Disney Looks Set To Cast Michael B. Jordan as Lead in Live-Action ‘Hercules’

in Movies & TV, Updates

Hercules (L) and Michael B Jordan as Adonis Creed (R)

Credit: Disney (R) / MGM (L)

Update: As reported on January 17, director Guy Ritchie dropped out of the live-action remake. As Nathan Kamal wrote for Inside the Magic, “At this point, the Disney Hercules remake is left with more questions than answers.”

As the masses await Snow White (2024), the next entry in Disney’s live-action universe, many are also looking ahead at what is to come from the House of Mouse. And the live-action Hercules movie will reportedly feature Marvel star Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) as the titular Greek god.

Hercules, Phil, and Pegasus look through bushes
Credit: Disney

Over the last few years, The Walt Disney Company’s efforts to retell their own classic animated stories in a live-action format have received mixed reviews. There are those fans who love seeing their favorite characters come to life in a whole new way, but there are also those who would prefer one of the most prominent entertainment powerhouses in history to put out original stories over retellings.

But the live-action machine is not slowing down. Next year will see the release of the much-discussed Snow White, starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot as Snow White and the Evil Queen, respectively. The movie, based on Walt Disney’s first-ever feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), is slated for a March 2024 release. Surrounded by controversy, thanks in part to Disney’s changes to the story, as well as comments made by its star Rachel Zegler, Snow White could be a breaking point for The Walt Disney Company and its continued live-action efforts.

Snow White dancing with the seven dwarfs
Credit: Disney

Looking past Snow White, many more films are scheduled to join the catalog of movies that already includes Alice in Wonderland (2010), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), and The Little Mermaid (2023).

Mufasa: The Lion King (2024), Moana (2025), Hercules (TBD), Lilo & Stitch (TBD), and Bambi (TBD) are all coming down the pipeline, among many others. Information regarding the various live-action productions has trickled in over the months. We know, for example, that Dwayne Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions will co-produce Moana with Disney and that the former professional wrestler will reprise his role as Maui. We also know that Bambi will reportedly adapt the scene featuring the death of Bambi’s mother and that Guy Ritchie (Aladdin) will direct the Russo Brothers-produced Hercules.

Speaking of Hercules, at present, all that is known is that Guy Ritchie is directing — following his work on the billion-dollar Aladdin — and Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame) are producing, with Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) tapped to pen the screenplay.

Glowing Hercules (L) and Meg (R) holding hands
Credit: Disney

Related: Fans Can’t Believe New ‘Moana’ Look With Zendaya and Dwayne Johnson

For the last few years, names have been floated over who may don the classic golden armor of Hercules and bring the character into live-action. Inside the Magic reported in 2021 that Disney was looking to cast a non-white actor in the titular role, and a year before that, fans weighed in with who they thought should continue the legacy of the Greek hero. Rocketman (2019) actor Taron Egerton is also apparently a frontrunner for the part despite claims that the studio was looking for a non-white lead.

One name that continues to circulate, and has done for many years now, is Black Panther franchise star Michael B. Jordan. Jordan most recently starred in the Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) and Creed III (2023). For the latter, he made his directorial debut, as well as starred in the boxing drama as the eponymous character Adonis Creed.

Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in 'Black Panther'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Multiple sources have brought Jordan’s name back into the ring when it comes to the live-action cast of Hercules, and it could be a sign that The Walt Disney Company is looking to cast the popular actor.

However, what comes with casting a non-white actor in a role that was originally portrayed as white creates a discourse about who should play these characters. Time and time again, some “fans” of Disney claim that an adaptation should not diverge from the original source material, hence why actors like Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler received backlash for being cast as the mermaid Ariel and princess Snow White, respectively.

Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) dying next to T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: New Right-Wing Snow White Actress Taking Over, Starring in Another Live-Action Remake

While nothing has been confirmed by Disney, Michael B. Jordan’s name has been circulating a lot over the last few years and would make sense considering his action star status. In terms of Hercules’ love interest and all-around fan-favorite Meg, actress and singer Ariana Grande has consistently been rumored over the years.

The original Hercules animation debuted in 1997 with Tate Donovan/Josh Keaton/Roger Bart as Hercules, Susan Egan as Meg, James Woods as Hades, and Danny DeVito as Phil.

Would you like to see Michael B. Jordan in the live-action Hercules? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

This story was originally published on October 20, 2023.

in Movies & TV, Updates

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