Josh Brolin wants to bring a forgotten hero back to theater screens, but rather than coming from the house of Marvel this time it's in the shape of Quasimodo in the literary classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It's a project that the tough-guy actor has attempted to kickstart before with some well-known directors, and while on the promotional circuit for Deadpool 2 he's spoken about reviving the project and making it more spectacular with the technology now available.
The Victor Hugo story was first published in 1831, and has had many adaptations over the years, with the titular Quasimodo being played by such actors as Charles Laughton, Lon Chaney, and Anthony Hopkins. Perhaps the best known version in recent years was the Disney animated film from 1996, with Tom Hulce and Demi Moore providing lead vocals. Brolin was in talks with director Tim Burton in 2011 to bring a new live-action version to theaters, with him in the lead role and with Warner Bros. backing. Burton eventually dropped out but Zhang Yimou (The Great Wall) entered the frame in his absence and the film was still being worked on until development finally stopped for various reasons.
However it is a role and a project that Brolin has seemingly held onto and it looks like he still wants to play the misunderstood bell-ringer. Speaking to Den of Geek, he explained why he has decided to revive interest in the film:
"We’re talking about doing Quasimodo again. It’s something I’ve been developing for a long time. It’s something I was going to do with Zhang Yimou. But then [the studio] didn’t approve him at the time, and so it kind of fell apart. We’re revisiting the idea of doing that as bigger film, and I love that...Having experienced Deadpool and The Avengers, I’m like why would you not want to take advantage of the technical proficiencies now? This cutting edge time? To be able to do Quasimodo climbing up Notre Dame. I love the idea of that”
Brolin obviously has a full schedule at the moment, with ongoing commitments as Thanos in Avengers 4 and a four-movie arc for Cable, and with his recent work in Sicario 2: Soldado his profile has arguably never been higher. This new intended take on Quasimodo remains purely on the development table at the moment, but Brolin obviously remains committed to it and - if he does intend to still play the lead character - he is a strong and interesting choice for the role. Hopefully this could pick up some studio interest and backing, as Brolin's vision for a visually spectacular take on the story could be a winning formula if the right director signs on.
Meanwhile there have been plenty of other rumors regarding further live-action outings for Quasimodo during the last few years. There were statements that the doomed Dark Universe had made tentative plans to shoot a film, then a comment by Mark Ruffalo suggested that Disney might be planning a live-action remake, and a re-telling of the story from the viewpoint of Esmeralda was planned in 2015. None of those projects reached the screen though, and the prospect of Brolin swinging across Paris rooftops remains the most enticing one. We'll update you with any more news about Brolin's The Hunchback of Notre Dame if it becomes available.
Source: Den Of Geek
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018