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Live-action Hercules remake takes Inspiration from TikTok.

by John Paul
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The next live-action remake of the Disney picture Hercules, produced by the Russo Brothers, will draw heavily on the popular video-sharing app TikTok. Hercules, released in 1997, is a Disney Renaissance-era animated musical with Greek mythology as its loose inspiration. Despite its lower box office performance compared to other Disney pictures, Hercules has remained a fan favorite and has been adapted into both a television series and a stage musical. In 1998, the film was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the best original song but ultimately lost to “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic.

The April 2020 announcement of a live-action Hercules remake at Disney included the Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo in executive producing roles. The Russo brothers have stated that their film would not be an exact remake of the 1997 original but rather “something that’s in the vein of the original and inspired by it.” They went on to state that they want to keep the original’s sense of fun while giving their Hercules a fresh contemporary twist. Guy Ritchie, the director of the live-action Aladdin remake (2019), signed this June to helm the upcoming Hercules feature. While Danny DeVito, who gave the iconic voice of Phil in the original 1997 film, has expressed interest in reprising his role in the sequel.

Joe Russo has told Variety that the new Hercules film will take cues for its modern song from the video-sharing platform TikTok. He also mentions that this new Hercules is meant to be more avant-garde than the original 1997 version. For Russo’s take, see below:

“There are questions about how you translate 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.”

Despite the lack of information about how this Hercules remake will vary from its predecessors, it appears that Ritchie and the Russo Brothers are committed to giving this Disney film a unique spin. In addition, Joe Russo says that with Hercules, Disney is looking to “push the limits of their IP moving forward, rather than playing IP management.” The company has been criticized in recent years for failing to modernize its animated films sufficiently for the live-action adaptation. This criticism has been directed primarily at Aladdin and The Lion King. However, a new Little Mermaid has clearly inspired Hercules to forge forth in a new direction.

In light of this, viewers can expect the next iteration of Hercules to be more modern. The live-action film may decide to be more faithful to the mythology, which would change the course of the plot. The TikTok element may have to do with reimagining the film’s musical moments, while the experimental part noted by the Russos may signal that Hercules will put a fresh spin on the hero’s journey. We hope that the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid will alter the trend of underwhelming Disney remakes. The success of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, scheduled for release in May 2023, could affect the development of Disney/Hercules, Marvel’s, which is now in the planning stages. It’s unclear what a Disney remake inspired by TikTok might entail, but the Russo Brothers seem determined to create a Hercules film unlike any before.



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