Entertainment

There Is Going To Be A Remake Of Disney’s ‘Hercules’ And It Is Going To Have An All Black Cast

There’s a new live-action stage version of Disney’s 1997 animated film “Hercules” at the Public Theater in New York City — and Hercules is Black as hell

In 1997, San Francisco Gate’s Peter Sack described the film as, “The great old Greek is turned into a ’90s-style athlete who gets endorsements, sandals named after him and a chance to stand tall among nymphs and muses.”

Sound familiar to you? Lest we not forget this was the same era that Michael Jordan did Space Jam and Shaquille O’Neal did Kazaam. The original animated film took inspiration from major athletes of the time and thus, it inevitably heavily references Black and hood ’90s culture. If you watch it now the sneakers, the gospel music, the humor, it probably seems so obvious. 

One might wonder with all these references to the Black popular culture of the ’90s, why didn’t the creators just make Hercules Black? Well, they finally have.

The story of Hercules.  

While most of us were forced to read and re-read Hercules in secondary school, not everyone may know the story. Hercules is the son of the king and queen of the gods, Zeus and Hera. When a prophecy foretells that he will eventually defeat the god of the underworld, Hades, Hercules is kidnapped as an infant. Unable to kill him, Hades is able to take his immortality away but not his strength. The baby Hercules is raised by a mortal couple. At 18 he figures out his real origins and is determined to become a hero so that he can return to Mount Olympus with the gods.

Meet your new Hercules.

Hercules at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, through The Public Theater’s Public Works Program is based on the 1997 animated film, and has kept Alan Menken’s musical score. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he also created the music for Disney’s Aladdin. Jelani Alladin stars as the demi-god Hercules. Krysta Rodriguez plays his love interest Megara.

The difference between the stage musical and the film is that Disney has finally chosen to embrace their story’s Blackness. Rather than simply coding their narrative as one with allusions to Black culture, they’ve put that Blackness at the forefront and center. That’s what we call growth! Everybody loves Black culture, it’s time we start loving the people who make it. 

Danielle C. Belton of The Root describes the original as having flirted with African-American culture, while this new version embraces a multicultural cast. 

“While the film Hercules only flirted with African-American music and culture—the muses who were the “Greek chorus” throughout the film were patterned after classic, Motown-style Black ‘50s girl groups,” she writes. “This version of ancient Greece and the Greco-Roman gods features quite a few Black, Asian and Latinx people, including Jelani Alladin as the titular teenaged Hercules, and, of course—all five of the doo-wopping muses are…sistas with voices.”

How Hercules gave nods to Black culture. 

Hercules is something of a hood icon. It was the first time many kids probably saw Black women portrayed as the muses and Greek chorus. This gaggle of doo-wopping muses sang the funky, soulful Hercules theme. There were also pivotal aspects of hood culture, some of it is even social commentary. Hercules’s character is parallel to the superstar basketball players of the ’90s, their rabid fans, and endorsement deals. The creators, Ron Clements and John Musker, even referred to Hercules as the Michael Jordan of his time. 

In the movie, we see a young Hercules’ as he rises to fame for being a demi-God with some serious strength. When the hero-worship begins, he snags a sweet endorsement deal — but these aren’t Nike Jordans — they’re fresh to death Hercules sandals called Air-Hercs. When the villain Hades sees that one of his minions is rocking the Hercules sandals his response is simple and iconic: what are those?The phrase has now become a popular meme on Black Twitter going so far as being referenced in the “Black Panther” movieThe hero even has his own version of a Gatorade sponsorship, the drink is called “Herculade.”

A Latinx Megara embraces feminism.

Unlike other Disney women of the era, Megara was never waiting to be saved. She was sarcastic, witty, and pretty unimpressed with Hercules’ attempts to holler at her. Krysa Rodriguez’ Megara puts feminism at the forefront — again we see subtle codes made explicit. 

“In a new song, a pants-clad Meg imagines a world without men, envisioning it as a utopia where she could do as she pleases. A dopey, lovestruck Hercules, seeking to demonstrate his feminist credentials, replies clumsily, ‘My mom’s a woman,’” writes Adrienne Westenfeld for Esquire.

