Over a year ago Alan Menken had teased that Disney was developing a live-action adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Now, the film has been confirmed to be moving forward in development.
Deadline is reporting that Disney has officially commissioned their latest animated to live-action project with The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tony-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang has been set by Disney to write the film. Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz will write the music for this adaptation.
Mandeville is producing along with Beauty and the Beast and Frozen star Josh Gad. Gad is also rumored for the lead role of Quasimodo, but as of now no casting is solid has been confirmed.
Produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance, the film is considered to be one of Disney’s darkest animated films as its narrative explores such mature themes as infanticide, lust, damnation, genocide, and sin, despite the changes made from the original source material.
The story follows Quasimodo, the misshapen but gentle-souled bell ringer of Notre Dame, who was nearly killed as a baby by Claude Frollo, the Minister of Justice. But Frollo was forced by the Archdeacon of Notre Dame to raise Quasimodo as his own. Now a young man, Quasimodo is hidden from the world by Frollo in the belltower of the cathedral. But during the Festival of Fools, Quasimodo, cheered on by his gargoyle friends Victor, Hugo, and Laverne, decides to take part in the festivities, where he meets the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda and the handsome soldier Phoebus. The three of them find themselves ranged against Frollo’s cruelty and his attempts to destroy the home of the gypsies, the Court of Miracles. Quasimodo must desperately defend both Esmeralda and the very cathedral of Notre Dame.