Disney is looking to bring another live-action adaptation of one of their beloved animated classics to the big screen.
New reports say they are going to turn The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a live-action musical that could possibly star Josh Gad in the lead role. More on the report below.
Deadline says Tony-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang has been set by Disney to write Hunchback. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the music for the original animated film, will return to write the music for the live-action musical.
According to the report, the new film will pull from that 1996 animated film and the Victor Hugo novel, but it will not draw from the stage production that Schwartz and Menken collaborated on in Europe.
While Gad has been Disney’s good luck charm, having appeared in Frozen – as well as its numerous spinoffs and the upcoming sequel – and the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, he has not officially been cast as Quasimodo, the lead character of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And this wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve seen Gad outside of a family friendly film. He recently appeared in a new adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
The 1996 Hunchback of Notre Dame animated film was considered to be one of the darkest in the Disney studio library, with the film’s sexual content, lust, rapes, judgment, alienation, violent deaths, and merciless killings. So it will be interesting to see if Mandeville, who is producing the film, will have any of that in the film. Even the film’s villain sings about Hellfire – hell, that’s the name of the song.
Now there is no word yet on who Disney may be looking at to direct the film. Again, it’s going to be interesting to see whether or not the person will make it as dark as the animated film. Guess we will just have to wait and see.
As for Hwang, he has a background in both plays and Broadway musicals. His playwright credits include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, and The Dance and the Railroad. His Broadway musical credits include Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, the Flower Drum Song revival, and Disney’s animated Tarzan.