Casting Call: Quasimodo

Published September 5, 2013

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

These days, most people remember The Hunchback of Notre Dame as the only Disney film in which the hero isn’t a strapping prince or a cute, cuddly animal. Before that, however, it was a 1939 black-and-white film; and before that, it was a 1923 silent film; and before that, it was an 1831 novel by famed French writer Victor Hugo. Now our favorite deformed protagonist is rumored to be returning to the big screen in Warner Bros.’ Quasimodo.

Unlike the watered-down Disney version, the original story of Quasimodo is in no way appropriate for children or even sensitive adults. Set in 15th-century France, The Hunchback of Notre Dame tells the story of a beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda, who is the object of affection of just about every man in Paris, most notably Quasimodo and his evil adoptive father, Archdeacon Claude Frollo. Frollo orders his unfortunate-looking son to kidnap Esmeralda, but Quasimodo is thwarted and sentenced to a public flogging (as was the norm in 15th-century France). Chained to a post in the public square, Quasimodo is facing death when Esmeralda brings him some water and the two become unlikely friends.

Later, Esmeralda wrongfully charged for attempted murder (that’s what happens when several jealous men develop obsessions for you) and sentenced to death. Quasimodo saves her from the gallows and hides her in his bell-tower; but, suffice to say, things go awry and pretty much everyone dies.

With Zhang Yimou attached to direct (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) we imagine the contemporary adaptation will encompass all the glorious gloom and doom of Hugo’s original. Here’s who we think are fit to play the characters of Quasimodo in all their twisted, jealous, bloodthirsty glory.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.