The Disney live action version is over a year away with a release date set for July 2024 but I though it would fun to look through the IMDB trivia as it is in early February 2023 and offer my thoughts. You can see the IMDB trivia HERE.
Most of these are rumors. I also know that actors’ job is to act and one can’t completely base opinions of an actor’s capabilities on other work/characters they have done, so grain of salt with some of my opinions. Also with a grain of salt all of these since IMDB can easily be edited. Also singing a is part of this casting consideration.
“Chris Hemsworth has expressed interest in the role of Captain Phoebus.”
I can see that casting as a good choice. I wrote a post about Hemsworth as a hypothetical casting picks which you can read here.
“A live-action remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) was announced in January 2019.”
This is true. I believe it was the 16th though I did a post on the 17th ( blog post) However unlike the first reports I don’t think this version will be called “Hunchback” like 1997 version.
“Lin-Manuel Miranda has expressed interest in playing Clopin.”
On a personal level I think I would prefer another actor to play Clopin but I’m more ambivalent about this casting should it come to pass.
“Jason Alexander is rumored to reprise the role of the comical gargoyle Hugo.”
My opinion is that Jason Alexander reprising his role would not be a good idea. First off no one really gravitated to the gargoyles so having them in the movie seems not the best call. And if this version reframes them to be not annoying we are still going to be reminded of the previous version based on Alexander’s involvement.
Though I could see one way that the production could have their cake and eat it too as making the gargoyles both comical and sad/dark. This post is long enough so I will do a separate post on that.
“Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is reported to be in consideration for the role of Phoebus.“
Again this was a previous hypothetical casting post I did ages ago. I think he would work I just worry that he might be too mature for the role. But it could be fine.
“According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has tapped the Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang to pen the script. In addition, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will write the music, as they did for the 1996 animated original; their combined work on that movie nabbed them Oscar and Golden Globe nominations.“
David Henry Hwang is attached to this project and he has since the project was first announced. I have no knowledge of his work so we shall see.
“Robert Bathurst expressed interest in playing the villain Claude Frollo, following his antagonistic performance as Dottor Massimo in The Thief Lord (2006).”
I haven’t heard of The Thief Lord nor am I certain that it would a good basis for an actor or like I said, if we should basis previous roles for this hunchback version but I will slightly for this piece of trivia.
I have been a fan of Downton Abbey for a while and Bathurst (who was in seasons one and three) would not be my top pick for the role. I know much can be achieve with make-up and costuming but he doesn’t seem to have the right look for Disney’s Frollo.
Now Iain Glen who was also on Downton Abbey (season 2) would make a great Frollo, he has a certain look for it and apparently he can sing. I guess what I’m saying is that Frollo should look hard with sharp angles, no softness.
“Pamela Adlon has expressed interest in playing a new character.“
I don’t know what this would even mean. Looking into her roles she has done quite a lot of voice work so I’m not sure if she means doing that or not. A new character could mean anything but new characters are fine.
“Simon Russell Beale is possibly being considered to play the Archdeacon. Colm Wilkinson is also being considered, having portrayed a similar role in the 2012 film adaptation of the hit musical “Les Miserables.“
So there are two trivia nuggets in this one. I mean either actor is fine, Beale has more movie acting experience than Wilkinson and Wilkinson’s casting in the Les Mis movie was an homage because he was the original Valjean on Broadway so Wilkinson doesn’t the same type of connection to this project that he did with Le Mis, aside from Victor Hugo musicals adaptations.
I’m not sure what the analogous would be to casting someone for another Hunchback project. The mischievous part of me say cast someone from Notre Dame de Paris or one the OG Disney Hunchback musical performers, like Patrick Page. But I have no really strong opinions on the Archdeacon’s casting, at least at this point.
Actually I quite like the idea of Patrick Page playing the Archdeacon in this version.
“Gal Gadot expressed interest in playing Esmeralda.“
In fairness, Esmeralda does skew older in the Disney movie. It’s well known that in the novel she is sixteen however in the Disney version she comes off as older but she is still youthful enough as she is referred as “girl’ throughout the movie.
