Cameron Monaghan might be able to play the ‘before’ version of Hercules if you want the honest truth, unless he’s going to seriously bulk up and become the musclebound hulk that a lot of people would associate with the legendary demigod. There have been a lot of representations of Hercules but Disney’s has likely been the most kind since it actually showed Hera as Hercules’ mother and depicted her as a loving and very caring individual that actually loved her son. If anyone’s been reading Greek mythology lately it would be seen that Hera hated Hercules with a passion and tried to kill him more than once as Anya Leonard of Classical Wisdom has written. The two did not get along all that well since Hercules, or Heracles as he’s called in the old writings, was the product of an adulterous affair on the part of his father, Zeus, with a mortal woman. Plus, the legends tell of a twin brother that was created when the human woman’s husband came home and created the second child. But hey, that kind of thing isn’t about to fly in a Disney movie, so the whole single child birthed by two gods is a go while the rest is silently pushed to the side.
Considering that, according to Jeremy Dick of MovieWeb, the movie isn’t even on the writer’s desk at this moment it does seem as though Cameron could take the time and effort to bulk up a bit since despite being in great shape he’s still a little less than impressive compared to some of the individuals that have played the part. That might seem harsh or too critical to state, but honestly when you’re looking at the men that have performed this role, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dwayne Johnson, and even Kevin Sorbo, you get the idea that Cameron has a good base to work from, but isn’t nearly as ripped or as big as he needs to be for this role. It could work, but there’s a lot more work to be done to make it happen. Plus, who in the world would they get for the rest of the cast?
Being that it’s live action you can guess that a lot of people would need to be replaced since a couple of them aren’t with us any longer, and seeing Rip Torn play Zeus if he was still here seems less than optimal. But it does seem interesting to think of Danny DeVito stepping in to play Phil once again since he did such a great job the last time around. And who knows, maybe using James Woods as Hades could be made to work again, but Pain and Panic might have to remain as CGI, and whether Bobcat Goldthwait and Matt Frewer would be willing to come back to voice them is hard to imagine. Of course given that the live action version of Mulan eliminated a good portion of the animated elements it might be that Pain and Panic wouldn’t even show up in this one since Disney seems to want to stick to some form of realism. But then again, seeing as how Greek mythology is in a big way about fantastical creatures of legend and the kind of beasts that nightmares are made of, it might be that a realistic version wouldn’t gel as well with the audience. It could be that taking off of the animated version as much as possible would be preferable since if you really think about it Hercules had a number of massive fights that involved creatures of myth and legend that were simply massive and insanely tough.
I’ll be honest, I’m still trying to wrap my head around Cameron being a good representation of Hercules and I can only make it as far as the younger, more gangly version since he’s not really that big and buff compared to the ideal of what Hercules has been built up as throughout the years. Clinging to the idea that he could bulk up and really make the part work is something that might work for a while at least since it doesn’t seem like a good idea to just discount him altogether. He’s proven to be a great actor thus far and someone that can really deliver when he needs to since Shameless and Gotham have shown just how much of a star he can be. But again, trying to imagine him in Hercules is kind of difficult since the stereotype that’s been created for the role is one that’s hard to get by since when someone thinks insane levels of strength they tend to think of someone that has big muscles, is tall, burly, and could possibly smash a coconut in one hand as though they were crumpling a paper cup.