Ring the Bells, Idris Elba Is Directing and Starring in a Modern Hunchback of Notre Dame

But will it answer that all-important question: Who is the monster, and who is the man?
But will it answer that all-important question: Who is the monster, and who is the man?
Image: Disney

Morning in Paris, the city awakes to the bells of a new monster movie. Idris Elba will direct, produce, compose, and star in a modern remake of the classic Hunchback of Notre Dame for Netflix. It must be heaven’s light.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Elba has signed on to create a modern adaptation of the 19th century Victor Hugo gothic novel for Netflix. Written by Michael Mitnick (The Giver), Elba will play Quasimodo, the bell ringer who falls in love with a woman named Esmerelda. No word about when the film’s set to come out or who else will star in it, but Elba as a modern-day sexy hunchback is more than enough for me.

This announcement comes after Universal tried (and presumably failed) to add Hunchback into its own Dark Universe—a cinematic monstrosity that just celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Since the DU is presumably dead, it leaves Elba in a position to go all Beastly with this modern gothic romance. Except, you know, probably better.


In addition to directing and producing the film, Elba will also be creating original music, calling it a “sonic and musical experience.” Look, that’s great and all, but I just want to know one thing: Will it have the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells of Notre DAAAAAAAAAAAAAME?

Admit it. You all just finished the Disney song in your heads.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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The cathedral in my town put an advertisement in the local paper looking for a new person to ring its bell, after their hunchback died. A guy with no arms showed up inquiring about the job, and the Priest asked, “How can you possibly fulfill the duties of ringing the bells without any arms?”
So the two of them go up into the tower, and the armless man takes a running start, and jumps at the bell like a battering ram, hitting it with the front of head, square in the nose. The bells swings away and chimes - BUNG! - and then swings back, hitting the armless man, knocking him out the tower, and down onto the sidewalk below. The Father runs down the tower and out to the sidewalk where a crowd has gathered around the body. One of the onlookers askes the Priest, “Who is this man?!” To which the Priest responds, “I don’t know! But his face rings a bell.”

The next day, another many without any arms comes to the cathedral, asking about the bell ringing position. “I’m sorry my son, another man like yourself died interviewing for the job yesterday. I won’t endanger another life.” But the armless man said, “I know. He was my brother. Please let me honor his life by fulfilling his last wishes.”
Reluctantly, the father takes the armless brother up the bell tower. The brother walks to the place his brother was knocked out the tower, pauses, and then turns and runs toward the bell, lunges, and throws his back toward the bell, knocking it back - BUNG! - and then it swings back the other way, hits the brother, knocks him out the tower and down to the sidewalk below.
The Priest rushes down and is greeted by another crowd, with many of the same onlookers. “Now who is this man, Father?!”
“I don’t know,” said the Priest. “But he’s a dead ringer for his brother.”

- One of my father’s favorite jokes.