Ring the bells! Disney has set its sights on The Hunchback of Notre Dame as the latest animated tale to get the live-action musical treatment, EW has learned.
David Henry Hwang, the Tony winner behind M. Butterfly, has been set to write the script for the Hunchback, which will pull from both the 1996 animated offering and the original Victor Hugo novel, not the stage production.
Composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who both worked on Disney’s animated classics, are back at the Mouse House to write the music for the live-action take.
Menken composed music for Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and currently works on similar adaptations for Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. Schwartz was also involved with Disney’s animated Pocahontas and DreamWorks Animation’s The Prince of Egypt. He’s currently attached to a movie based on Broadway’s Wicked, for which he also served as lyricist.
In other words, they’ve been down this road before.
While development on Hunchback is still early and no casting decisions have been made at this time, Mandeville and Josh Gad are also on board as producers.
Hugo’s literary work gave us the character of Quasimodo, a hunchback trapped in a solitary life within the Norte Dame bell towers in Paris. Disney gave this a more family friendly spin — though Frollo still haunts our nightmares — with songs like “The Bells of Notre Dame” and “Out There.” The original voice cast featured Demi Moore as gypsy Esmerelda, Tony Jay as Paris Minister of Justice Frollo, Kevin Kline as Frollo’s Captain of the Guard Phoebus, and Tom Hulce as the titular hunchback.
Deadline was the first to report the news.
—Reporting by Jessica Derschowitz.