Disney Is Developing a Live-Action Hunchback of Notre Dame Movie

The bells of Notre Dame will ring again as it's been revealed that Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will write Hunchback, a live-action musical adaptation of the Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was itself based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name.

According to Deadline, America’s most-produced living opera librettist's credits include plays Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child and The Dance and The Railroad, along with Broadway musicals such as Disney alums Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, the revival of Flower Drum Song and his work on another Disney animated film Tarzan. Hwang's play M. Butterfly was revived on Broadway in 2017 in a Julie Taymor-directed production and his collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori, Soft Power, opened May 2018 in Los Angeles.

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Hwang will join the Oscar-winning team of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, who will return to write the music for the film. Menken wrote and composed award-winning music alongside other talented collaborators for Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Hercules. Schwartz wrote music and lyrics for acclaimed musicals such as Godspell, Pippin and Wicked. Both men collaborated on Pocahontas and on the original score for the 1996's Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The latest Disney live-action remake will draw inspiration from the animated film and the original Hugo novel but not from the darker, more Gothic stage adaptation of the film that performed overseas from 1999 to 2002. No casting announcements have been made at this time.

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The film will be produced by Mandeville Films along with Disney star Josh Gad. Mandeville co-owner David Hoberman has been a consistent advocate for a live-action Hunchback adaptation for years and Gad previously collaborated with Mandeville on the 2017 Disney live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

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