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.     

Sorry guys, due my own procrastination and being sick there will be no new post on Quasimodo  d’el Paris this week but I won’t leave you with nothing.

I was seeing if there was any new info on the Max Ryan version of Hunchback  when I saw on IMDB that the only cast for this movie is now Max Ryan as The Hunchback and Steven Berkoff as Advisor.

Does this mean that the ‘pivotal’ roles of the Giant and the Figment have been cut? Maybe, movies do get rewritten even as they are being made (though this Hunchback version is still in pre-production). Fun Fact Gone with the Wind was getting rewrite like everyday of filming and went through three directors.

Another possibility is that the cast they has listed are no longer attached to the project so the roles just aren’t listed and there will be The Giant and The Figment. I mean, Esmeralda and Frollo were never listed but at one point prior to the movie getting a listing on IMDB  there actors in negotiations for the parts, Monica Cruz and John Rhys-Davies.  I think this is the case because I for one and very curious about the Giant and the figment  and at the same time scared.

 

 

Monica Cruz picture image

Monica Cruz

The Max Ryan movie, we meet again. If people who read this blog will recall when I first mention the Ryan movie like over a year ago it seemed very theoretical but it’s real and it is happening. As it is stand, core characters have yet been cast or have not been announced yet, like Esmeralda or Frollo. According to cinema.theiapolis.com Monica Cruz and John Rhys-Davies are (or were) in negotiations for Esmeralda and Frollo. Now what is interesting is that Steven Berkoff is listed as in negotiations too and he is on the cast list on IMDB. So really who knows where Cruz and Rhys-Davies stand. So let’s just consider Monica Cruz as a possibility for Esmeralda.

Monica Cruz picture image

Monica Cruz

I know nothing about her aside from the fact that she Penelope Cruz’s younger sister and as a joke on 30 Rock said, younger hotter sister. Really, they look a lot a like. Cruz doesn’t have the same long filmography as her sister so I would be lying if I said I have seen much of her sample of work. What I can gather about Cruz from what I have seem is that she is cast for being attractive. She along with her sister are both dancers who have been trained, Cruz studied Flamenco and traditional ballet at The Royal Academy of Dance. So if she were cast it would promise as good dance number.

Monica Cruz picture image

Monica Cruz

Cruz is too old to play Esmeralda as she is the book. Cruz is 38 and Esmeralda is 16. Can a movie cover it up and make Esmeralda older? If the film maker wants yes, they can also put the setting on the moon if they want, doesn’t make a good idea. But really it’s mute point. Most of the time the character Esmeralda is changed so much anyway that making her like her like she is the book would be novel. Esmeralda is typically overtly sexual and with the casting of Cruz that is what it seems they are (or were) going for.

Monica Cruz picture image

Monica Cruz

Cruz does have a good look. Esmeralda is supposed to have an exotic look. Films version seldom do the backstory as the book has it, where she the daughter of a French woman and an unknown father. But that dark sultry look seems to the going look for Esmeraldas. Personally I can see an actress of Spanish decent or Indian being good in the role. So Cruz has it in the looks department.

Monica Cruz picture image

Monica Cruz

Would Cruz be a good Esmeralda for this movie version of Hunchback? I can’t say but I would say yes given the standards ideas Hollywood has for the character even though the Max Ryan version is an independent movie. Then again this version has a giant in it so my opinion of this movie is low and I’m not sure how good it will be in the first place.

Max Ryan picture image

Max Ryan

July 2014 I discovered a movie version of the Hunchback set to stared one Max Ryan, who I have been told is an actor. This version had a script and a cast list but not much more. You can read that post RIGHT HERE. The summery I found that is now gone so reading that post is worth it. Esmeralda gets attack by wolves and Quasimodo lives in the cave of Notre Dame. I also very briefly mentioned it back in September read here  Really I had passed this verison off has never being till last month.

Back in October it was announced that Director Chuck Russell was going to direct. Russell’s credit’s include The Mask, The Scorpion King and other action adventure movies. Also on the IMDB page for this version the genre is set as “Action, Drama, Fantasy.”  Dear God help us all. Hunchback hasn’t had a hollywood movie since 1939 and we get an Action Adventure movie. Also I just want to point out that screenwriters are Max Ryan and one Julio Ponce Palmieri who writes for mostly short films.

But what REALLY puzzles me so far is that cast list on the IMDB. First off there is no sign of Esmeralda and Frollo. When I first discovered this version it listed the actors for Frollo and Esmeralda as under negotiations so that could be the reason why they are not there. But still the cast has some roles that  just confuse me like The Figment and the Giant, the Fuck you say? Also Max Ryan has a double role as Quasimodo and Pierre. Considering the summery said Quasimodo’s parents loved him and he was stolen, Pierre could be his original name OR he just playing another guy to show off his versatility as an “actor”. This version has even started filming and I hate it.

