Disney’s Next Live-Action Remake May Have Found Its Leading Man

Disney's Hercules animated film
Credit: Disney

As Disney fans collectively hold their breath for the controversial release of the live-action Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (2025), some are still holding out hope that as The Walt Disney Company continues retelling classic animated stories, at some point, they’ll hit the nail on the head as they churn out Disney live-action remake after live-action remake. 

live action lion king screenshot

Credit: Disney

Related: Best and Worst of Disney Live-Action Remakes So Far

Although the past has seen a few productive and lucrative live-action remakes like Lion King (2019) and Christopher Robin (2018), fans remain unconvinced that Walt Disney’s legacy still holds the value that it did during Disney’s “golden era” of animation.

Instead of producing unique, new stories for fans, despite public outcry, Disney insists on making the rehashing of stories like Peter PanThe Little MermaidBeauty and the Beast, and other works to stay in the green.

Of course, this only works as long as seats remain filled at the theatre, and as Disney possesses a fiercely loyal following who will go see anything that they tell them to, they’re afforded the luxury of continuously providing less-than-stellar films based on fan-favorite original works.

Disney Live-Action Remakes Have Become Stale and Unwanted 

The idea of retelling classic Disney stories in live-action seemed nice at first.

In all honesty, it was received well in the beginning. Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, and Aladdin were all movies we could get behind. However, the landscape quickly changed as Disney began making small tweaks to the stories of their live-action remakes.

Instead of staying true to what made these lovable characters so adored in the first place, Disney began implementing a societal-based agenda in their new products, turning a large number of moviegoers off from their content.

In most recent interviews and during their third-quarter earnings call, it still seemed that Bob Iger and other Disney executives were out of touch, as they insisted they don’t have a crisis on their hands at the box office.

disney mulan 2020 live action remake sword red robe mountain

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney’s “Woke” Film Ideology Cost the Studios Nearly $300 Million at the Box Office

Original content is king; fans want more heroes and villains, more iconic characters that they can meet at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. They don’t want to keep paying for the same product, even if it is live-action. With the last five years seeing reproductions of Mulan (2020), Lady and the Tramp (2019), DumboThe Little Mermaid (2023), Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), and Pinocchio (2022), fans are burnt out on the live-action remakes.

Live Action Remakes Don’t Work Anymore, New Stories Do

The idea of bringing classic Disney storytelling to live-action isn’t a bad one. In fact, it worked well with Lion King and Aladdin. However, it isn’t sustainable, as outside influences such as COVID-19 and inside influences like Disney’s inability not to pump propaganda into their works have forced many to watch from home.

As money is tight and values are compromised, many can’t get excited about 100-year-old stories being rehashed with loud leading actresses who compare their hard work on stage to the actual sufferings of those who can’t make ends meet, looking at your Rachel Zegler.

little mermaid and snow white live action, cancel disney+

Credit: Disney, Rachel Zegler on Twitter/X, Canva

Related: Study Proves That Disney Is Making a Big Mistake With Their ‘Snow White’ Live-Action Remake

However, there is an advantage that has been moderately successful overall for Disney in terms of utilizing live-action.

Instead of fully backing the medium for retelling Disney classics, adding new takes and telling new stories seems to work. Maleficent (2019), Disenchanted (2022), and Christopher Robin are all ways in which Disney used the strength of fan-favorite characters yet told brand new stories in live-action. However, they demand star power. 

Although Disney has had what seems like an infinite amount of star power behind its name, casting the likes of Emma Stone, John Favreau, Emma Watson, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Helena Bohnman Carter, and more in their older live actions successes; they’ve chosen to promote a younger version of star nowadays.

Names like Rachel Zegler or Halle Bailey don’t carry the power that gets fans excited. If you take a look at the most successful live-action remake products for Disney, they all have a great deal of star power. 

