How ugly will Josh Brolin's Hunchback of Notre Dame be?

Charles-LaughtonImage Credit: Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett CollectionA lot has happened to Quasimodo since novelist Victor Hugo first imagined him in 1831’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Most obviously, he’s gotten better and better looking, especially since the advent of movie houses. In 1923, Lon Chaney portrayed the grotesque yet sympathetic outcast who rings the bell atop Paris’ most famous cathedral. Charles Laughton (left) was a little more dignified in the 1939 version. In 1956, Anthony Quinn was less monstrous, and in 1997, the otherwise dashing Mandy Patinkin labored under the hump. The trend from gargoyle to GQ continues with today’s news, first reported by Variety, that handsome Josh Brolin is eying the not-so-handsome role in an adaptation to be directed by Tim Burton. My, that’s a hunky hunchback! Brolin, of course, has demonstrated a recent fondness for gritty ugliness — True Grit, Jonah Hex — and Burton, who’s not yet officially attached, has a long track record for burying his handsome leading men behind a mask of makeup. Good, because I’m not ready for the story where gorgeous gypsy Esmeralda and wealthy Fleurs de Lys toss noble Phoebus to the curb and throw themselves at a winking Q-Mode.

Can you envision Brolin looking like Laughton, or are you expecting a more attractive hunchback? After seeing that jarring photo from the 1939 film, I’m not so sure this just isn’t a roundabout way for Brolin to make a Goonies sequel — it’s Sloth, right?

Comments (9 total) Add your comment
  • Seth

    I hope that he’s hideous.

  • Marie

    Considering that it will be a Tim Burton film, I can guess he will end up looking quite unhandsome. Also they made him look bad in Jonah Hex, so all you have to do is add a big lump to his back!

  • seattle maggie

    Somebody please rein in Tim Burton (Helena, are you listening?)!! I so looked forward to his last two films (Sweeney Todd & Alice) and both were too far over the top.

    • Helena

      Why the hell would i listen to you?

      • Bre


  • Emily

    Whether he’s hideous or not, I just hope they don’t bastardize the story, a la Disney’s animated film from ’96. If we do see pictures of a hunky Quasimodo, I’m going to be concerned that there is some narrative reason (as in, Esmeralda and Q-Mode hook up) and then I will be mad.

    • Bre

      They had to slightly or it wouldn’t have been appropriate for young kids.

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