Michael B. Jordan tipped to lead Disney's "blackwashing" of new Hercules film

Hercules

The live-action Hercules movie by Disney will reportedly controversially feature Marvel star Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) as the titular Greek hero.

The Walt Disney Company’s efforts to retell their classic animated stories in a live-action format have received mixed reviews, but perhaps they have made the most controversial decision of all by reportedly wanting to cast black actor Michael B. Jordan as the Greek mythological hero Hercules.

At present, all that was known is that Guy Ritchie is directing — following his work on the billion-dollar Aladdin — and Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame) are producing, with Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) tapped to pen the screenplay. However, as reported on January 17, director Guy Ritchie dropped out of the live-action remake.

As Nathan Kamal wrote for Inside the Magic, “At this point, the Disney Hercules remake is left with more questions than answers.”

For the last few years, names have been floated over who may don the classic golden armour of Hercules and bring the character into live-action.

Inside the Magic, it was reported in 2021 that Disney was looking to cast a non-white actor in the titular role, and a year before that, fans weighed in with who they thought should continue the legacy of the Greek hero.

Rocketman (2019) actor Taron Egerton is also apparently a frontrunner for the part despite claims that the studio was looking for a non-white lead.

One name that continues to circulate and has done so for many years now is Black Panther franchise star Michael B. Jordan. Jordan most recently starred in the sequels Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) and Creed III (2023). For the latter, he made his directorial debut and starred in the boxing drama as the eponymous character Adonis Creed.

Multiple sources have brought Jordan’s name back into the ring regarding the live-action cast of Hercules, and it could be a sign that The Walt Disney Company is looking to cast the popular actor.

However, what comes with casting a non-white actor in the role of a Greek is a discourse about who should play these characters, especially after Cleopatra, Zeus and other Greek historical and mythological figures were "blackwashed" in other recent productions.

While Disney has confirmed nothing, Michael B. Jordan’s name has been circulating a lot over the last few years. Regarding Hercules’ love interest and all-around fan-favourite Meg, actress and singer Ariana Grande has consistently been rumoured.

The original Hercules animation debuted in 1997 with Tate Donovan/Josh Keaton/Roger Bart as Hercules, Susan Egan as Meg, James Woods as Hades, and Danny DeVito as Phil.

READ MORE: QUEEN CLEOPATRA: Netflix sued by Egyptian lawyer for blackwashing history.

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