The odds are yet to be determined in whose favor.
In a cover story with Variety, filmmakers and showrunners Joe and Anthony Russo opened up about their collaboration with Disney. Additionally, they unveiled a live-action adaptation of the 1997 animated story Hercules.
And apparently, it’s based on the popular social media platform TikTok.
The new adaptation will be a musical – unlike the live-action version of Mulan. It doesn’t look or sound as good as the original animated film, so don’t expect too much.
“There are questions about how you translate it as a musical,” Joe Russo stated.
“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.”
But we don’t know what that looks like to the public.
However, some TikTok-inspired musical concepts have been successful. Maybe it works like a crowd-sourced fan-made musical based on Pixar’s Ratatouille and the award-winning unofficial Bridgerton musical.
The original film featured songs by longtime Disney collaborators Alan Menken and David Zippel. It seems to appear in Hercules (Tate Donovan) of Greek mythology. Moreover, the film chronicles the tale of the Greek hero as a skinny no-one who gains limelight after training with Phil (Danny DeVito) and his god-like strength.
His true divinity is put to the test as Meg (Susan Egan) wins his heart. Hades (James Wood) then attempts to use Hercules as a puppet in his long-standing plot against Zeus (Rip Torn).
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Hercules Didn’t Stick to Usual
The Russos own an independent studio AGBO. Through the studio, they are producing Hercules for Disney with Guy Ritchie – filmmaker of Aladdin and Snatch – as director.
“We have an amazing relationship with them that we’ve built over a decade,” Russo stated regarding Disney. “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.”
Russo referred to the approach as “a little bit more experimental in tone, a little bit more experimental in execution.”
Although several live-action Disney adaptations have received criticism due to their making too close to their source material, Hercules is paving a different path.
But the ‘shake things up’ didn’t work well for Mulan. Additionally, bad reviews and a pandemic release weighed down the film.
“I think they’re excited to see what we can all bring to it in a way that isn’t just a reinterpretation of the animated film,” Russo stressed. “Guy [Ritchie] is perfect for it because he has a penchant for experimentation.”
Ritchie and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings writer David Callaham are now working closely to create a script.
Details on possible castings and more still need to be revealed. (Perhaps there’s a chance of a Marvel crossover? We never know.)
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