Disney’s ongoing mission to bring an end to originality in all corners of this universe – not to mention those far far away – continued on form yesterday with the announcement that the studio are remaking 1996 animation The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
This is just the latest in the long line of Disney animated classics that have been transformed into live-action mega hits since Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland nine years ago.
Based on the 1831 novel by Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame told the story of deformed bellringer Quasimodo, whose desire to experience Paris’ annual Festival of Fools sends him on a profound journey towards social acceptance.
An Oscar nominee, the film was the darkest entry in the Disney Renaissance years and should provide the studio with thoroughly woke material for contemporary audiences.
Whether you love Disney’s remakes or think the House of Mouse is slowly killing your childhood, there’s no denying that they know what they’re doing when it comes to choosing the perfect cast. It’s hard to imagine better people to play Cinderella and Belle than the delightful Lily James and Emma Watson, whilst whomever cast Christopher Walken as a gangster King Louie in The Jungle Book deserves a meddle.
With this in mind, we’ve tried to second-guess Disney and predict the cast of their new Hunchback. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Josh Gad as Quasimodo
Casting Quasimodo may well prove to be a minefield for Disney but Josh Gad has weathered that field already bringing Disney’s first gay character to life in Beauty and the Beast.
We know he can sing – see also Frozen – and this feels all the more likely with Gad already being attached to the project as producer. On the other hand, he’s too old for the part and we actively encourage Disney to seek out a disabled actor a shot.
Gal Gadot as Esmerelda
Whilst we’ve penned Gadot as a potential Oscar host before now, we’re even more convinced that Esmerelda would be a perfect casting for the Wonder Woman star.
Ralph Brecks the Internet demonstrated to the world that Gadot’s not just an insanely charismatic screen presence but also a terrific singer. Disney would be mad not to snap her up.
Charles Dance as Judge Claude Frollo
There is no level on which this does not make sense. As Game of Thrones has so brilliantly shown, there are none who can channel ‘sophisticated’ evil like Charles Dance.
He looks the part, has incredible screen presence and can sing – which we know from his leading turn in the stage musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. Perfection.
Chris Hemsworth as Captain Phoebus
If Endgame is to see the Thor star bow out of Marvel’s Avengers – after eight years of service – he’s going to need something else to fill is time. Something like…a supporting role as Esmerelda’s hunky love interest.
Lin Manuel Miranda as Clopin Trouillefou
Can there really be anyone who didn’t come out of Mary Poppins Returns totally in love with Lin Manuel Miranda? Of course, fans of the star’s acclaimed musical ‘Hamilton’ have known for a long time of his brilliance.
We know he’s got a cracking singing voice but what really stands him in good stead for this role is the level of mischief he could bring to Hunchback‘s clowning narrator.
Derek Jacobi as the Archdeacon
Derek Jacobi’s a name already in the Disney remake phone book, having played the King in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 Cinderella. He’s also played plenty a religious figure – kindly and otherwise – in his time.
We also know that he can sing, thanks to the music he released with Last Tango in Halifax co-star Anne Reid…
Hugh Bonneville, Jack Black and Helen Mirren as Victor, Hugo and Laverne
These are the gargoyles atop Notre-Dame who come to life and provide Quasimodo with his only friends for almost twenty years of captivity.
Hugo is the comic relief and the most exuberant. Laverne is the only one any one should accept advice from and is comforting and fearsome by equal measure. Victor is the pseudo wise one but the least likely to put up a fight.
On balance, then, we couldn’t be more satisfied with our picks for these three.