Of the movies that made up the Disney Renaissance period, four have been adapted for live-action within the last half decade, and The Little Mermaid will be #5 once it comes out next May among the 2023 movie releases. Additionally, there’s a live-action version of 1997’s Hercules on the way, and it was announced in June that Guy Ritchie will sit in the director’s chair for that. Ritchie already has experience with live-action Disney remakes from helming 2019’s Aladdin, and now he has shared an update on where things stand with this new take on Hercules.
Guy Ritchie briefly talked Hercules while attending the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia (via Screen Daily), saying that he’s hoping to shoot Hercules “within the next year.” Since Ritchie is set to start shooting his Henry Cavill-led World War II thriller The Ministry Of Ungentlemanly Warfare in February, that means if his wish for Hercules is fulfilled, cameras likely won’t start rolling until towards the end of 2023, perhaps around this time next year. Ritchie, who wrapped production on the Jake Gyllenhaal-led The Covenant (which has previously been called The Interpreter) two weeks ago, also said the following about how he likes to keep busy with filmmaking:
Along with the aforementioned The Little Mermaid, Disney also has its live-action Snow White, starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot, slated for March 22, 2024, followed by the prequel Mufasa: The Lion King on July 5, 2024, and Disney+ subscribers will be able to watch Peter Pan & Wendy sometime in 2023. So as far as live-action Disney adaptations/re-imaginings go, we’re fairly well covered in the new few years, meaning there’s still time for Guy Ritchie and his team to get things in order for Hercules. If the director is able to begin principal photography before 2023’s over, given that Hercules will undoubtedly have an extensive post-production process, then 2025 is probably the earliest we can expect it.
The live-action Hercules also has Avengers: Endgame and The Gray Man directors Joe and Anthony Russo looped in as producers, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Dave Callaham is writing the script, which was finished in early 2021. In June, Joe Russo said that the new Hercules movie would “pay homage to the original with a more modern spin on it,” and then he added in November that it would be a “modern musical” inspired by TikTok. No castings have been announced yet, but Danny DeVito has made it clear that he wants to voice Philoctetes, Hercules’ trainer, again, just like how James Earl Jones reprised Mufasa in 2019’s The Lion King.
Guy Ritchie’s most recent two movies, The Gentlemen and Wrath of Man, can be respectively streamed with a Netflix subscription and Paramount+ subscription. We’ll pass along any other notable details about his version of Hercules as they come in.