April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Tim Burton may do “Hunchback,” but not with Johnny Depp

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The big story of the morning isn’t the fact that Tim Burton is considering a version of Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for the big screen. Quasimodo’s tragic story is right in Burton’s wheelhouse, and he’d no doubt bring gallows humor and heartfelt pathos to the project.
No, the real hook is who he’s reportedly doing “Hunchback” with … or, rather, who he isn’t doing it with.
THR reports that Burton may team with actor Josh Brolin for this film, and not longtime collaborator Johnny Depp. The “Sweeny Todd” director will work with “Sherlock Holmes 2” screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney to adapt Hugo’s 1831 novel about the deformed bell-ringer who falls for beautiful gypsy Esmerelda.
THR notes that Brolin is spearheading the project, and would produce as well as star. As for Burton, his “commitment is dependent on the outcome of the script,” as he’s also circling “Dark Shadows” for Warner Bros.
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Cartoon movies are having a hard time getting “G” ratings these days

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: “The Lion King” had a major character’s father being murdered onscreen, another major character being eaten alive by hyenas, and a young child snuggling up beside the corpse of the above-mentioned recently deceased father. “Tarzan” opened with a blood-stained cabin containing two corpses and an infant being eaten alive off screen, and it ended with the onscreen shooting death of a major character and the hanging of the lead villain. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” had an onscreen neck-breaking murder of a young mother, the attempted drowning of her baby, and an entire subplot involving the villain’s need to desire to screw and/or murder the heroine because of his guilt-ridden lustings for her that felt like a cross between “Schindler’s List” and “Sweeney Todd” (great movie and great song… why don’t they make kids toys that sing “Hellfire?”). Yet they all received G-ratings from the MPAA back in the 1990s. Yet just last week, Walt Disney’s “Tangled” received a PG rating for the unholy crime of ‘brief mild violence’.
Back in my day (about ten years ago), the PG rating was a kiss of death for an animated feature. “The Black Cauldron” in 1985 was the only major Disney cartoon to receive said rating, and it was an infamous flop for the struggling studio that instigated the changing of the guard which brought about the Jeff Katzenberg/Mike Eisner/Roy Disney 1986-1994 era-of-awesome (I’d argue that it lasted until 1999, but I’m a fan of their post-”Lion King” work). As the 90s drew to a close and Dreamworks waged a genuine campaign against the Disney animation monopoly, they used the PG rating to signal that their initial films (“Antz,” “Prince of Egypt,” etc) would be a bit more hard-edged than the stereotypical all-ages Disney films. Fox tried their luck with the PG-rated “Titan A.E.” in summer 2000 and flopped so hard ($75 million budget > $36 million worldwide gross) that Fox nearly ceased to even have an animation branch, and the one-time would-be Disney rival Don Bluth ceased to have a career all-together. While Disney tried their hand at hard-PG action in 2001 with “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (if you want a film that feels like it inspired “Avatar” just as much as “The Battle For Terra”…), but the film grossed just $84 million domestic.
Ironically, just a month prior, Dreamworks would release the film that would more or less completely [...]