I enjoy reading Tarot cards, not very skilled at it but it can be interesting sometimes. So for fun I recently asked my tried-and-true rider-waite deck about the status of the Disney Live-Action Hunchback Remake and here’s what I got;
Got the 7 of cups, the 5 of wands in reversed, the 2 of pentacles and the page of wands. I know some readers like to use the top card and the bottom deck card also which were The Fool the top on the deck and the Knight of Wands on the bottom.
The Current State of the Live Action Hunchback Flick as is Known
At present the status of the Live-action is in limbo. There are rumors that CEO Bob Iger doesn’t like the original movie, as well as Josh Gad and Alan Menken suggesting that the creatives are at odds with higher ups. That is all speculation but still the only recent news was the production is in limbo.
What does this Reading Mean???
I like to use Bibby Tarot as a reference as well as my own intuition. Again this is just for fun.
The first card is the 7 of cups which about illusions, wishful thinking and opportunities. Which might fit with creative teams’ desires to make this version in the first place.
The second is the 5 of wands in reversed. This card in this alignment is about inner conflict, conflict avoidance, or tension release. Perhaps there is more conflict amongst creatives than either Gad or Menken alluded to in interviews. Perhaps there is a lot of creative differences in conjunction with the studio “powers that be.”
The third card is the 2 of Pentacles. This card speaks of multiple priorities, time management, prioritization, adaptability. I tend to read this card a balancing act as in a push and push. Perhaps this also speaks to the forces acting on this project, as in what they creatives want and what the studio wants. In some capacity they want a good movie that makes money and maybe wins awards. But the sides can not agree.
And finally the Page of Wands. This card has connotations with inspiration, ideas, discovery, limitless potential, free spirit. This could mean that they are retooling ideas for the film. Or that they are moving on to new ideas/projects.
An Interesting reading to say the least. Though given the state of the Disney company and all the drama surrounding the Snow White version might have dodged a bullet.
I know I harp on new versions but bear with me for this post. I have too many thoughts and feelings. Sorry this got a little too long, scroll to end of the post for TLDR
I used to think that for content any new version of Hunchback regardless of its quality was a good thing. A new notable movie or TV show adaptation with a wide release would mean more current content and hopefully views, that’s always the hope.
Since this blog started WAY back in very late 2010 there hadn’t been a new movie/TV adaptation since 1999 which isn’t a well known France version and I can’t honestly speak to its lasting impact. Prior to that it would be 1997 TV adaptation with Mandy Patinkin and Salma Hayek. And again it doesn’t have the same cultural significance as the version that came out the year before which is the Disney version. The Disney movie is the de facto movie version along with the 1923 Lon Chaney film. The 1939 and 1956 are both highly regarded but really only for movie buffs or Hunchback completionists.
In the intervening years between the Disney version and now, multiple movie and tv versions have been announced and then quietly canceled.
However the one “version” that did get announced and released since 1996, the one that broke the 27 year gap between versions, or 24 year if you want count the 1999 version, was Quasi. A version that is only nominally a version (you can read my review of it here). At at best it’s pseudo-sequel of Hunchback. However it’s really a lie, it’s has as little to do with anything similar to the source material or any other version. They could have easily name drop a character even by their job title. Like a line about Quasi having a crush on a dancing girl would have been at least something.
Quasi gave me an existential crisis. After over a decade of nothing (aside from musicals) this what came out? Then to pile on, not long after Quasi came out there was the “news” about Disney getting cold feet about their Hunchback live-action remake.
When Disney first really started getting into the trend of live-action remakes I thought it was a forgone conclusion that they would give Hunchback the same treatment. In 2019 it was announced that they were going remake it with Josh Gad. And then Menken recently said the project was in limbo. There seems to be some dispute on “Hellfire” though that could have been an example that Menken offered and there is more issues that not being reported. Prior to this Gad had alluded to the hope that the ‘powers that be” letting them make the movie in a way that the original movie deserves. Seems like the executives and the creatives have differing opinions on how this movie should be handled.
Disney has always been blind about Hunchback. Many have mused that they marketed the film all wrong which focused on the “Topsy Turvey” number and the gargoyles making it seem fun and bright for kids and while for it’s for kids, it’s not the typically Disney fare. Then there is what happen with the musical and Disney not being clear about the reason it didn’t go to Broadway. The darker tones and social commentary doesn’t fit neatly into Disney’s brand. It seems the don’t mind dipping their toes in it but the original Disney movie was a too deep a plunge.
Disney hasn’t officially scarped the live-action Hunchback version yet but the live-action remake format does seem to be getting old. Some people like the new takes on the older movies but many more do not. And the Disney remakes are a whole other can of worms/discourse.
