MTV’s Movie Blog back in May had an interview with Josh Brolin regarding the the rumors around the new Hunchback movie. According to Brolin, he woke up one fine day and decided he wanted to make a Hunchback movie. He also says that Tim Burton will be involved in some form and the script is brilliant. Though what actor would diss their own vanity project by saying the script is a piece of crap? And this is a vanity project for Brolin since he is putting himself in the role of Quasimodo, a role that fine actors have been playing since the 20s.

Now from the book’s perspective Brolin, who is in his 40s is way too old to play Quasimodo but from a film history perspective he is not. Of the actors who have played Quasimodo in films since 1923 the average age of the them is 42. So while I can’t really disparage Brolin for playing a character 20 year younger than himself, I do blame the film industry as a whole for this warp-ness especially when actress playing Esmeralda that have less of an age gap are deem too old.

Another issue I have is that Brolin mentions a few times (in the space of a minute and a half) how fun the movie will be. Hunchback has a connotation for being dark and depressing and while it’s true that most of the character die in the book the films are never as bleak. The way Brolin makes it known that this movie will be “jazzy” makes it seem like he feels that all the movies are depressing and never fun. However the last two major movie versions have been a Disney movie and a modern-retelling that was a parody. The world doesn’t really need a another fun version of Hunchback. Making it fun is a marketing ploy to get people to watch the movie since people in general don’t like sad movies. So making the Hunchback of Notre Dame (a book people know very little about other than it’s “depressing”) fun is a way to make money off of the book. Hollywood doesn’t have the balls to make a version of the movie that keeps in line with the book.

This movie is also going to focus on Gringoire, so it’s like the 1939 version and the 1997 version where Gringoire is Esmeralda’s major love interest. While I it find this interesting I also think it’s a major cop-out out. He is a safe character to follow as he not controversial or deep .

All that being said the prospect of new Hunchback movie is exciting and I can’t wait to see how it the film takes shape but my exceptions are low.

Additional nites.
Ages of Actors who have played Quasimodo in films (ages may not be exact)
Chaney born 1883 – 40 in 1923
Laughton born 1899 – 40 in 1939
Quinn born 1915 – 41 in 1956
Hopkins born in 1937 – 45 in 1982
Hulce born in 1953- 43 in 1996
Patinkin born in 1952 – 45 in 1997
Timsit born in 1959 – 40 in 1999
Brolin born 1968 – will be 45 in 2013

The average age is 42 and the character is 20 that a 22 year different between the actors and the actual character.

6 Thoughts on “Reaction to a Brolin interview

  1. Esme on 08/22/2012 at 9:34 am said:

    If the story were modernized/updated to take place in New Orleans and if done right, it might be pretty good.
    And to me a relaxing adaptation would be the one where I’m not the nerd in the theater shouting at the screen…”That’s not in the book…he doesn’t say/do THAT!” LOL.
    I think it would have been better for Brolin to have said “I’ve been having a lot of fun with the writers and Tim. We’re trying to make this Hunchback different from all the others out there and we’re all having a good time doing so. I just hope everyone sees how much of that attitude went into creating the characters when they go see the movie.”

  2. AnaykhOntheDoor on 08/22/2012 at 12:27 am said:

    When Josh Brolin said “jazzy,” I think he just meant high-energy and (relatively) upbeat. But now I’m secretly hoping he meant actual jazz. Because when I think jazz, I think New Orleans. And when I free associate on “New Orleans,” a lot of things come to mind that I connect with “Hunchback,” including:

    -French language and cultural influence
    -mystery and intrigue
    -the occult
    -poverty and crime
    -racial prejudice
    -Disney (The Princess and the Frog, New Orleans Square in Disney parks)
    -Mardis Gras (a cultural descendent of the Feast of Fools?)

    The more I think about it, the more I LIKE the idea of a jazz-flavored Hunchback film!

    …or maybe he meant smooth jazz. Like, a score by Kenny G. This could be the most relaxing Hunchback adaptation yet.

    • jess on 08/23/2012 at 11:45 am said:

      I think you right. I don’t thing he mean jazzy in though terms. A New Orleans version of Hunchback could be very interesting and would be more creative than an upbeat version

      Speaking on Hunchback version with a more modern context there was a play version in 2011 that took place in the 58 with a Muslim Esmeralda. It was called Les Enfants de Paris

  3. Esme on 08/21/2012 at 10:19 am said:

    LOL! When I hear/read the word “jazzy” I think of tap dancing, jazz hands, people in sparkly costumes with canes and top hats. And if Gringoire is Esmeralda’s love interest, then what happens to Phoebus…(not that I’m completely unhappy with a Phoebus-less adaptation) right there a new plot and story have to be made up, much like in the 1997 adaptation and right there all believability and credibility go out the window. The irony that without Phoebus, an adaptation looses credibility. I’m excited for the film as well, but until the trailers come out I’m not expecting much.

    • jess on 08/21/2012 at 11:06 am said:

      Well Gringoire was Esmeralda’s love interest in the 1939 version and there still was a Phoebus. Esmeralda’s infatuation with Phoebus and realizing her love for Gringoire could be part of a character arc. But I agree not having Phoebus does ruin the plot as Phoebus is the catalyst to incites Frollo’s jealous which gives the plot drama.

      I wish Brolin had never use the word jazzy to describe a hunchback movie -_-. Though maybe the world could use a jazz number in a hunchback movie? Maybe that is exactly what Hollywood thinks is missing from the book

      • Esme on 08/21/2012 at 9:34 pm said:

        Yup, The Gallery of Kings just needs to break out in a chorus line! LOL.

Post Navigation