Disney’s Live-Action ‘Hercules’: TikTok an Inspiration, Says Producer


In this week’s cover story for Varietyfilmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo are clear that their dedication to their own independent studio, AGBO, means that the directors of “Avengers: Endgame” don’t expect them to make another movie with Marvel Studios anytime soon.

“We won’t be ready to do anything with Marvel until the end of the decade,” said Joe Russo.

However, the Russos have already returned to Marvel’s parent company, Disney. Through AGBO, they are producing a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1997 animated film “Hercules,” with Guy Ritchie — who helmed the 2019 live-action remake of “Aladdin” — directing.

“We have a great relationship with them that we’ve built over the past ten years,” said Joe Russo. “I think we have a stance on how to push the boundaries of their IP, rather than play IP management.”

While many of Disney’s recent live-action remakes have been criticized for staying too close to the source material, Russo says “Hercules” will be “a little more experimental in tone, a little more experimental in execution.”

“I think they’re excited to see what we can all do for it in a way that’s not just a reinterpretation of the animated film,” added Russo.

Ritchie is currently working on his own version of David Callaham’s screenplay (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”).

“Guy is perfect for it because he has a penchant for experimentation,” says Russo.

Directed by “The Little Mermaid” filmmakers John Musker and Ron Clements, the original “Hercules” commemorates the legend of the Greek demigod as a story of a rising celebrity who becomes famous for his exploits. As was the case with all Disney animated films in the 1990s, it is also a musical, largely sung by a quintet of black women serving as Greek chorus.

Russo says the live-action “Hercules” will also be a musical — sharing the original’s unconventional approach.

“There are questions about how you translate it as a musical,” Russo says. “The audience today is trained by TikTok, right? What is their expectation of what that musical looks and feels like? That can be a lot of fun and help us push the boundaries a little bit in how you perform a modern musical.”

Along with “Hercules”, AGBO also partners with some of the biggest streaming platforms in the industry. For Netflix, they are developing a sequel and prequel to “The Gray Man” and directing the sci-fi adventure “The Electric State” starring Millie Bobby Brown and Chris Pratt. And for Amazon Prime Video, they’re producing the wildly ambitious spy thriller “Citadel” starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Richard Madden, and a reboot of “Butch and Sundance” as an event series for Amazon, with Regé-Jean Page and Glen Powell confirmed as the titular outlaws. .

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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