Theatre News

Live-action ”Hercules” film to be ‘experimental’, producer says musical audiences ‘trained by TikTok’

Guy Ritchie
Guy Ritchie
© Kathy Hutchins, Disney

Producer Joe Russo has spilled more beans on the new live-action adaptation of Disney’s Hercules.

Based on the legendary Greek figure, the animated version of Hercules was first released in 1997, 25 years ago. It features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Zippel. The voice cast included Lillias White, LaChanze, Roz Ryan, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, and Susan Egan.

The new film, set to be a musical and directed by Guy Ritchie (who helmed the live-action Aladdin) is currently in the works, and Russo has reflected on the piece’s creative strategy in an interview with Variety.

He said: “We have an amazing relationship with them [Disney] that we’ve built over a decade…I think we have a point of view on how they can stretch the limits of their IP moving forward, rather than playing IP management.” As such, the film will be: “a little bit more experimental in tone, a little bit more experimental in execution” and not simply “a reinterpretation of the animated film”.

Russo reflected on modern tastes: “There are questions about how you translate it as a musical…Audiences today have been trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks like and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit on how you execute a modern musical.”

The development of the movie coincides with the premiere of a stage production, which was first seen pre-pandemic and is set to play indoors next year.