As a new version of Disney’s Hercules gets underway, it appears that Danny DeVito will not get to reprise his role as Phil. At least in this context.
According to Playbill, Hercules will become the latest Disney animated feature musical to be adapted for the stage. Put on by The Paper Mill Playhouse, the show will have a short run in February 2023.
Hercules features music by EGOT winner Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast), lyrics by Tony winner David Zippel (City of Angels, Mulan), and a book by Tony winner Robert Horn (Tootsie) and Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah, based on the Disney film written by Ron Clements, John Musker, Donald McEnery, Bob Shaw, and Irene Mecchi and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker.
The Paper Mill production will also have music supervision by Michael Kosarin and choreography by Chase Brock and Tanisha Scott.
— Playbill (@playbill) October 31, 2022
The role of Herc’s trainer Philoctetes (AKA Phil), will not be played by Danny DeVito. Instead, the role will be played by James Monroe Iglehart, who took over the role of The Genie in Disney’s Broadway adaptation of Aladdin after the late great Robin Williams. Iglehart has also been a Cast Member of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.
But DeVito still has a chance to reprise his role as the mythical half-man/half-goat creature. Disney Fanatic reported that another live-action adaptation of the Disney Renaissance Animated Classic is in the works for a “live-action” remake, and DeVito has made it clear he wants in.
It should be mentioned that this stage adaptation of Disney’s Hercules is an adaptation of a 2019 adaptation and is not on Broadway just yet. Like the other Disney plays that came before it, Hercules will need to prove itself worthy of The Great White Way beforehand. If this cast can prove it can “Go the Distance,” then it will join the ranks of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen. And it will join a special club as one of the even fewer Disney Animated movies that received a live-action adaptation both on screen and on stage.
Visit Paper Mill Playhouse’s website for more information regarding showtimes and tickets.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Movie-related news and stories as more developments come to light.