Prepare for the Bombardment of New Real-Life Disney Characters

Instead of considering the panicked cries from their audience, Disney has chosen to wax over their stubbornness, planning an onslaught of new Disney live-action remakes

Famous titles such as Frozen (2013), Tangled (2010), Bambi (1942), Snow White (1937), Moana (2016), The Sword and the Stone (1967), and Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) have all been mentioned by Disney as getting the live-action treatment. As well, a few sequels to currently existing live-action products like Aladdin are in the works behind the doors of The Walt Disney Company.

live action tangled walt disney pictures live action remake mandy moore zachary levi rapunzel flynn rider mother gothel disney princess fans hair

Credit: Disney

Related: Will it Stink? Disney’s Live-Action ‘Sword in the Stone’ Remake, Everything We Know

We can certainly get behind a few of these titles, especially if there’s a chance of seeing Dwayne Johnson play Maui. Some classic Disney animated films seem made for live-action; The Sword and the Stone is a great example. However, films like Bambi are difficult to wrap our heads around, especially when no one asked for them.

‘Hercules’ Is on Deck

Another classic Disney film from their Disney Renaissance” in the 90s is 1997’s Hercules.

hercules live action remake Disney

Credit: Disney

We all know the story: the son of Zeus is stripped of his immortality and must “go the distance” to save those closest to him from Hades (James Woods). With a colorful cast of characters, including amazing musical numbers, Hercules quickly became a favorite animated feature for many and rounded out a decade that gave audiences some of their most nostalgic and memorable film moments.

Ariana Grande Hercules

Credit: Ariana Grande and Disney

Much like Snow WhiteHercules is a legendary story that many feel was done perfectly the first go around. So, Disney has decided to rehash it and resell the film in a brand new way that none of us need or want. You can kick and scream all you want; it’s happening. 

Reluctantly, despite wishing Disney would leave well enough alone, fans have been speculating for months regarding Hercules’ casting decisions. Names like Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, and more have floated around the internet for a while.

Some have even suggested Chris Evans (Captain America) as the lead. However, according to Inside the Magic, another Marvel counterpart may work perfectly in the role, and he isn’t an Avenger (yet).

Michael B. Jordan has been around Hollywood for a long time. However, he rose to household recognition once he took on the role of Killmonger in 2018’s Black Panther alongside the late Chadwick Boseman. Since then, Jordan has popped up all over, including the 2022 Marvel sequel Wakanda Forever and three different Creed films.

Fate of Killmonger's Mom in 'Black Panther' Is So, So Sad

Credit: Disney

Related: Live-Action ‘Hercules’ Cast Immediately Under Speculation

As Michael B. Jordan is a strong advocate for the African American community, not donning the traditional white skin you’d expect to see featured in movies regarding Greek gods, much like the casting of Halle Bailey and Rachel Zegler, deciding on him would most certainly be controversial for some.

However, he’s young enough and fits the role perfectly in body type. Also, his propensity for playing two different versions of himself, as we’ve seen in Black Panther, is great for the role of Hercules, who gets a bit of an ego boost once he garners godlike recognition.

What Disney will do regarding their live-action Hercules remake remains to be seen, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on potential casting choices.

Who do you think would work as Hercules or Hades? Let us know in the comments.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!


  1. Hercules will just be another woke fail if they go that way.

    It’s infuriating and insulting when people talk about cultural appropriation and then show their hypocrisy.

    • Joseph Baena would make a great Hercules

      • I agree wholeheartedly just as Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman should replace the rolls of Oprah Winfrey and the cast in the color purple.
        This is the story of ethnicity. Greek mythology. Greeks. Europeans. Just as in the color purple you cannot replace the story and have it make sense. Absolute brainwashing by those who will be brainwashed.

    • Disney corporation doesn’t care. They’re being paid by the government billions to promote transgenderism, LGB qt, black over White agendas. These rewrites and new movies all have these agendas based from the United States government funding Disney as a media proponent for the new world order. It made sense to me when I read the article on where they’re getting their funding. So it’s a win for Disney. At least financially. While they are laying off tens of thousands of workers across the United States and Europe while they are shutting down hubs around the world while they’re stuck is in the absolute trash nobody’s going to their movies etc. They don’t care they just care about the money. That’s why this is happening. Disgusting

    • Hercules is a Greek god not African American. They will destroy the movie like they did with the new little mermaid. What next a gay transgender Hercules. Walt Disney would be flipping out of his grave .

