Via the Hollywood Reporter: Tim Burton and Josh Brolin are teaming up to bring The Hunchback of Notre Dame to the big screen.
Hunchback, an 1831 novel by Victor Hugo, tells the story of Quasimodo, a deformed and hunchbacked bell-ringer of the Notre Dame cathedral who tragically falls in love with beautiful gypsy Esmerelda. The book has long intrigued the film and TV worlds — it was first adapted in 1905 into a film titled Esmeralda — also a vehicle for makeup wizard Lon Chaney in 1923, Charles Laughton in 1939, Anthony Quinn in 1957, even Anthony Hopkins for a small screen version in 1982 for Hallmark. The last major adaptations were in 1997, the year that saw a high-profile Disney animated movie and an action-heavy pic starring Mandy Patinkin and Salma Hayek.
The book features Quasimodo fighting off troops, love and betrayal, a hanging, a swing off a belltower and bodies and graves galore; in short, stuff that seems tailor-made for Tim Burton.
But the project, being spearheaded by Brolin, who would also produce as well as star, is in the development stages. Burton, who is in preproduction on Dark Shadows (starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins) for Warners, is interested, but his commitment is dependent on the outcome of the script. Incidentally, Michelle Pfeiffer is also talking to Tim about Dark Shadows. So many fun possibilities!
Good luck to Tim on both movies, although he makes his own luck.
Incidentally, if Hunchback does come to pass, it would be Josh Brolin’s second crack at a deformed personage after starring as the title character in Jonah Hex, Warners’ Western featuring the facially scarred DC Comics anti-hero. We’ll keep you posted!