There was also a new breif on IMDB when Russell was reported as the director that claimed that this version was still the same version as Josh Brolin version and the key players just switched which is not the case. This version existed before Brolin  dreamed up his version in 2011 with Tim Burton but that switched to Yimou Zhang in 2013 and then nothing. While Brolin’s jazzy’s version seems to either be dead or in development-hell, it’s amazing how similar these movies are to each other. Both are vanity projects from generic actors who have directors known for action-ish movies. Consider Hollywood studios  has had  battles with similar movies before maybe The Max Ryan version will fuel Brolin to make his Jazzy versions. Either way I still don’t know what that Figment  character is and nor to have faith in either version.

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Lon Chaney as Quasimodo 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Short answer, yes! As of now there have been two Hunchback movies that seemingly have never got their footing one being from Max Ryan that had a full cast list and the other was from Josh Brolin who just had the director attached. The real question is why should they make a new version?

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda & Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo,

Hollywood technically hasn’t made a Hunchback movie since 1939. Disney of course made their version 1996, but Disney is a little separate from Hollywood. The other versions were from France, (1956, and 1999) and the other versions were TV movies (1977, 1982, and 1997.) So there has not been a designated Hollywood Hunchback in  nearly 80 years.

Quasimodo (Charles Laughton) alone at the end 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo Charles Laughton, 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame

So yeah there should a new adaptation for a more modern audience. But more than that, there are more reasons than just timeframe.  Pending on the type of the movie that the producers go for, Hunchback could be pure oscar bait. For instant it’s historical-based story with a high  pretension factor. Second make-up, one can get crazy with the Quasimodo’s make-up and people love the trope of the ugly dude with the beautiful soul and I think people on the internet eat that shit up. There also the real-life angle they could make with the Hunchback worker. Oscars LOVE movies based on true stories.

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Gina Lollobrigida) dances, 1956 Hunchback of Notre Dame

Also adding to the oscar bait factor, the academy loves itself and since it made up of mostly of actors they like movies about actors. Now there isn’t actors so much in Hunchback but Gringoire is a playwright and Esmeralda is a dancer so they are technically part of the larger industry.

Sets of the 1982 Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Sets of the 1982 Version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

They could also go other genre routes, like re-working the story to be like a super-hero movie. Super-hero movies are super popular though they have been waning in recent years. But Quasimodo fits a super-hero type, so it could work.

Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quaismodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda, Phoebus and Quaismodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

There is also the chance, albeit not a super strong one, of Disney doing a live-action adaptation of the Disney version.  This seems to a major trend with Disney right now.  I could see this happening more than an super-hero version or a pure oscar bait.

Josh Brolin Interview for Men in Black picture image

Josh Brolin Interview for Men in Black

I will say that I have no idea what Brolin version was trying to do but I would say given Brolin and the director it might have been a super-hero variety.  I couldn’t even guess on Max Ryan’s version.

But yeah, Hollywood make a new version. What kind of Hunchback version would you like to see?

(Post Script – Max’s Ryan’s movie is a going ahead as well as an  Esmeralda movie in the works)

 

I was on a hunt for information on the upcoming Josh Brolin version of Hunchback and I found a 2007 version that had a cast and script attached. I’m a little unsure if the movie is in preproduction or in development hell or finished or what. It’s seems to be called, The Hunchback, real original.

It seems to be lead by actor Max Ryan and seems to be another vanity project. According to cinema.theiapolis.com, Monica Cruz plays Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies plays Frollo. Both actors are listed under “in negotiations.” It’s a little funny because Hazel D’Jan, who has a good look and is fairly age appropriate for Esmeralda is casted in the film as “Figment,” whatever that means. Since this movie seems up in the air and may not happen or did not happen or did, I can’t find lot information on this, I will hold off judgement on Cruz and Rhys-Davis, though methinks casting posts are in order.

However, the Script did win Best Screenplay at the Queen International Film Festival in 2007 and that is what I want to discuss. You can read a synopsis  RIGHT HERE 
I may seem like a book purist but I’m a fan of good adaptations. This movie might be great but based on the little info I have on the plot, I dunno how good this version is or will be. Here are 5 WTF things from the plot summary.

– Quasimodo parents loved him and Clopin killed his parents to sell him but Quasimodo escaped. Shame on you movie for making Clopin evil.

– Frollo is guilted into caring for Quasimodo. Disney did the same thing but this Frollo seems less gray than Disney Frollo, this Frollo is a Grade-A jerk-face.

– Quasimodo lives in “the cave” of Notre Dame. Not sure that that means but they elude to it being in the high grounds. Shrugs

– Quasimodo saves Esmeralda when she attacked by wolves. What? Huh? Kidnapping is not evil enough for you movie? Oh, that would imply Frollo and Quasimodo have a relationship where Quasimodo loves Frollo and would do anything for him and in this version they hate each other. It’s new, I give it that but it’s dumb. It also seem like Frollo involvment with Esmeralda comes from Quasimodo’s first involvement and not the other way around.

– Frollo kills the guy who guilted him into raising Quasimodo and frames Esmeralda. Semi ripping of the 1997 version here, huh?

It strikes me that this plot took too many liberties with the original and made some dumb choices. But who know maybe it’s better than the little PDF makes it out to be.

What are your thoughts on this plot? And if you have or find any more info on the this version let me know.