Apologies, ‘Lion King,’ Only This Live-Action Disney Movie Deserves a Franchise

“Enough of those unsettling CGI animals, really!

Opinions on Disney’s live-action remakes may differ, but they’ve seen success. With the positive reception of the recent The Little Mermaid adaptation, Disney is greenlighting more projects. News reveals plans to turn 2019’s The Lion King into a franchise, starting with a Mufasa-focused prequel and a potential Aladdin follow-up. This prompts the question of whether these choices deserve franchise treatment, and if there’s a better candidate. In my view, a film already in line for a live-action remake, Hercules, is primed for a franchise expansion.

‘Hercules’ Holds the Key to a Disney Live-Action Franchise

Like the other films mentioned, the 1997 Hercules is a beloved family hit. Its entertaining take on mythology garnered praise and led to a spin-off series and a shelved sequel. This strong foundation offers a launchpad for creative expansion, fitting the era of classics like The Lion King and Aladdin.

Adding fuel to the desire, producer Joe Russo expressed interest in a modern, experimental decade-long project, even referencing TikTok. While specifics are uncertain, Russo sees potential in the original Hercules movie and its material, aiming to honor and expand upon it.

‘Hercules’ Greek Myths: An MCU-Style Universe

Hercules is woven into Greek mythology, showcased well in the 1997 movie. With Hercules’ 12 labors reimagined as heroic deeds, his journey and ascent to godhood are captivating. The stories offer potential for expansion—his complex relationship with Hera and the redemption arc with her could enrich the narrative. This could segue into his well-known conflict with Hades.

Herc’s adventures extend beyond Hera and Hades, delving into other mythology. His time as an Argonaut or rescuing Prometheus could become big-screen features or Disney+ miniseries.

‘Hercules’ Warrants an MCU-Level Franchise

If The Lion King seeks a “Star Wars-like franchise,” Hercules deserves an MCU-level treatment. Hercules’ chapters are rife with tragedy, drama, romance, and action. The possibilities for offshoots are endless. With ties to other Greek heroes, crossover potential abounds. Hercules even connects to Marvel’s universe, making a franchise ripe for epic exploration.

Marvel’s Greek God and Hero lore underscores the modern viability. Disney could harness these legends for a franchise, aligning with their own praised properties. Anything less would be a missed chance.”

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