    • Agree…Disney needs to wake up and realize that people are being more afened. When you try to please one person but afened 10 you will continue to loose more of your viewers

  2. No we do not need another live action of Hercules you are messing with Disney’s renascence films I implore you to stop all production now or face an unruly mob of Disney fans and Disney lovers , if you keep this up no one and I mean no one will never go back to the park nor watch the live actions in theaters ever again . There is a saying never go woke it will mess up black lives matter your not helping making Disney better you are destroying it now I ask you will you just shut down this live action production or refux the park itself I know the class act law that prohibits Disney to mess up copyrights

  3. Another Disney classic ruined by wokeism. The Greeks weren’t black nor would the son of Zeus be black so why insert a black guy who is a pretty good actor in his own right into a part that is obviously wrong for him. It ruined little mermaid, almost ruined snow white, but honestly is had ruined shows across the board stop trying to show horns blacks into everything just for the sake of some false equality. If it were truly equal all thing considered there would never be more than 23 percent black actors in anything as that is the population ration. But as it I now every show every commercial every animated movie coming from America is filled with blacks and causing white actors to lose jobs by the thousands.

    • :Venny Richardson

      Personally, I wouldn’t want to see a live action version of Hercules. If Disney wants to do a live action version of an animated movie, they should think about “Coco.”

  4. I can hear the racial stereotypes now. “I didn’t know Hercules was black!” I’ve just given up on Disney’s live action remakes altogether. I would say they should stick to their animation flicks but now I’ve read that their animation powerhouses have jumped ship for greener pastures.

    • They are ruining Disney!!!! WHY do they all have to be live action?!?!? Part of disney is going back to the simpler times!!!! STOP changing things!! I absolutely REFUSE to watch the live action remakes and will not allow them played in my home! Stop CHANGING movies bc society doesn’t like them. Poor Walt!! Having to see his dreams torn apart like this!!

  5. Joseph Baena would make a great Hercules

    • Can Joseph Baena sing?? if so, then yes I am completely on board with him being Hercules, but otherwise I know I wouldnt put a black actor playing a greek god, The Rock is only part black and his film FLOPPED!!!! Stop trying to re-make movies and how about you create new movies with new characters of different ethnicities. There is so much culture and stories out there why do you keep re-gurgitating the same crap and putting black people in the roles? Your spitting on black culture, asian culture, indian culture etc.

      • The first time I saw Matt Rife, I already envisioned him playing Hercules. The facial features, smiles, eyes.. Perfect as Hercules.

  6. Joseph Baena would make a great Hercules!!!!!!!! I’ve just given up on Disney’s live action remakes altogether.

  7. Ah yes… Michael B. Jordan. The very image of a Greek God.
    Who are they casting as Moana? Ashley Olsen?

    • Of course not. Moana is actually part of a minority. That one they would hire someone that fits the ethnicity.

    • This is the prefect example to this reverse they are trying to put world problems in movies not created to address that world problem. Love it Ashley Olen as Moana 😂😂

    • This is the prefect example to this reverse they are trying to put world problems in movies not created to address that world problem. Love it Ashley Olen as Moana 😂😂 . Guess dove cameron should be tian and Zendaya should play Lonnie the rich girl. I mean in life it could be that way so why not change another iconic princess.!!

  8. . . . . Michael B. Jordan? Are you KIDDING?! I get that he isn’t cast yet, but suggesting this is GOOD casting AT BEST? You Jokers should get a job struggling with The Batman, because YOU’D be better at THAT. This speculation was worse than Disney’s recent crimes against its fanbase. We ALL deserve better. 👎


  9. Disney has gotten so ridiculous trying to re-cast every childhood Disney movie with an African American person..

  10. I dont take my kids to disney movies anymore. They have absolutely ruined the family image. I feel like it’s all political and they don’t need to be exposed to that any sooner than they need to. They have gone too far. We don’t go to the parks either. I would rather go to knotts or universal

  11. Just like the Snow Whire remake, no one will show up at a theater to see a black Hercules. When is Disney going to “wake up” and realize that they are losing what used to be a loyal fan base. How far does their stock need to drop before they realize that they are killing their brand??

