Apparently, Disney’s live-action remakes aren’t isolated to musicals. We’ve learned from our trusted and proven sources that Oscar-winning filmmaker Kenneth Branagh has been tapped to bring a live-action Gargoyles feature to the big screen.
If you’re not familiar with the property, then you missed out on what proved to be one of the most beloved — if not the most beloved — animated series of the 1990s. The syndicated cartoon premiered in 1994 and ran for three seasons, a total of 78 episodes, and was renamed Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles in its third and final season.
Gargoyles was one of the most beloved — if not the most beloved — animated series of the 1990s.
The series Kenneth Branagh will be adapting features a clan of gargoyles as heroes transplanted from the 10th century to the modern day. Back in the middle ages, most of the clan is killed while Goliath and a small group of other gargoyles are cursed to be frozen in stone until their castle somehow reaches above the clouds.
Goliath and his comrades awaken in the twentieth century, after the wealthy David Xanatos buys the castle and has it transported to, and reconstructed atop, his New York City skyscraper. The gargoyles protect the city and its people, often dealing with various supernatural challenges as well as clashing with Xanatos.
The voice cast included Keith David (They Live) as the lead Goliath, the late Ed Asner (Up) as Hudson, and Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as the billionaire David Xanatos.
The acclaimed writer/director of Nope pitched a live-action Gargoyles that Polygon described as “grisly.”
According to Polygon, Kenneth Branagh will be directing a Gargoyles feature that has been discussed since the animated series was still producing new episodes. The original concept was scrapped after the series concluded, and in 2011 the writing team of David Elliot and Paul Lovett (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) was tapped to write a new script.
We don’t know if the Elliot/Lovett script will be what Kenneth Branagh is working with, but we know his Gargoyles won’t be Jordan Peele’s. The acclaimed writer/director of Nope pitched a live-action Gargoyles that Polygon described as “grisly.” Disney, unsurprisingly, gave it a thumbs down.
Kenneth Branagh is now one in a growing list of acclaimed directors taking on Disney’s live-action adaptations. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) helmed last year’s Pinocchio while Guy Ritchie directed 2019’s Aladdin, and is already set to direct Aladdin 2 and the live-action Hercules.
Could The Series Cast Return?
There’s no word yet on who Kenneth Branagh wants in the cast of Gargoyles, though it would seem like many of the voice actors from the animated series could reprise their roles. Live-action or not, it seems likely the eponymous heroes will be CGI-rendered, and most of the voice cast is still around and active. Not to mention Jonathan Frakes is still working, having recently starred in Star Trek: Picard, and could easily reprise his role as Xanatos.