Disclaimer- These are my opinions..

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

Over the years there has been a few new adaptations announcements about Hunchback movies/series in development with the most recent announcement being the next to release on April 20th 2023.

Aside from one version, all announcements centered around an actor leading the project with the expressed casting themselves as playing Quasimodo.

Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda Quasimodo d'El Paris picture image
Patrick Timsit as Quasimodo & Melanie Thierry as Esmeralda

Now this isn’t new, Lon Chaney (1923) and Patrick Timsit (1999) both more or less lead their respective projects. It does seem inevitable that Josh Gad will play Quasimodo in 2024 Disney Live-Action version and Kevin Heffernan with Quasimodo in the Broken Lizard version, Quasi. But the question is, Is this really a bad thing?

Quasimodo is a unique role for actors. One has to combine physicality with pathos which is more or less the dream combination for many actors. And one does not have to be “Leading Man Handsome.” In fact it works to an actor’s advantage not to be “that type” for a certain believability. Just think of the most “handsome” or “hottest” actor you can think of. Can you really imagine them playing Quasimodo? Maybe you can and maybe can’t.

Josh Gad for Quasimodo picture image
Josh Gad

So take an actor like Josh Gad, he does not have many lead roles. He is most known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, a side-character. A memorable side-character from very well loved movie but still not a starring role. In that same vein he also played LeFou in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

Now this is just an opinion but given that Gad is producing both the 2024 Hunchback remake and the Beauty and the Beast series, which follows LeFou and Gaston, my guess that he trying to make opportunities for himself within the system. He has already played LeFou and a Hunchback remake was inevitable given the Disney film making landscape right now. Coupled with the allure of playing a role like Quasimodo which was more or less up for grabs given a chance. A chance that he may not have gotten had he not jump at producing the project outright.

So is it a bad thing for actors to create projects where they can cast themselves in the leading role? It defiantly speaks to a self-serving privilege BUT I don’t think it bad. Given that seven announced Hunchback projects that were actor-lead that have been announced since 2010 and only two of them have release dates, it doesn’t mean that said actor who leading the project will even get to play the role. The other projects may have fizzled out or be stuck in-development-hell.

So while Gad wasn’t high on my casting picks for Quasimodo he may bring an earnest to the role that the Disney animated version possessed.

In an interview with Josh Brolin (click here to watch), he said that Tim Burton will be involved in the project in some way (either directly or indirectly). This just means that Burton hasn’t sign a contract yet. No doubt he is holding out for more money. In any case Tim Burton involvement means that Johnny Depp has to be in this movie in some way.

Johnny Depp image picture

Johnny Depp

He’ll probably end up playing Gringoire. Given that this version is going to focus more on Gringoire and Burton is involved it seems very likely that Depp would be cast in role. Personally I think he would be fine in the role but Depp maybe to mature for Gringoire. Then again I think the book’s plot was thrown out the window ever since Brolin called this version “jazzy.” So perhaps so Depp can make Gringoire into what ever he wants.

But tell me what do you think……

Who Should Johnny Depp play in the 2013 Hunchback movie?

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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.

Remakes of both  Les Miserables and Hunchback of Notre Dame are slated to be released in 2013. So far Les Miserables is directed by Tom Hopper and will star Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Hugh Jackman as TBA.

Anne Hathaway Picture

Anne Hathaway

Hugh Jackman picture image

Hugh Jackman






The Hunchback is still in the rumor phase by as I mentioned before Josh Brolin is attached to it and may play Quasimodo and Tim Burton is rumored to be the director.  Hunchback will also be given a an adventure al la Pirates of the Caribbean. And since Hugh Jackman  and Anne Hathaway are attracted to Les Miserables I have to assume it’s going to be a musical. So Hugo’s two most  popular books, both of which haven’t been touch in a about a decade (by Hollywood) are going to be made into an adventure and a musical (guess).  Les Miserables as a musical isn’t unbelievable as it’s a very  popular musical but Hathaway and Jackman are just there to get people to see the movie who wouldn’t have otherwise. I think Jackman would do fine as either Valjean or Javert (his casting is not official yet) but Hathaway as Fantine, no, no, no. I don’t dislike Hathaway or dislike her singing but I can’t see her as Fantine at all, not even remotely.

If this is how casting is going on Les Miserables, it doesn’t leave with a ton of confident with casting on hunchback.  I mean casting  in Hollywood is awful but given the trend of casting people regardless of talent or what is required of the role I fear for Hunchback. My guess is that for Hunchback they’ll just get Megan Fox for Esmeralda (because the masses think she’s hot and the masses pay to see movies) and probably Alan Rickman as Frollo. I think many people like the idea of Rickman as Frollo, and truthfully it not a bad casting idea, he would make a decent Frollo. But if the new movie makes Esmeralda overtly sexy, you know that it’s just to get a demographic in the seats.

If they cast someone like Fox as Esmeralda, expect a major rant from me. I stomach the idea of Hathaway as Fantine better than Fox.


I just want to take a moment and get this out there.

Tim Burton picture image

Tim Burton

Quasimodo Rescues Esmeralda Illustration picture image

Quasimodo Rescues Esmeralda Illustration

Josh Brolin  picture image

Josh Brolin







A few months ago it was announced that Tim Burton was rumored to be directing a new adaptaion of  The Hunchback of Notre Dame slated for 2013 and attach to this is actor Josh Brolin of such movies as Jonah Hex and  True Grit as Quasimodo. I was reading some of comments people left on the websites that announced this and mostly they were discussing how Johnny Depp was not playing the leading character in a Tim Burton movie. Unusual? Yes but does this mean that Johnny Depp will not be in the film?

Johnny Depp image picture

Johnny Depp

My guess he will. Let’s face it Quasimodo not exactly a Depp role, sure he played Ed Scissorhand but I can’t envision Depp as Quasimodo. However I could see him as Gringoire.    Gringoire is a poet and sometimes he used as a story-teller (as he more less is the voice for the writer) and more often than not he has been paired up with Esmeralda. I would predict that Johnny Depp will play Gringoire, I can see him as Frollo or Phoebus, however he could play Clopin. For Depp to Play Clopin it would depend of the direction of the film. Clopin is not actually a gypsy in the book but in the film Clopin takes on all of the leaders of the Court of Miracles, so sometimes he’s a Gypsy and sometimes he’s not. However I could see him as Clopin or Gringoire. Though I would lean towards Gringoire.

Helena Bonham Carter picture image

Helena Bonham Carter

As for Helena Bonham Carter (another staple in a Burton movies), there is a lack of females in Hunchback of Notre Dame and it’s up to the film’s direction if they’ll have more than just Esmeralda. I wouldn’t cast Carter as Esmeralda or Fleur de Lys ( if Fleur de Lys is in this adaptation). Pending on film direction I would cast her as Sister Gudule, Esmeralda’s mother. However if the film doesn’t go for Esmeralda’s back story which I’ve only ever seen twice in adaptations, Carter will have some cameo of some sort maybe La Falourdel (the women who house Phoebus rents a room from in order to seduce Esmeralda).  In case I would predict her to be in the film is some capacity.

I hope they get someone who is more akin to Esmeralda in the book; someone who is not overtly sexy and  youthful, that would be refreshing to see.

Anyway these are all rumors and predictions, but I would love to hear what you think on this upcoming movie.