the film will simply be called Hunchback. Like the 1997 version.

Hwang’s work include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance of the Railroad. He also has worked on Aida, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Tarzan and M. Butterfly. 

It would seem that the  remake will take its cue from the 1996 movie and the book and not the stage production.    

Also this version will be a musical with Menken and Schwartz heading the music. So that is good.

What do you think? Are you over the Disney live-action remake trend? Are you excited? Are you afraid Disney is going to ruin it?
Thoughts and feelings welcome.

Source – https://www.cnet.com/news/hunchback-of-notre-dame-next-to-get-disney-remake-treatment/
Source – https://deadline.com/2019/01/hunchback-movie-disney-live-action-david-henry-hwang-josh-gad-alan-menken-stephen-schwartz-1202536031/

Last week this Live Action Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame Fan Casting came up on my google alerts. So let’s review their choices.

First off on the whole this article seems to think singing is needed in the casting though so far none of the Live-action Disney versions have been musicals so that shouldn’t be  a factor.

Josh Gad as Quasimodo

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image

Josh Gad

I don’t see it. Gad has a goofy comedian vibe but I don’t see him as sweet, insecure Disney Quasimodo. I would hate, HATE to say it but he is better suited for Hugo and I hope the Gargoyles would be cut out or at the very least CLEAR figments of Quasimodo’s imagination.

Rosario Dawson as Esmeralda

 

Rosario Dawson for Esmeralda picture image

Rosario Dawson

I’m a little torn on this one. On the one hand I can see her pulling of Esmeralda as Disney depicted her but on the other hand I don’t think she is the best casting choice there is.

I think Disney should try for some Bollywood IT girl or something. Deepika Padukone is popular fan choice as well as Priyanka Chopra who is one few Bollywood actors to make the jump to Hollywood as she on ABC’s Quantico which makes Chopra the first South Asian to headline an American network drama series.   Or Jana Perez would be a good option for Esmeralda and has the benefit of being in another Live action Disney movie before like Mr. Gad.

Zachary Levi as Phoebus

Zachary Levi for Phoebus picture image

Zachary Levi

I can see this one working. He has the right type of look for Phoebus and could pull off Phoebus’ witty and brave personality.

Alan Rickman as Frollo

 

Alan Rickman for Frollo picture image

Alan Rickman

This a yes and a no. First yes, Rickman as Frollo is like ideal casting that people all want but for Disney Frollo, it’s a little more iffy on that super austere design he has. But considering Disney Frollo’s design is based on Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Rickman has a similar screen presence I will go with a yes. I agree.

Neil Patrick Harris as Clopin

Neil Patrick Harris for Clopin picture image

Neil Patrick Harris

Again yes and no. Harris could pull off Clopin’s personality BUT he does not have the look. His look should resemble Esmeralda unless there something in the script to address it. Like Clopin in the book was the head of thieves I.E the Court of Miracles and not the leader of the Gypsies. In Disney movie he is the leader of  Gypsies. So it’s up to the script and or filmmakers who they can cast. But I think  the role should go to  someone else.

What do you think. Do you like these suggestions?

Frozen picture image

Frozen

Back in August 2013, I did a post mainly centered on Frozen and its lack of style when compared to the 2-D drawn movies. Frozen hit theaters on Thanksgiving 2013 to a lot of praise. But is that praise deserving or are people just blinded by the snow?

The answer, is yes, it is deserving of praise. Frozen despite its first trailer, which was bad, is a very an entertaining and engaging movie.

 

Anna Frozen picture image

Anna

Let’s just get the style and the look of the movie out of the way. Yes, it looks like Tangled, hell Rapunzel and Flynn had cameos and Anna and Elsa look like Rapunzel. While it is annoying that the 3-D Disney movies have little variation in the female looks and not the men, I can justify this. Perhaps their royal families married and they are cousins or something, I would buy that. But please Disney try some new female looks the same face with freckles are getting old. Maybe go different place in this 3-D world, like Spain that would be fun.

 

Elsa Frozen picture image

Elsa

The characters, are all great especially Elsa. Elsa is no doubt the most complex character Disney has come with. I read that she started at the antagonist  but the song Let it go forced them to rework her character and gave us the sister angle. She is so complex that she great to watch. The other characters are all good. I was surprised by Olaf. After that trailer I wanted to hate him but the voice actor, Josh Gad, made him work in a charming way. I adored Sven. Anna is a bit annoying at time but she didn’t bother me.

 

Anna and Olaf Frozen picture image

Anna,  Olaf and Kristoff

If you read my other Frozen post  you would get the impression that I’m down on 3-D Disney movies in favor of 2-D animation ones. That is a little true, Tangled was not enhanced by being in 3-D it could have been in 2-D easy by not Frozen. The snow and the ice looked beautiful in the 3-D rendering and that was the point. There should  be some reason for the medium. It seemed like Tangled was the experiment and Frozen was the pay-off.

 

 Elsa and Anna frozen picture image

Elsa and Anna

I like how Disney is playing with their own tropes, Elsa telling Anna she can’t marry some she just met, Hans being the bad guy (he’s a bit like Gaston in that way) and true love being between sisters.  It’s really refreshing and playful.  Fun question, because Hans is the villain, does that make the romance song, Love is an open door, the villain song?  Talk about playing with  your tropes!

 

Trolls Frozen picture image

The Trolls

The movie is not without it’s problems, Hans was weak and dumb about political maneuvers, but the reveal was great, the deus ex machina ship at the end, the flow of the plot is clunky in places, it has a little bit of pan-scandinavian confusion  and I found the troll weak. The clunky parts are forgivable and Disney has never been one for 100%  cultural authenticity so that is forgivable too. The design of the Trolls were boring and franky they don’t look look like they belong to this movie. They could have more fun with the designs. The only good thing about them was Olaf’s reaction. It would have been amazing if they had been inspired by the Moomins but then again I love the Moomins, so bias. The trolls are small issue it just wish there was more too them then moss cover rocks.

 

Elsa, Frozen

Elsa

All in all Frozen was a great Disney movie. It had all the facets that make a Disney movie,  memorable songs, characters and animation, and Let it Go had all these things. All the things Disney has been lacking recently . Could Frozen mark the next Golden Age? Only the next few movie will tell and hopefully they will be just as good as Frozen.