‘the hunchback of notre dame’ live action dream cast

BeFunky Collage.jpg

by Katie @ I’m Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read) (blue) and Eva (purple)

A few days ago Katie and I were chatting on Facebook and I mentioned that Disney is planning to do a live-action remake of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ (are we even surprised anymore?).  We chatted a bit about who Disney would cast and then had the idea of collabing on a blog post talking about our dream cast.


Epic is the word  😀 I haven’t seen too many Disney animated films, but ‘Hunchback’ is very, very special to me, as it is to Disney fans around the world . . . and deservedly so.  It’s a beautiful story and it deserves the very best live-action version Disney can produce. So if they could just, y’know, take note of our dream cast, that’d be great.  😉

The Narrator/Clopin – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Clopin. Hunchback of Notre Dame
aka most powerful line in the musical.

Because in what universe is this not perfect????  Seriously though, I feel like this dream casting is actually possible and I would loooove to see it.  Lin is hugely talented; he’d fit the role of the mysterious and dramatic Clopin incredibly well. (I think Disney would beef up the role if they cast him because who doesn’t need more Lin-Manuel Miranda in their movie?)

Quasimodo – Andrew Keenan-Bolger

"Quasi, take it from an old spectator. Life's not a spectator sport. If watchin' is all you're gonna do, then you're gonna watch your life go by without ya." - The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Ahhhhhhhhh, Andrew Keenan-Bolger . . . if you’ve seen him in Newsies or Tuck Everlasting, you know why we adore him so, the precious bean.  (The smile alone is worth a million bucks.) More importantly, you know the man can SING.  And you know he can play physically disabled characters with a convincing mixture of vulnerability & spirit (Crutchie!!!)  We think he’d be a perfect Quasimodo.

Frollo – Peter Capaldi

For the people who have never read Kingdom Keepers: Power Play, this is the man how tried to kill Willa. He is from The Hunchback of Noter Dame, and he is an OT. Just thought you should know.

Tell me you don’t want to see Peter Capaldi’s face twisted with rage and agony and desperate desire in a firelit room with crazy shadows morphing into demons and pitchforks and what not.  GO ON AND TELL ME. ‘Cause I won’t believe you. 😛 This guy was born to play Frollo. Eva and Katie have spoken, and it must and shall be so.

Esmeralda – Zendaya

Esmeralda #esmeralda #disney

No, Zendaya isn’t Romani.  And I respect the opinion that this fact could disqualify her.  But, as a person of color, I believe she could bring the requisite personal experience of racial oppression to the role of Esmeralda–and, guys, I’m just really really really in love with her singing okay.  I mean???  Greatest Showman???  A little movie y’all may or may not have heard of???  If I could hear that soft, husky voice of hers do the high note at the end of “God Help the Outcasts” I would die happy and never ask for anything more in this world.  

[I’m kidding.  Kind of.]

Phoebus – Tom Felton

Day 9 Favorite Couple: Esmeralda and Phoebus. I just love their sarcastic attitude towards each other. They're absolutely adorable without being lovey dovey. They fight with each other mentally and physically but in a playful way. It's just wonderful to watch!

Yes, I admit that this casting was based on my not-so-secret liking for Tom Felton.  But you’ve got to admit it’s a good idea! He’s blond, for one thing, and for another I could see him playing up the jerk side of Phoebus a little (which is more accurate to the book) while still being super sweet in the end. ❤

Victor, Hugo, and Laverne (aka the gargoyles) – (respectively) Alan Tudyk, Hank Azaria, and Angela Lansbury

1884. "better to beg forgiveness than ask permission."

I’m actually hoping that Disney excises the gargoyles in favor of some toned-down, mood-appropriate comic relief (maybe Lin’s Clopin) but if they decide not to…I have the perfect voice cast. *smirks*  Alan Tudyk, Hank Azaria, and Angela Lansbury are all seasoned voice actors and Tudyk and Lansbury have already voiced characters in Disney movies.

But I really hope there’s no need for them. *winks*

The Archdeacon – Leslie Odom Jr.

Now you would add this child's blood to your guilt on the steps of Notre Dame!

This may seem weird because Leslie Odom Jr. is a person of color and the Archdeacon is very much French/“white,” but, fellas, I just can’t think of another actor I’d rather see in this role.  I love everything about him. I love his calming, yet imposing, presence and his soothing voice. I think he’d make an incredibly memorable Archdeacon; and I would die to see him confront Peter Capaldi as Frollo:  “You never can run or hide what you’ve done from the eyes of Notre Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame…”  

Quasimodo’s mother – Gal Gadot

No role is too small to escape the scrutiny of Eva and Katie!  Muahahaha. We both think that Gal Gadot is perfect to play Quasimodo’s mother.  With her accent and dark hair, she could be a believable Gypsy. And her natural charm and warmth would make her death all the more tragic.

Plus, we just really, really like Gal Gadot. 😉


So, do you agree with our casting choices?  Who do you hope to see in Disney’s live-action ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’?

Eva (& Katie)


27 thoughts on “‘the hunchback of notre dame’ live action dream cast

  1. Pingback: musical theatre review: ‘the hunchback of notre dame’ at la jolla playhouse – coffee, classics, & craziness

  2. Gabby A.

    Oh. My. Goodness. 10/10 I think you guys nailed it!!

    There are a few people here I don’t know, but all the main characters and almost all the actors/actresses are people I’d be extremely happy to see play in this film!


  3. I left a longer comment on Katie’s blog, but THIS IS VERY EXCITING!! 😀 I’m in wholehearted agreement for a lot of these, and only a little unsure about a few of them.