Diversity is always an improvement. We live in a multicultural world, there is never anything wrong with reflecting that in the stories we tell. After all, it’s the stories we tell that teach us who we are and who we will become. For Hercules that is learning the truth about his traumatic past to create a better future — for America, well, it’s no different.

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Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Entertainment

Um Hi, Armie Hammer Dropped Out Of A JLO Movie After Leaked Texts Claimed He’s Into Being A Cannibal And Is 2021 Over Yet?

Gregg DeGuire / Getty, Taylor Hill / Getty

Yes, welcome to 2021. A year whose heels only just hit the ground when Republican extremists terrorized the Capitol building leading to Donald Trump’s impeachment… And oh yeah saw actor Armie Hammer being accused of liking cannibalism. Yes, we said it cannibalism, ya know, an appetite for eating your own kind?

Gossip surrounding the Call Me By Your Name actor and his sex life has become so salacious that the actor announced that he was stepping back from an upcoming movie with Jennifer Lopez.

Armie Hammer announced this week that he will no longer star in the upcoming movie, Shotgun Wedding alongside Jennifer Lopez.

The brewing scandal involving Hammer includes alleged leaked messages related to his sex life.

The leaked messages alleged that Hammer has a thing for fantasies related to rape and cannibalism and was leaked by an anonymous social media account user with the name House of Effie. According to the account, Hammer told a woman that he was “100 percent a cannibal.” Another message suggested that Hammer liked the taste of blood.

“I’m not responding to these bulls–t claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for four months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer said in a statement to Page Six. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”

Still, the show will go on for Lopez who will star in the film being directed by “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore.

The film will be distributed in the US by Lionsgate and will stream internationally on Amazon Prime. According to Deadline, Shotgun Wedding was meant to see Lopez and Hammer “play a couple who gather their lovable but very opinionated families for the ultimate destination wedding just as they begin to get cold feet about their relationship. If that wasn’t enough of a threat to the celebration, suddenly everyone’s lives are in danger when the entire party is taken, hostage.”

Despite the unconfirmed gossip around him, Hammer still has upcoming projects. These include the thriller, “The Billion Dollar Spy,” and a sequel to the 2017 hit “Call Me By Your Name” in which he played Oliver, a handsome doctoral student.

Its not the first time gossip around Hammer’s love life has caused a stir. In a 2013, Playboy interview Hammer described himself as a “dominant lover” and enjoyed “grabbing women by the neck and hair.”

He later told E! News of the candid Playboy interview, “Don’t drink during an interview.”

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Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

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Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

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Throughout her career as an actress and producer, Issa Rae has established herself as a woman with great entrepreneurial mindsets. Focused on telling stories about real women Rae has garnered attention for her YouTube web series “Awkward Black Girl” and contributed to the expansion of content created by people of color. Because of her, the television sphere has become a whole heck of a lot more colorful and no doubt more WOC are receiving more approval and acclaim for their work.

Her HBO television series “Insecure” has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2015 her memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl became a New York Times best-seller. Now, Rae is bringing her experience and viewpoint to the Television Academy.

Recently, The Television Academy revealed that Rae is now a member of the Executive Committee.

Her appointment to the Television Academy comes at a time when the organization is refocusing its attention on increasing diversity in the entertainment industry. While an increase in representation of actors of color has occurred in recent years, diversity among television executives has remained lackluster. In 20202, UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report revealed that “women hold only 32.0% of studio chair and CEO jobs; minorities just 8.0%.”

In a statement about her new role the Academy explained “We are thrilled to be able to leverage the collective expertise of this talented group of Television innovators as we navigate this extraordinary time in the history of our industry… Their leadership provides invaluable insight that will allow the Academy to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of the medium.”

Award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress Gloria Calderón Kellett also joins the ranks of Television Academy executives.

Calderón Kellett is an award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress who served as the executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director and actress on the sitcom “One Day at a Time.” According to the Emmy website, Calderón Kellett “spent her early years as a writer/producer on numerous shows including Devious Maids, Rules of Engagement, and How I Met Your Mother; has directed episodes of Mr. Iglesias, Merry Happy Whatever, United We Fall, and the Mad About You revival; and recently sold her first feature film, We Were There Too.”

News of Rae’s new role as an executive is proving to be just another milestone of accomplishment for the actress. In October, Rae revealed that she was launching a new production company called Hoorae.

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