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.
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.Follow thehunchblog