    Here’s hoping Disney does right by this amazing movie!! 😀


      1. Haha! You can see my full thoughts on Katie’s blog, but in a nutshell:

        ~ I would definitely not REFUSE Zendaya as Esmeralda, but I feel like I’d like someone with a stronger, more powerhouse voice. (And, also–this sounds silly, but–I kind of feel like Zendaya is too “chill” for Esmeralda? It’s difficult to explain exactly what I mean, but it’s almost like Esmeralda needs to be a little more . . . I don’t know, excitable? Passionate? Idk.)

        ~ I like Andrew Keenan-Bolger, I just have difficulty seeing his physique as the right starting point for Quasimodo (obviously, whoever does it will have prosthetics and props and makeup and everything, but, again, as a starting point, I can’t picture it so well). But I’d definitely be down for seeing him in the role! 🙂

        ~ And, the one I’m most “leery” of is–ahh, you won’t like this xD–Tom Felton as Phoebus. I’M SORRY! I just can’t see it. BUT, I’ve only ever seen him in negative roles, so maybe that’s part of why.


      2. Yeah, I get where you’re coming from with Zendaya but I still think she’d be amazing in the role. I also wouldn’t mind Ciara Renee playing Esmeralda – she played her in the Broadway musical and I’ve also seen her in CW’s Arrowverse, so I know she’s a great actress.

        I will admit that there are others who would play Phoebus super well, too, but I’ve seen him in some more sympathetic roles and I know that he could portray Phoebus super well. (You should check out Season 3 of The Flash if you want to see him in a ‘good guy’ role.)


  4. I must have missed the news that they’re making a live action version of this movie. I can’t help but be curious how dark they’re going to go with this remake, because the animated movie is easily the darkest movie in Disney’s animation history.
    And that’s part of what makes it so good.

    Also I agree with the gargoyles – they’re what held the movie back the most. That said, if you toned the gargoyles down, and strongly hinted that their movements and personalities are only a figment of Quasimodo’s imagination, without confirming as such, it could add another layer to Quasimodo’s personality.


  5. YES!!!! I never liked THoND (maybe because a certain song terrified me), but I’ve just reccently begun to love it!! I haven’t seen it in forever, but I have been thinking about it a lot and listening to the music. I’m so excited to hear that they are going to make a live-action version! But, I’m not sure how well they will be able to do all the amazing colors.

    Anyway, I agree 100% with you and Katie!!! All of those actors would do a great job with those parts!!! I really hope someone from Disney sees this… that would be amazing!!


    1. I just watched it last night and it’s sooooo good. (Rewatch, but yeah.) I loooove all the colors, like you mentioned. The animators outdid themselves.



  6. This was a really fun post. I agree with almost all of it. My only big like “no” was to Zendaya as Esmerelda. I’m really honestly tired of her, and I think they need to find someone who has a slightly more sophisticated persona. That’s just me tho.
    I especially love your casting for Quasi.


    1. Thank you!

      Have you seen ‘The Greatest Showman’? She brings gravity to Anne’s character. I’m still sold on her portraying Esmerelda. 🙂 But everyone has their own opinion!

      Awwwww…I love and adore that casting too. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.
        And yes I have, I didn’t love her in it. I think maybe I’m tired of the strong independent bold young woman type? 😂 idk.
        Yeah! ❤️


  7. (*clears throat softly*) Hello, I just had to pop in and say that I love Peter Capaldi with all my heart, BUT I WANT HIM TO PLAY FROLLO TOO!!!! XD XD XD And I haven’t even seen THoND–but I know enough about it and I’ve seen enough clips to safely say he’d be perfect in the role! Yes, it’d definitely be disconcerting for those of us who nurse absolutely incurable crushes on the man (*coughcoughcough*), but in the interest of Accurate and Appropriate Casting, I support it 100%.

    I’ve actually maintained since the film was announced that Gal Gadot should be Esmerelda–but when you mentioned Zendaya I thought, “OOOH! I like it!” As for Leslie Odom Jr., I don’t think the fact that he’s a POC would be an obstacle at all. After all, Javert has been played by POC on stage, the real Alexander Hamilton certainly wasn’t POC, and there were several POC characters in Cinderella and The Beauty and the Beast in spite of certain locations/implied time periods.


    1. Funnily enough, I’ve only seen Capaldi in a bit role in the ‘Paddington’ movie. 😀 But I trust Katie’s judgement. (And he certainly looks the part to play Frollo!)

      Sadly, I think Gal Gadot is a little too old to play Esmeralda now. 😦 Though she would have been super good at the role! And yes to what you said about POC. I know some people don’t like it when ‘traditionally white roles’ are given to POCs, but as long as the actor portrays the character well, I don’t care. (Case in point, 2014’s ‘Annie’.)


      1. I got a big kick out of watching him in Paddington, heehee. But if you want a good example of him in a much more complex role (and portraying an enormous amount of passionate anger and sorrow) all at the same time, you should definitely watch this quick scene from one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJP9o4BEziI). He’s just so good, so talented, much wow.

        Yeah, I think that at this point in human history, “traditionally white roles” aren’t a big a deal anymore–and THAT’S A VERY GOOD THING. Of course, when it comes to a film or a TV show that’s striving to be super-historically accurate–like, say, “The Crown”–it obviously wouldn’t make sense to have a POC in the role of Queen Elizabeth II. But when you’re dealing with musicals (“Hamilton”), Disney remakes (“Cinderella”), or even Shakespeare (Tom Hiddleston’s version of Henry V has a marvelously talented POC playing one of Henry’s allies!), all stories that are very artistic and open to different methods of interpretation, I say GO FOR IT!


      2. Welp, Peter Capaldi moved me to tears in four minutes with absolutely no context.

        So, yeah, I’m on board with him being Frollo. 😉

        And YES to everything you said about diversity in stuff. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s