Disney live-action adaptations are the latest money-making scheme. Disney are taking our beloved animated films and bringing them to live-action. It has been working out for them, so far. It seems they have run into trouble with the live-action Aladdin, but if they had just followed GOC’s suggestions we would be in the midst of production.
But that’s not why were are here today, let’s talk Hercules. The one animated film that is simultaneously loved and always overlooked. The film was loosely based on the Grecian demigod and his quest to be a hero. The film is chalk full of great jokes and one liners that have stood the test of time. And the crowning achievement of the film are the Muses. This fan-cast was inspired by ABC’s Still Star-Crossed, which featured a racially diverse cast to represent the fictitious Verona from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. It was amazing to see POC portrayed in an Italian society, and it sparked this idea. So let’s get to it!
Hercules is an incredibly kind and compassionate person. He wants to help, but sometimes he just makes things worst. He is well intentioned, but it is not easy being a demigod in man’s world. He needs to be played by someone who can make you feel Hercules’ innocence and also make you believe he is a hero. John Boyega is my top choice!
Megara is a smart, independent, quick-witted, modern woman in Ancient Greece. Meg in the animated film was a departure for Disney’s typical leading ladies. She is the cautionary tale of what happens after happily-ever-after. We need an actress who can nail the sass and femme fatale-esque routine Meg’s got going on. This actress should also makes us feel sympathy for Meg, and root for her too. Medalion Rahimi, who played Princess Isabella in Still Star-Crossed, is my top choice for Meg.
Philoctetes, a.k.a Phil, is Satyr that trains Hercules to be a hero. He is a good guy, but is easily annoyed at the lack of respect. He is a sarcastic, rude, bundle of rage but so loveable at the same time. Peter Dinklage is the man for the job.
Hades, God of the Underworld. Hades is one of Disney’s greatest villains. The snark, the sass, the flaming hair, all of it is perfection. He has an uncontrollable temper and a bone to pick with his dear brother Zeus. He is evil, and craves world domination, but he is so charming. Who can play this deliciously villainous character and still make us root for him? Mahershala Ali!
Pain and Panic, Hades minions. They are dumb, clumsy, and cowardly. They are dangerous, but their dim-witted ways stop them from doing much harm. It is hard to believe Hades has so much faith in them, but he does. Nick Frost & Simon Pegg are perfect for the duo. They have great comedic timing and hilarious banter. These side characters will surely be a highlight.
Zeus, King of the Olympian Gods and father of Hercules. Zeus is easy going, cheerful, and positive person. He loves to laugh, have a good time, and be childish sometimes. The interaction between Zeus and Hades is important, they need to be complete opposites and still act like brothers. Michael K Williams has been in the game just as long as Mahershala Ali and the two would work wonders together.
Hera, Queen of the Olympian Gods and mother of Hercules. Hera is loving, kind, and protective of her son. Hera is seen briefly but her character design and presence leaves a mark. If a live-action film were to be made I would love to see Hera have a bigger part. Hera is the goddess of women, perhaps she could find her way to Earth and interact with Hercules’ adopted mother. Parminder Nagra is my top pick for Hera.
Hercules’ adopted parents are like Martha and Jonathan Kent. They instill in their super-powered son the core values of being a good person. They are the main reason why Hercules becomes the hero that he is. They raised him with kindness, compassion, and love. The casting of Hercules’ parents is crucial, because we must understand how Hercules becomes the man he is.
Hermes is the cool, relaxed, and humorous loyal messenger of the Gods. He has a small part in the film but his impact is strong. What was not touched on in the film is that Hermes is the god of theives and all others who lived by their wits. Saïd Taghmaoui is excellent for the part, he can definitely play a god of all those who live by their wits.
The Muses, the five goddesses of the arts and proclaimers of heroes. These goddesses are the most memorable and significant part of the animated film. They have the best musical numbers, and best character designs. They play a small part in the film but they are the single most important part of the whole thing. That is why casting must be perfect! Octavia Spencer, Taraji P Henson, Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, and Janelle Monáe as The Muses. Boom. Instant box office hit!
So there it is! The ultimate casting for a live action Hercules.
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