he Russo brothers love their cinematic universes. Not only did Joe and Anthony Russo play a pivotal part in crafting the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems the duo want to make a cinematic universe out of the upcoming Hercules live-action remake. The Russo brothers are producing the remake of the 1997 animated musical, and gave an update on the live-action version, which they hope will spawn a “decade’s” worth of stories.
In a recent interview with Lights, Camera, Barstool podcast (via ComingSoon.Net), Joe Russo gave an update on Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Hercules, which he revealed is still in early development stages with writer Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) set to turn in his first draft of script soon:
“The script’s about to come in in a week. We’ve taken a lot of time and care with it. It’s a movie that was really important to me and my kids, something that they watched when they were young, and so we’ve got a strong emotional connection to it.
Our intention is to look at everything we do and think about how can we build it out, what can you do with this that expands it, gives you different opportunities for storytelling in it. So we’re going through that same exercise with Hercules, is can we build it out, can we build a world out of this and that extends beyond it and would be compelling, and I think that’s what audiences are craving, right? They want to see something really cool that they wanna get lost in it for a decade, so that’s our mission is to provide them with that experience. It’s still early!”
From Russo’s quote, the part that stands out is his statement that “Our intention is to look at everything we do and think about how can we build it out, what can you do with this that expands it, gives you different opportunities for storytelling in it,” adding that audiences “want to se something really cool that they wanna get lost in it for a decade.” In so many words, Russo is teasing that he anticipates the Hercules remake to spawn at least a decade’s worth of films — about the equivalent length of Marvel’s 10-year “Infinity Saga,” in which the Russos directed the essential Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame movies. So I guess that means we’re getting a…Hercules cinematic universe?
But with audiences already getting jaded over Disney live-action remakes, is a Hercules franchise really what they’re asking for, as Russo implies? If you go back to the source material of Greek mythology, sure, you could create feature films forever. But to stretch out the story of an already simplified take on Hercules of Greek myth might just be too far even by Disney standards. While the 1997 movie is well-liked, it’s not as beloved as Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid before it, so approaching the Hercules remake as a launchpoint for a new live-action franchise might be a foolhardy venture. But then again, these are the same guys that want to give us an Extraction cinematic universe, so I wouldn’t put it past them to attempt to do so with Hercules.
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