So as of now I’m of two minds. I loathed that Quasi was the version that got made and I loathe that Disney is trying is trying to pull out the remake. Good or bad I wanted that remake. At least that was back in 2019 which feels like a different era for multiple reasons. Since the Hunchback remake announcement in January 2019 there had been only 8 remakes in this tread cycle not including the 3 prior to 2010. Since January 2019 there has been 10 remakes to come out. On average these 10 movies have a Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score of 57% with an audience score of 65% and a Metacritic critics’ score of 53 and Metacritic user of 4.6/10 on average as this post. (I hope my math checks out)
The feelings of the live-action remakes differs for person to person, movie to movie. Some love the new takes and others don’t think they hold a candle to original animated movie as Disney just doesn’t understand the original animated movies. Of course this could be the result of fairytale sentimentality not working in the meta-modern film landscape. Also what works in animation does not work in live action as they are different film mediums and Disney should take different fairytales, or myths or folktales and make those into live action movies. There are plenty live-action fairytale movies out there for inspiration. But that method would be more of a risk for company and they do like the tried and true even if the onset of the Disney Renaissance proved antithetical to that way of thinking.
Given the state of the trend of live action remakes maybe it’s a good thing if Disney is forgoing Hunchback for now but in the same beat I do hate that a very bad non-version even got made. And there it is! I no longer want a “new” version simply for its existence. Just for content fodder. Realistically Quasi should not counted as version but that was it was promoted so it is sadly part of the conversation.
I do want a new version done with some earnest endeavor but if that is not to be then so be it. I will be grateful for the versions that already exist. The ones we have right now, the good parts and the bad parts, I am content with them. Perhaps I will revisit them because as I said things have changed.
TLDR- I used to want new version of Hunchback just to have a new version, quality didn’t matter because content. But with Disney get cold feet regarding the Hunchback remake and the Disney live action remake trend floundering (no pun intend) mixed with how bad 2023’s Quasi was and just the world and life changing I longer want that. I’d rather have a good solid well-crafted version than a bad or lazy version just for content or just for something new. Instead I will be grateful for all the versions we have right now, the good parts and the bad parts.
I had thought my first post was December 10th 2010 but it was actually on the 20th. So this is the blog 11th year anniversary. That is INSANE!
I suppose I should do some retrospective on the blog or Hunchback but I have no thoughts. Just a blank. Just “Shut-up! That’s crazy.” I feel it’s more crazy since I thought I had missed the actual date until I checked. Though to be fair the first post was just an introduction and it wasn’t till January 6th 2011 that I started reviewing the 1939 version.
Last year, I wasn’t really posting much but I did do a minor post to mark the occasion. You can read that post here if you wish.
I will say I do have more to say and more I want to do with the blog. I will say please keep reading if you are already reading this small yet old blog. And thank you for reading, skimming, lurking or just clicking a picture through google images. It all means a lot to me.
Also in that vein and the reason I’m writing right now is just to say that after the first of the year, so January, I do intend to return to reviewing The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo. That woefully just side-lined by real life stuff that I won’t get into. I will finish reviewing it because it’s too much not to get more attention.
Anyway Thank you so much for reading the blog no matter how long you it’s been for you. Though it’s very hard to fathom anyone still reading this blog after 5 years much less 10 or 11. It’s hard to believe I’m still writing.
I just didn’t want to let the year ago without making at least one post (even though I did update a post way back in February) and I haven’t made a new post since February 2019. Where does the time go?
I won’t lie and say I will be back posting regularly even though I still have a lot ideas for content but as of December 20th the blog is 10 years old which is crazy so I just wanted something for such an occasion.
So, I found some short story prompts that I wrote ages ago. I have no desire to write them as actual stories but I will share them. I guess my idea were they were wacky and in parenthesis I wrote an adjective for I guess mood or tone. Also my handwriting is dismissal so I’m not sure if what I post is actually what I meant. If you’re inspired by any these, go for it.
Frollo invents a thing that summons a fire breathing dragon (daring)*
Fleur de Lys discovers that her hair has healing powers (bitter)**
Esmeralda daydreams about eating a poisoned apple (lively)
Phoebus befriends a monster (adventure)
Gringoire becomes lover of the faeries (love story)***
Clopin’s holiday feast is eaten by gnomes (bitter)
Quasimodo finds a magic lamp (thoughtful)****
*I think the word is “daring” Not sure what else it could be but I’m not sure that makes sense.
