Banking on the success of recent live-action reboots such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Jungle Book,” Disney shows no signs of stopping its machine from adapting other animated properties into photorealistic versions. Deadline reports that the studio’s latest classic to be remade is “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
The trade also revealed that the project, which is in early development, will have “Frozen’s” Josh Gad as a producer, and achieved playwright David Henry Hwang as the screenwriter. Disney’s previous adaptation of Victor Hugo’s celebrated tale was released in 1996 and became a box-office success for the studio, in spite of the darker themes it presented including religious undertones.
The animated predecessor featured the voices of Demi Moore as Esmeralda and Tom Hulce in the role of Quasimodo. Other cinematic portrayals of the moving tale of a disfigured bell-ringer in Paris’ landmark cathedral include a black-and-white movie from 1939 by William Dieterle.
According to Deadline, Hwang’s script will incorporate elements from the animated feature as well as the original novel. Hwang’s credits include the Tony-winner“M. Butterfly,” as well as successful plays“Flower Drum Song” and “Golden Child.”
No casting announcements have been made as of yet, but filling the lead roles of the hero and heroine will surely prove a challenge. Veteran Oscar-winning composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who wrote the songs for the 1996 “Hunchback,” will return to write new tracks for this version.
The long list of upcoming live-action iteration of classic Disney animated films currently includes “Aladdin” (2019), “The Lion King” (2019), “Dumbo” (2019), “Mulan” (2020), “The Little Mermaid” (2020). This list, of course, is likely to grow longer based on the results the slate set to premiere this year returns.
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