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Live-Action Hercules - What We Know So Far

Disney looks ready to ride the live-action reboot model until the wheels fall off. We've already seen The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast make the leap between dimensions, and an entire slate of new flesh-and-blood films is in the queue. 

Keeping in line with their mining of the Disney animation renaissance of the '80s and '90s, the House of Mouse has its heart set on a remake of 1997's Hercules. The musical retelling of the Greek myth is a fan favorite thanks to its upbeat, gospel-inflected songs from the mind of Alan Menken. Like the memorable and unruly Pegasus, Disney die-hards are champing at the bit over the news that a new version is in the works.

The frenzy over the news of a new classic coming back to theaters came swiftly, in a tide of dream castings and excited, all-caps posting. To help folks who came to the news of Hercules Redux a little late, we've put together everything we know so far about the remake. 

There is no scheduled release date for the remake of Hercules

No release date has been set for the upcoming remake of Hercules. Production on the movie hasn't started, and there's no telling how long the novel coronavirus crisis will keep Hollywood in hibernation. That doesn't mean, however, that the movie is entirely in stasis. Producers and a scriptwriter have been named. 

Joe and Anthony Russo, best known for sticking the landing on the Avengers' Infinity Saga for the Disney-owned powerhouse Marvel, are set to produce the Hercules reimagining. According to unnamed sources who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, however, the Russos will stay away from the director's chair. Disney kept scriptwriting duties in-house as well, tagging Dave Callaham from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to pen the Hercules screenplay.  

While we won't see the film for quite a while, the live-action Disney schedule is packed. First up is the delayed release of Mulan, which was pushed from March to July 24. After that comes Halle Berry in a reworking of The Little Mermaid. Emma Stone follows in the villain-focused Cruella before Disney returns to Neverland with Peter Pan & Wendy

Don't hold your breath for a Hercules cast from Disney

It might not shock you to learn that this just-announced movie has no cast attached. That hasn't stopped fans from speculating, with everyone from Armie Hammer to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson being floated for the lead role. The Rock has experience both as Herc and in Disney musicals, having played the Greek demigod in a non-Disney-affiliated version of the story back in 2014, and having voiced Maui in Moana. Kevin Sorbo and Arnold Schwarzenegger have taken up the role in the past, but are unlikely fits given their age. Also in the alumni camp is Ryan Gosling, who played a young Hercules in a series of the same name all the way back in 1998.

Away from the title role, fans are pitching Ariana Grande as Megara, Herc's hell-bound love interest. Disney, itself, seemed to nod toward this reality, picking Grande to sing Meg's signature song, "I Won't Say I'm In Love," during the recent quarantine-inspired Disney Family Singalong. Meanwhile, given the match between Danny Devito's character, Pan, and the real-life actor, Twitter speculators are largely in favor of a reprisal.  

The plot of the Hercules remake has not been revealed

While there's not yet much to report about the plot of the new Hercules, don't expect too far a deviation from the original film. In the tradition of recent remakes from Disney, it's likely that the story will remain largely intact when it finally makes it to the screen. A new song or two might make its way into the canon of beloved Disney sing-alongs, but it's hard to see why the studio would want to muck about with such a beloved story. 

For the unfamiliar, or for those who have let it slip from their minds, Hercules follows the son of Greek gods Zeus and Hera as he grows up on Earth. Zeus' brother, Hades, orchestrates a plot to overthrow the godly home of Mt. Olympus, and plans to begin by killing Hercules. Hades' underlings botch their assassination attempt, making Hercules mortal, but leaving him alive. He retains superhuman strength, and eventually learns that he's the son of Zeus. In order to return to his home among the gods, he must pull off incredible feats of god-like heroism. 

Of course, there's plenty of time for casual fans and newcomers, alike, to catch up on the original. It's currently streaming on Disney+, and we likely won't be seeing the remake for quite some time.