It was only a matter of time before 1997’s Hercules became the latest of Disney’s animated classics to get a live-action remake, and it was finally made official several weeks ago. While there’s no director attached just yet, the Russo brothers have boarded the project as producers, and they can’t be entirely ruled out of the running to get behind the camera as well given their status as Mouse House favorites and the guys responsible for the highest-grossing movie in history.
The duo behind Avengers: Endgame have already made it clear that they don’t plan on doing a literal translation of the animation, which is good news because the vast majority of these live-action remakes have been more than happy to play it safe at the expense of any sort of originality, with writer Dave Callaham tasked to dip his toes into another new genre having already had a hand in the scripts for movies as varied as The Expendables, Godzilla, Zombieland: Double Tap, Wonder Woman 1984 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
There’s been plenty of speculation doing the rounds online about who might end up being cast as Hercules‘ major characters, but fans have already made it clear that they want at least a little bit of continuity from the original, and have been demanding that Danny DeVito be afforded the opportunity to reprise his role as Phil the satyr.
Luckily for them, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that originally told us about Hercules being in the works last year, and that Bambi and Robin Hood were being remade as well months before either was officially announced – that DeVito has already held preliminary talks with the Mouse House about returning. He hasn’t signed on just yet, and there’s no guarantee that he will, but the two parties have apparently talked about it, which can only be good news.
After all, James Earl Jones’ recent appearance in The Lion King remake at the age of 88 has shown that Disney are more than happy to have veteran actors reprise their animated roles if it suits their updated take on the material. Despite being 75 years old, DeVito is arguably at the height of his popularity right now, and if we can’t get him as the MCU’s Wolverine, then having him play Phil once again in the Hercules remake would be a more than suitable compromise.