** Rapunzel much?
***I think I wrote “lover” but it could be “lawyer” or “leaver” …?
****This is giving me Quasimodo del Paris vibes
(sorry that comments are turned off right now because I can’t deal with them right now but hunchblog twitter and facebook are still active so you can leave stuff there if you wish)
Reem Kherici as Juliette and Nicolas Duvauchelle as Mathias
Basically this is a French Wedding Planner. You know how it goes, the wedding planner falls in love with the groom but instead of a meet-cute where they have some sexual tension here they have a one-night stand at a costume party. Sure, whatever. Also to add more conflict in the mix the wedding planner/mistress (movie’s word), Juliette and the bride-to-be, Alexia were childhood class mates and by thatI mean Alexia was a pretty rich blond mean child and Juliette was fat and poor.
So there is the dynamic of the characters, unfortunately it’s all presented as very shallow and artificial, like this movie needed another round of rewrites and editing to the screenplay. Aside from Juliette’s connection to her childhood/inner child and her alcoholic mother nothing about that seems to impact her life or personality, she seems pretty together and confident.
There is nothing to really suggest that Mathias, the groom, is at all unhappy being with Alexia except that he has been with her for five years but didn’t think of marriage until Alexia found Juliette’s professional card in his pocket and assumed they were getting married. Alexia is a sort of bitchy and shallow but not deserving of Mathias’ wishy-washy/lukewarm attitude. Really it’s just bad character development.
For instance the movie tells us that Mathias doesn’t have a family, ok fine but what happened to them? Are the dead or was there a falling out? I he going to reveal the truth to Juliette there by strengthening their connection? Nope, it’s a taboo subject never brought up again. He might has well have a family if it’s not important to the plot otherwise why bring it up? The movie isn’t at all that interested in flushing out the characters and their interactions beyond smiling,drinking and the wacky antics they get into.
Which bring us to the humor. Now French humor is a little different, they like misfortune to happen to other people, other people’s pain is funny and BOY does this movie take that and run with it, with train and throws it over a cliff and then breaks its teeth just for good measure. And here are some that occur in the move; Mathias is forced into kissing a man to keep his trite with Juliette a secret, a Bride’s gets her mouth smashed during her wedding after a cross falls on her, Alexia is hit in the face with a tennis ball and breaks for front teeth, Alexia’s father’s prized wine collection isbroken by Juliette as she tries to hide after her Mathias are nearly caught having sex again in Alexia’s father’s house, and many more with one being so awful I nearly stopped the movie. This is a style humor that I don’t find very funny but maybe if the characters were better it could have worked. Like I didn’t care that Alexia got her teeth smashed in. There was no feeling it, it was supposed to be funny but that joke land on it’s face much like that random bride whose face was literally smashed which was also not funny.
While I did finish this movie it wasn’t goodor enjoyable. Perhaps if you want just amindless movie to fill the void for a little over and hour then if’s a fine but you could want anything else and get the result with your time.
Site Note–While I â€˜m happy I at least did the four reviews I set out to do this month but it came down to the wire. While like the idea of reviewing random movie streaming on Netflix I don’t think I will continue. I had mentioned reviewing French Musical in during the month of August, as I have wanted to do that for a while, the truth is my August is looking busy so I’m going to hold off on that for now. In the meantime I want toat least try to do more Hunchback content even if it’s stupid, like 100 layers of Esmeralda. So no more random movie reviews for a while. Not sure how frequently I will post but I will try and post something once a week at the very least and something related to Hunchback.
Everyday at about noon I get two google alerts. One for news on Hunchback of Notre Dame and the other for the Notre Dame de Paris Musical.
Now the Notre Dame de Paris alerts doesn’t always bring in news stories about the musical but mostly news stories about the cathedral, which is fine though I tend to ignore them.
Prior to the regional productions of Hunchback, the other google alertfocused on a lot stories that mentioned the Disney movie or the Lon Chaney movie to some capacity. There was a lot alerts about craiglist listings for old Disney merchandise. The point is the alerts did come in everyday an there wasn’t a lot to them.
Now with the regional productions, I get a lot of news stories about the many, many, many productions or even past productions of the musical. While yes it’s great that there is an interest in the shows it does come a bit of a cost.
First off even with the La Jolla and Papermills productions, there is no real version of the show. Every production changes things or puts its own spin on the show. There is no central production to really look to as a benchmark.
Also I can’t review every version of the show. There is too many and they not available to me to review. I have reviewed five iterations of the production, six if you count the movie though maybe 7 if you count in the book. But of the staged productions I have reviews the 1999 German version, the King’s high school production, the Lajolla/Papermills versions, and the Ogunquit playhouse version. I should note that the Ogunquit version is that I saw live. If there was a version close to me I would try and see it.
