File this under films to start paying some serious attention to. Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou is circling Quasimodo, the Josh Brolin vehicle based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
If you don’t know who Yimou is, let me throw a few titles out there: House of Flying Daggers, Hero, Raise the Red Lantern, and the more recent The Flowers of War, about the Rape of Nanking. Now do you understand why this piece of information is so exciting?
Variety reported that Yimou is interested in directing Quasimodo, a project that Josh Brolin pitched to Warner Brothers way back in 2011. Brolin has plans to star, presumably as Quasimodo. The film is being written by Kieran and Michele Mulroney (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows).
Quasimodo will follow the story of Esmeralda, a gypsy girl who takes sanctuary in the Notre Dame Cathedral after being accused of murder. She’s saved by the deformed bellringer, Quasimodo, one of the greatest heroes of Western literature, who falls in love with Esmeralda’s kind and generous nature.
There’s great fodder in the original novel for pathos and heroism, not to mention a choice part for Brolin if he plays Quasimodo. He’ll have to work hard though to live up to Charles Laughton’s portrayal in 1939’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It seems a perfect story for a director like Yimou, who is known for sympathetic and multi-faceted portrayal of female characters.
As yet, Zhang Yimou is only in talks for Quasimodo. If he signs on, we can expect to see things head towards production any day now.
What do you think of Zhang Yimou taking on directorial duties for Quasimodo? Who would you like to see in the part of Esmeralda? Let us know what you think in the comments below.