Tony Award-Winning Professor David Henry Hwang Writes Live-Action 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'

Carlos Barragán
June 01, 2023

Theatre Professor and Tony Award-winning writer David Henry Hwang is set to leave his signature mark on Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hwang, renowned worldwide for his significant contributions to theatre, is channeling his expertise into Disney's growing slate of live-action remakes.

Hwang's adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, originally a 1996 Disney animated film, draws inspiration from Victor Hugo’s novel. The story focuses on Quasimodo, a deformed bell ringer seeking liberation from a malevolent government minister while bringing justice to Paris. With its multifaceted themes and historical richness, this narrative is a fitting choice for live-action adaptation.

Disney’s current project roster features an array of classic animations undergoing transformation into live-action renditions. Examples include Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. Other Disney classics, such as Snow White and Peter Pan & Wendy, are in line for live-action remakes. 

David Henry Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and the most-produced living American opera librettist. Hwang’s works for stage include M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival), and Disney’s Tarzan. He was a Writer and Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair, and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. His works have been honored with two GRAMMY Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with late pop star Prince.