After several large-scale successes of classics such as Cinderella and The Lion King, Disney’s live-action remake train is set to continue with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, coming in 2024. It will be a remake of the classic 1996 animation of the same name and only a few details have been released so far. While Idris Elba has talked about making a Hunchback remake for Netflix, it fell through. The remake would be the first major rendition since the 1996 TV movie The Hunchback starring Salma Hayek as Esmeralda.
The film appears to be the very first live-action musical adaptation of the story, which means it does something different compared to other Disney remakes, which have simply been the live-action version of what has already been done. . It seems likely that Josh Gad will play Quasimodo while producing the film. Casting is still being decided for this film, but what about the tone and mood of the film? What angle are they going to take with this one? Should it call back the original or a bold new take? Let’s talk.
Lean into the colors of the sunset
For those unaware, the novel was first written in 1831 and features a much darker storyline than Disney’s animated version. No singing gargoyles for one, and a far more tragic ending than the other. If Les Miserables was written during a good period of Victor Hugo’s life, Bossu was written during a particularly miserable few years of his existence.
Somehow, though, Disney decided it would be a great idea to adapt a story about a sex-obsessed archbishop lusting after a sixteen-year-old Roma woman into an animated film and not overthinking some of the adult themes that have crept in. This may lead one to wonder if the animated version’s vibrant color palette helped balance everything out or if the movie could feature a more grown-up take on the classic that embraces grown-up themes and morally gray characters.
Being a live musical with Alan Menken composing again, however, the real game here might be retaining the colorful scheme and grandeur of Notre Dame Cathedral. The animated version had the color palette of a sunset with soft pinks, reds, and blues. It would be cool to see this come to life with real sunsets and cloudy skies on the streets of France. Something bright and colorful to bring to life the love that Hugo’s novel has for this period in French history. It’s a beautiful setting and aims to be a happy backdrop for an otherwise sad story that’s captured well in the animated version. The story is already there for this approach as you have very clear protagonists and villains in this iteration, and it ends up being a pretty safe musical number that anyone can enjoy.
Or create a moody atmosphere
Buena Vista Photos Cast
As an alternate take on the live-action film, it can benefit the film to have a moody, rainy atmosphere that complements the sinister nature of the original story. A dark, gothic hue to reflect the architecture that plays a central role in the story. The Lion King (2019) opted for a harsh nature documentary feel and rejected the wild colors of the original by comparison, so this may be a plausible choice.
Think of a dark and mysterious Paris, lit only by moonlight giving a dark tone to the film. It can also play well if they decide to incorporate some of the darker elements of the story, such as Phoebus being a self-serving fool or the tragic subplot involving Esmeralda’s true ancestry. The film could also feature a hideous Quasimodo who is never accepted by French citizens. The realistic approach may prove to be quite popular as The Lion King is getting a prequel based on Mufasa, which is definitely a mark of success for the style.
First and foremost, this movie has to be epic. When Esmeralda passes in front of the great Notre-Dame cathedral, the spectator must have the feeling of being an ant looking at a giant. If there’s a theme to the book descriptions, it could be grand. Hugo took about ten pages to describe how magnificent the cathedral was in order to save it from the indifference of its time. In many ways, the cathedral has more character than the figures themselves, so getting the scale here is essential.
Will Disney break its mould?
Buena Vista Photos Cast
In the past, Disney has largely stuck to hitting the same beats as their classic animated films with The Lion King having all the same characters and Beauty and the Beast doing the bare minimum in giving a story about the prince. . This film, however, is a chance to do things completely differently from the established mold. Here’s a chance to really do the epic novel justice and bring to life a dark story with no real happy ending for anyone. No one survives this book completely intact. Everyone gets more miserable by the end of the novel, and there’s only the thinnest of silver linings written in the final pages of gripping drama.
Therein lies the beauty of a great, tragic story that not only tells of unimproving characters, but Victor Hugo’s real-life struggles with Catholicism that influenced the writing process. A dark story that inspired a renewed love for French values that were being lost at the time, all tied together like a great movie that moves audiences into an unforgettable, dark story that’s totally unexpected from someone like Disney . It’ll probably never happen like this, but it’s nice to dream.
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What tone should the remake take? | Pretty Reel
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