One of the countless Disney live-action remakes that’s in the works is a reimagining of 1997’s Hercules. In keeping with the trend for the studio to hire big name filmmakers to reboot their classic IPs – see Jon Favreau (The Lion King) and Tim Burton (Dumbo) – the MCU’s Joe and Anthony Russo are on board to produce, though it’s currently unclear who will direct.
A new rumor has teased what direction this take on the Greek mythical hero could go in, however, as insider Daniel Richtman has shared that Disney may end up casting a person of color in the title role of their Hercules remake. It doesn’t seem that they’re necessarily looking to hire a non-Caucasian actor for the part, but Richtman notes that they are considering the idea and keeping their options open when it comes to finding the right person to bring the demi-god to life.
This isn’t a surprise, either, as another upcoming remake is also recasting a character who was previously white in the animation as a PoC. The Little Mermaid, which is shooting now, is set to star Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel. Likewise, the Russos have stressed in the past that they have no interest in doing a shot-for-shot redo of the old Hercules and want to bring new elements to it while still being “in the vein of the original.”
Actors linked to the character before now have mostly been Marvel superhero types, such as Chris Pratt (see above) and Ryan Reynolds, as well as – slightly out of left field – Ryan Gosling. Maybe the new Hercules is going to be someone closer to Bailey’s stature in the industry, though, a younger talent whose star is on the rise.
In any case, the Russos are two of the busiest filmmakers in Hollywood, so Hercules still seems to percolating in development, with Disney prioritizing various other reboots first. Those on the way include Barry Jenkins’ The Lion King 2, Peter & Wendy and Pinocchio from Robert Zemeckis. Of course, there’s also Cruella, which arrives in theaters and on Disney Plus from May 28th.
Source: Daniel Richtman