TikTok will be used as inspiration in The Russo Brothers’ upcoming live-action remake of the Disney movie Hercules. Hercules, a 1997 animated musical based partly on Greek mythology, is considered a part of the Disney Renaissance era. While the movie underperformed at the box office in comparison to prior Disney releases, Hercules has subsequently become a cherished movie, spawning a short TV series and a stage adaption. In 1998, the movie was nominated for the Best Song at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes, however it was defeated by Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On.”
In April 2020, Disney revealed that a live-action version of Hercules was in the works, with Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo producing. The Russos stated that their version of the movie will be “in the vein of the original and inspired by it,” rather than a shot-for-shot replica of the 1997 movie. They go on to explain that their Hercules will have a modern twist, and also that they especially would like to embrace the original’s humor. Guy Ritchie, who directed the 2019 live-action Aladdin adaptation, agreed to direct the new Hercules movie in June. While there have been no casting announcements to date, Danny DeVito (who memorably dubbed Phil in the 1997 film) has expressed interest in appearing in the remake.
According to Joe Russo in an interview with Variety, Hercules would draw inspiration for how to stage a modern musical from TikTok. He also mentions that the Hercules remake aims to be more experimental than original 1997 film. Read Russo’s response 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.”
How Might the New Hercules Remake Look Like?
Though there have been little updates on how this new Hercules will vary from the original, both Ritchie and the Russo Brothers appear determined to make this Disney remake stand out. With Hercules, Disney hopes to “stretch the limits of their IP moving forward, rather than playing IP management,” according to Joe Russo. The studio has faced criticism in recent years for doing little to change up their films in the transition to live-action, with names like Aladdin and The Lion King drawing particular ire. Hercules appears to be following the lead of the new Little Mermaid in forging a new route.
As a result, it appears that fans can expect an upgraded Hercules in the future. The live-action film may choose a more authentic approach to mythology, which will undoubtedly affect how the tale progresses. The experimental aspect described by the Russos could also imply that Hercules will put his own take on the hero’s journey, while the TikTok aspect could refer to presenting the musical portions in a new fashion. Previous Disney remakes have underwhelmed moviegoers, but there is hope that the live-action version of The Little Mermaid will change that. With the film planned to release in May 2023, the success of The Little Mermaid could influence the creation of Hercules, which is currently in pre-production. What a TikTok-inspired Disney remake could signify is debatable, but the Russo Brothers are surely attempting to create a fresh version of Hercules that has never been done before.