The point is while it’s great that there a lot of interest in this show on a regional level the result is that it’s all fleeting. That the news of regional productions clogs my news alerts so that any news that might come in about maybe a new movie version can get lost for a few days, till it clogs my alerts and then petters out to be replaced with more news about regional productions.
It’s just hard to get excited about news aboutproduction after production for a relatively small audience.Now if the show went to a bigger venue say like Broadway, or the West End or just done on a bigger scale for a bigger audience that would be something but does not seem like that will happen.
In the end I get actual news alerts for Hunchback and not just craiglist stuff but it just the same type of news everyday that I can’t get excited about.
side note- I’m not going to turn off the alerts because sometimes I do get news that is related to upcoming movie/tv versions.Follow thehunchblog
May 24th marks the Feast day of Saint Sara also known as Sara la Kali. She is venerated at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the South of France. It is a place of pilgrimage for the Roma to honor Saint Sara la Kali.
But who was Saint Sara? There are a few accounts about her origins. Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer was the place that the three Marys fled to after leaving Palestine. Saint Sara was said to have saved them. In other accounts she was their servant from Upper Egypt and othe othe say she was an Egyptian Princess.
Saint Sara makes her first appearance in Golden Legend which is collection of hagiographies by Jacobus de Voragine which is from the late medieval period. The Legend of the Saintes-Maries (1521), where she is portrayed as “a charitable woman that helped people by collecting alms, which led to the popular belief that she was a Gypsy.”
Though Ronald Lee, a Canadian Romani writer, linguist and activist suggested in 2001 that Saint Sara la Kali was part who is actually part of Kali/Durga and that Goddesses were transferred to a Christian figure. This is due to how she is worshipped on her feast day.
While it’s unclear what Saint Sara la Kali’s origins were, what is very clear is the devotion and love she inspires in her followers. Devotees say she their “mother.” The first aspects of the veneration of Saint Sara la Kali is the pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The pilgrimage is an important aspect of spirituality to the Romani, and they have been making the Pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer since the 19th Century.
The next aspect of the veneration of Saint Sara la Kali is her effigy which is kept underground in the church. The statue is dressed in bright clothing made by the Romani. A tiara adorns her head. People touch and kiss her clothing. They pin notes to them, leave photos of departed loved ones and trinkets.
The statue of Saint Sara la Kali is then carried from the church to the sea in a ritual bath so to speak. It also reacts her arrival in France. The ritual is also parallels the worship of Kali. The procession is a grand affair led by the Archbishop of Arles and Aix-en-Provence, complete with people singing, playing instruments and men on horseback.
Martine Guillot is a lay member of the ministry team at the church. “In all the stories about Sara, I think the most important thing about her is that she loved and served the Holy Marys, and if she loved them she also loved Jesus,” she says.
Way back in 2016 I did a post on award season gowns that looked vague Esmeralda-like in style. One gown I mention was this one worn by Zendaya.
Zendaya wearing Marchesa at 2016 Golden Globes
It looks very similar to the dress that Esmeralda wears on the poster/album cover for the Notre Dame de Paris musical.
Notre Dame de Paris Album Cover
Anyway, I been a addictive to Pinterest and this came across my feed awhile ago.
Zendaya in a Zuhair Murad gown, 2017 MTV awards
I can’t tell you how much this gown looks like it could have been made for the Norte Dame de Paris musical. It’s literally has all the elements of the original gown. This color, the cut, the shape of the sleeves (that it even has sleeves at all), the fact that there is a texture with the beading. Even hemline is on point. If this gown was the costume used in production or even just for a concert, I’d be happy. For the record, I do not think Zuhair Murad was inspired by Notre Dame de Paris at all, but it’s eerie .
Honestly if there ever was large scale production of Notre Dame de Paris made for an American audience, be it a Broadway level production or a movie (one can dream), Zendaya would be a great choice fro Esmeralda. And after listening to Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman, I really need her to sing Bohemienne, even if it. just a cover. Heck I’d like to see her as Esmeralda if Disney ever does a Live-action of Hunchback, again one can dream.
I went to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Ma a few weeks ago and at the Wear Art exhibit I saw THIS;
Gothic Habit by Lynn Christiansen 2014
This is a wearable garment made by Lynn Christiansen. It’s entitled Gothic Habit. That is a perfect name for this piece. Christiansen made it in 2014 and it’s made from felt that was laser etch. Christiansen
Christiansen was inspired by the shapes, rising arches, stone and the raw beauty of cathedrals. Christiansen felt that entering a can be a religious experience and then she wondered if the reversal was true. If where the structure produce the same religious feeling.