We’re sure this news is bound to spread like “Hellfire.” Disney has announced the production of a live-action musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s currently being written by Tony-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang, whose other work includes Disney’s animated Tarzan.
Disney legend Alan Menken, and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) will be writing the music to this Disney Renaissance classic.
Mandeville Films, the production company responsible for the 2017 live-action version of Beauty and the Beast is producing the remake along with Josh Gad. According to Deadline, it’s rumored he might also have the role of Quasimodo, but no formal announcements have been made about casting.
“The new film will pull from that 1996 animated film and the Hugo novel but not the stage production that Schwartz and Menken collaborated on in Europe. David Hoberman, who runs Mandeville with Todd Lieberman, has been fixated on a live-action Hunchbackfor over 30 years going back to when he was Disney film president. An early attempt led to the animated film and another resulted in a limited TV series on ABC. Now it has come back around as a feature film, and while it is early and not on the Disney release calendar, Hunchback has some of the most storied players from the stage and musical realms.”
Hunchback is arguably one of the strongest Disney movies in terms of music, despite its troubled storytelling, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.