I just wonder if Gadot as Esmeralda is be a bridge too far? However 40 year old guys often play a 20 year old Quasimodo and an over 50 year old is “under consideration” for this version of Phoebus so the remake just may skew older with casting which would make a more maternal Esmeralda for an oldish Quasimodo work. However I do feel like an age-ish ass for this casting opinion. But Gadot can sing so there is that in her favor and she has a good look for Esmeralda too.
“As of July 14, 2019, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is under consideration to play Phoebus.”
Trivia so nice, they listed it twice. As of Early 2023 there is not casting information out yet so it’s unclear how far this consideration has really gone or if Coster-Waldau is at all interested the role. He might not be.
“Ed Helms has expressed interest in playing the comical gargoyle Victor.“
Given this bit of trivia and the one about Jason Alexander and the one that follows, the gargoyles are not being re-contexturized they are going to comic relief. Maybe the humor will be better than animated but we shall see.
“Jane Lynch is rumored to play the comical gargoyle Laverne.“
I feel like I need make peace with new Disney Gargoyles. I don’t relish the idea of Lynch as Laverne but I can see others getting a kick out it, so my opinion is ambivalence. Also it would just be her voice so that might be fine.
I did an anti-hypothetical casting post for Lynch for a book character who is an older-ish woman character so… there is that.
“Josh Gad is set to produce, and as of July 14, 2019, confirmed to be in consideration to play Quasimodo.”
It’s not at all surprising that the actor spearing-heading the project would want to play Quasimodo. That just seems to be how it goes down from Chaney to Timsit to like six other hunchback projects that were announced but never made. I also assume that for the Broken Lizard version called Quasi, Kevin Heffernan, who is also the producer, director and screenwriter will play Quasimodo.
Do I see Gad as being the ideal casting pick for Quasimodo? No. Is he likely to be cast as Quasimodo for this project? I would be surprised if he wasn’t.
“This will be the sixth remake of a Walt Disney Animation Studios movie that is from the Disney Renaissance, after Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), Mulan (2020), and The Little Mermaid (2023).“
“The production on the film was temporarily halted in March 2020 due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, until six months.“
Makes sense I’m just a little confused was it halted for six months or did it resume six months after this trivia was posted? I mean I shouldn’t question anyone grammar.
“Becky G has expressed interest in playing Esmeralda.”
I have never heard of her so I no clue if she would be a good choice for the role. Not a choice I would have considered looking into her filmography but if she capable at playing the role effectuality, maybe. But not a first pick for casting.
“Hiba Abouk is rumored to play Esmeralda.“
I have never heard of her. She is a little on the older side to play Esmeralda, she is within the same age range as Gadot. She does a have a good look for Esmeralda but I don’t know much about her or her acting capacity. I suppose in fairness to her and Gadot they don’t look their ages (whatever that means in today’s society) and Esmeralda is more motherly in Disney, so maybe.
‘Vocal coach and opera singer Elizabeth Zharoff hopes that Hellfire emulates Jonathan Young‘s metal cover for the movie, as well as in stage productions.“
I’m not sure why this is IMDB trivia. But it would be great if the Hellfire was as cinematic as the animated version. I don’t think a metal version for the film would work but the production can prove me wrong.
“To be released on the occasion of the original The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)’s 28th anniversary.”
Cool. Though the Animated version came out June 21st 1996 and this version is to be released July 19th 2024 so does this indicate there are advance screening planned in June 2024? Or is this piece trivia just incorrect?
“Set to be the first live-action movie musical adaptation of the novel.”
Neat? I do suppose a single song/dance does not make for a musical or the 56 version would have it beat.
“Josh Gad, Alan Menken, and Stephen Schwartz would also work on the Untitled Josh Gad/Jeremy Garelick Musical Project, even though that movie was originally going to be made in the 2010s.”
So they teamed up once prior and the project didn’t get made? Given Hollywood this seems very normal.
Who would you like to see cast in this version? Remember they have to be able to sing. I hope this means Phoebus gets a song or two.