Brolin Interested in Role as Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Fresh off the success of Avengers: Infinity War and with just a few days before he premieres as Cable in Deadpool 2, Josh Brolin is already hoping for a new role: Quasimodo in an adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Back in 2011, the actor was in talks to play the literary character in a version to be directed by Tim Burton. Burton was eventually replaced by Zhang Yimou, and Brolin says that after that the studio no longer wanted the project.

He describes the project as a “bigger film” and says that the new technology could make it a great spectacle.

“Having experienced Deadpool and The Avengers, I’m like why would you not want to take advantage of the technical proficiencies now?” he asked. “This cutting edge time? To be able to do Quasimodo climbing up Notre Dame. I love the idea of that.”

The novel, originally written by Victor Hugo back in 1831, tells about the people living in and around the famous Parisian cathedral. Quasimodo is the titular hunchback and the adopted son of the priest Claude Frollo. Both wind up falling in love with a Gypsy woman named Esmeralda, and, not to spoil anything, but it ends tragically for all involved.

There have been several movie adaptations of the story over the years, with Quasimodo played by such talent actors as Charles Laughton, Lon Chaney and Anthony Hopkins. Perhaps the most famous these days is the 1996 Disney adaptation; by the standards of the company’s other films, it was markedly more morally complex, even if it was a far more optimistic and simplified version of the novel.

To be fair, that is typical; the original novel was very dense, and all of the characters do morally questionable things (for example, Quasimodo tries to kidnap Esmeralda, who is cheating on her husband with Phoebus, who is cheating on his betrothed, all while Frollo is trying to kill everyone). Movie adaptations generally simplify the plot and make Quasimodo and Esmeralda, at least, more sympathetic, with an emphasis on them being oppressed for their deformity and ethnicity, respectively.

Universal’s Dark Universe has also announced a Hunchback film, though that franchise may be dead on arrival; 2015 also gave word that Disney was planning to do a live-action remake, possibly now retold from Esmeralda’s perspective.

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