  12. Using black vernacular and not understanding what the term means is hilarious

  13. I wish Disney would stop making remakes of their movies they don’t hold a candle to the OG animated versions

    • Taron Egerton would make a WONDERFUL HERCULES!! He’s very talented & has a fantastic singing voice & is a great actor to boot! He’s also EASY on the eyes!! My vote goes to Taron!!

  14. Zach Efron would be my choice for a live action Hercules. Caat him with Ariana Grande as Megara and I would watch.

  15. I could see Charlie Hunnam as Hercules! Heck even Kellen Lutz again! Both great actors and have a range that could make it work.

  16. Putting this out there in good faith as a fun fact… There is a precedent that Hercules / Heracles MAY have had black ancestry mythologically speaking – his great grandmother was Cassiopeia – who was Ethiopian.

  17. I can see an olive skinned Hercules working, but seriously pull your heads out of the sand Disney. I won’t watch The Little Mermaid and if you cast this as messed up as Little Mermaid I won’t watch it either. LOVED the remake of Alladin, Will Smith stepped into Robin’s shoes better than I thought anyone could. Please stop destroying your fan base for your get richer scheme. You would probably make more money overall if you cast appropriately and stop ruining the classics that made Disney. All you are doing is losing more fans than your gaining. I shudder to think what you are going to do to the rest of the movies we all love. I wonder how you will cast Moana or Princess and the frog.

  18. How predictable that a site pushing Michael B. Jordan for the role of Hercules would be sensoring comments…

  19. Bet they’re going to avoid casting an actual Greek person like the plague, only two choices they’ll ever consider, northern European, or African, somebody with actual Greek heritage, no thank you.

  20. Will Poulter as Hercules please!

  21. I say no to this travesty of indecisive Disney rip off it will never air no more I will never ever ever watch any more Disney movies no more do you hear me I will not be silenced by Disney bigshots I am against live actions of Disney flops!!!!!!!!! I want animation back and this time I mean it if you ever ruin more films you will have one less Disney fan I quit!!!! Just stay away from me you Disney reject who ruined walt elias Disney’s good name

  22. My issue with ALL of this is why are they recirculating of Disney movies into live action remakes to begin with?! Have they lost all of their creativity? How about put some effort into making NEW animated Disney movies that we all grew up watching. I dont care whether the actors are black, white, brown, yellow, green, blue or purple- Just come up with an original thought. Make a wholesome classic Disney movie. Enough of the remakes(noone likes them anyway). I will say I did enjoy the live actions with a twist; Malificent, Cruella-the stories told feom the villians viewpoint bc they were a different retelling of an original, not an attempted remake.
    Get with the program Disney- you are greatly disappointing your fanbase.

  23. I’m sorry but no. I’ve had enough of Hollywood putting blacks in as white characters. You can’t have Hercules who is for all intents and purposes white as a black. That doesn’t work. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tom Holland as Hercules though.

  24. Walt Disney wanted his characters to be “ON MODEL”, no Disney character should be portrayed any differently then how they were created. I am not a fan of the live action makeover movies, but if you insist on making them, keep the characters as close to the original as possible. If you want a different ethnicity, then create their own movie, please!!! If you were to make a live remake of Princess and the Frog, or Coco, or Encanto, are you going to change those characters too? Disney has become very hypocritical and I am tried of it!!!

  25. I don’t know about who’s going to be Hercules or Hades, but in my opinion, I think Elizabeth Gillis would be a great Meg. Maybe Chris Hemsworth as Hercules?

  26. I honestly don’t care who plays who for the most part. Just as long as they cast Danny DeVito as Phil. Because come on, look at him. At his age he literally IS Phil.

  27. The Lion King remake was not live-action. Every single frame (except the opening sunrise) is CGI, in others words, animated. Yes, they are realistic looking animals, but unless those on screen were real lions, the remake is not live-action, but animated.

  28. Ok if they want to do a live action Hercules then let’s get Rob Gronkowski to do it. For Hades I vote Cheyenne Jackson and bring back Danny De Vito. Let’s not mess this one up.

  29. Chris Hemsworth or Matthew bomer for Hercules. Tom Ellis for hades.