Disney’s live-action Hercules movie will be for TikTok Generation
Joe and Anthony Russo, filmmakers and producers, discussed their collaboration with Disney and the live-action adaptation of the 1997 animated tale of the Greek hero Hercules in a cover story for Variety.
Unlike the live-action Mulan, the new version will be a musical, but it probably won’t look or sound like the animated picture. Joe Russo noted, “There are questions about translating 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.”
We’re not sure what that implies, but TikTok has produced successful musical concepts, including a crowdsourced Ratatouille musical and the Grammy-winning unauthorised Bridgerton musical.
Disney partners Alan Menken and David Zippel wrote songs for the original animated film. It reimagined Hercules (Tate Donovan) as a tiny nobody who becomes famous after training with Phil (Danny DeVito) and his god-like power. Hercules’ divinity is tested as he falls in love with Meg (Susan Egan) and Hades (James Woods) uses him as a pawn in his continuous machinations against Zeus (Rip Torn).
Guy Ritchie (Aladdin, Snatch) will helm Disney’s Hercules, produced by the Russos’ AGBO. “We have an amazing relationship with them that we’ve built over a decade,” Russo said of 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.”
Everett Joe Russo says Disney’s live-action “Hercules” will appeal to TikTok-trained audiences.
“A little bit more adventurous in tone and execution,” Russo said. Hercules appears to be pursuing the opposite strategy to Mulan’s “change things up” approach, which failed due to poor reviews and a pandemic release.
“I think they’re excited to see what we can all add to it,” Russo said”Guy [Ritchie] is perfect for it because he has penchant for experimentation.”