This is the exact reason I still have Google Alerts.
Disney announced today that Hunchback is the next film in their roaster to get a live-action remake. I have been waiting for this day for a long time.
Here is what is know so far. Josh Gad is produce the film. Just a quick note back in late 2015 I did a post which discussed a fan casting that appeared in my google alerts and Josh Gad was their pick for Quasimodo you can read it here
Now I couldn’t see this casting pick at the time but Gad is an actor so if he DOES follow suit like so many men who have played or have aspired to play Quasimodo to showcase their acting prowess and have a hand in the production, he might be fine in the role. Just a note, he may not play Quasimodo but there is a trend that men spearheading Hunchback versions do so to play the role, Gad may just want to produce, we will have to wait and see.
Another piece of information we have is they Tony- winning Playwright David Henry Hwang is writing the screenplay and the film will simply be called Hunchback. Like the 1997 version.
Hwang’s work include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child,The Dance of the Railroad. He also has worked on Aida, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Tarzan and M. Butterfly.
It would seem that the remake will take its cue from the 1996 movie and the book and not the stage production.
Also this version will be a musical with Menken and Schwartz heading the music. So that is good.
What do you think? Are you over the Disney live-action remake trend? Are you excited? Are you afraid Disney is going to ruin it? Thoughts and feelings welcome.
Let’s just unpack this bit of casting news. Recently Naomi Scott was cast as Princess Jasmine in the upcoming Live-Action Remake of Aladdin and some people are upset. Scott is half Indian and half British and Jasmine is Middle-Eastren which means for a lot of people that she isn’t White or Indian. The reason for her casting is that she can sing and dance. At least that is excuse given.
Karen David as Princess Jasmine in Once Upon A Time
It’s a hard one. Personally I think Scott would have been better suited for Esmeralda, though I would rather see Gigi Radics in the role but this isn’t the first time Jasmine has played by a women of Indian Descent. In Once Upon a Time she was played by Karen David who can also sing and dance, watch Galavant, that show is awesome. One point people are making against Scott playing the role is that is was great chance by Disney to have a Middle Eastern woman in a prominent positive role. Another issue is that casting Scott looks like Disney doesn’t understand that Middle Eastern culture and Indian culture are different, even though some have defended Scott by saying there is overlap in the styling of Aladdin like the palace look like the Taj Mahal and Raja’s name. Also at Disney World Aladdin character frequent the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot. Disney has aways mixed vaguely similar cultures. I mean Agrabah is a combination of Arga and Baghdad, which is where Aladdin was originally supposed to be sets. Agra is an Indian city in Uttar Pradesh where the Taj Mahal is located.
Oh, boy am I generalizing today but a lot people feel that everyone should play any role and some feel that if you whitewash you have to cast everything like in voice acting in accordance with a character’s race and background and it just a can worms. First off Whitewashing is a BIG issue. If a character is a specific race and if it’s important to their character and setting than YES cast someone who fits the mold. I had no idea that years ago bitch about Chinese women playing Japanese women in Memoirs of a Geisha that should have been grateful they were at least East Asians. I did here people complaining about black people in the new Beauty and the Beast movie as historical inaccurate. Forget about the implications of a forgoten Prince hanging out after I guess the Revolution, it’s the race of few minor characters that irked some people.
Disney is in a unique position with its remake movies, they don’t need bankable actors. Sure, they help but people are going to see these movies more for nostalgia than the actors. So far with Aladdin, Aladdin is being played by Egyptian- Canadian actor Mena Massoud and Will Smith playing the Genie. If there reason for casting Scott was predicated on Singing and Dancing made they either rethink making these remake musicals or they could considering dubbing.
I think if Disney had expanded their search or at least rethought the singing necessity there might have been a better Jasmine. Scott might do fine in the role but I can understand both side of the argument of her casting. It seemed like filmmakers gave up trying to cast the role and settled for some who nearly had the right ethnic background.
Or maybe the film will make Agrabah a reverse Mughal-equse regime where the ruling and noble class are of Indian descent and the lower class are Arabic to justify this casting choice. (This will more than likely not happen.)
Quaismodo Bells of Notre dame reprise Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
I get a Google-Alert for Hunchback of Notre Dame. However it sucks. Mostly it just tells me about another regional production of Hunchback, which is great or something on Criaglist. To be honest I mostly ignore the alerts. Last Saturday though I got it in my head to just look on Google News for Hunchback when I saw this;
OR a similar news outlet making this report. Also I think my Google Alert alerted me to this on Monday.
So about the news. It’s not yet happening so to speak but Alan Meken said
“I can’t say anything yet,” Menken said, “but I think Hunchback would make an amazing live action musical.”
Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame
So it MIGHT happen. After watching the Beauty and the Beast remake, I think Hunchback is the way for Disney. It really did seemed with the new Beauty and beast movie they were trying to captizle on a movie that studios already thought was near flawless which is why they only changed minor things and did a fairly straight shot for shot remake. What was the point of remaking it other than making money? They could have just re-released the 1991 movie to theater if there weren’t going to adapt the story for the medium more. Say what you want about the 2015 Cinderella movie, at least it was different from the cartoon. Which bring us back to Hunchback.
Disney never liked Hunchback that much. It didn’t make much money ergo it wasn’t successful for Disney. Also the darker tone was turn off for a lot of people. A live-action version could fix a lot of issues and people might be more forgiving of a dark tone. It would be interesting to see what is done with the story. Do they make it more of blend of the musical and the cartoon. Or do they follow the book more? Do we get a more innocent Esmeralda and angry Quasimodo? Do we get a priest/alchemist Frollo? Do we get a Gringoire?
If this movie does get made it brings the total number of Hunchback movie adaptions in production up. Very technically speaking there are three in the works. There is the Max Ryan version (could be in filming hell), there was the version from Esmeralda’s perspective (haven’t heard any new on that one in a long time) and the Universal Monster version (hope The Mummy didn’t kill this being made.) Pretty sure the jazzy Brolin version is dead.
Anyway well we’ll just have to wait and see but I’m up for a new Hunchback version good to bad.