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Disney’s Canceled Hercules 2 Would’ve Fixed The First Movie’s Biggest Problem (But Created Another One)

Summary

  • A sequel to Disney’s Hercules was planned called Hercules II: The Trojan War, which would have fixed the movie’s mythology problem.
  • The sequel would have featured Hercules and Meg living in Athens and joining the Greek army in the war, but it would have created a plot hole.
  • The sequel was ultimately canceled in 2006 along with other direct-to-video sequels when John Lasseter took over as Disney’s chief creative officer.


Disney’s Hercules almost had a sequel, and had Hercules 2 happened, it would have fixed the first movie’s biggest problem but would have created another one. In 1989, the Disney era known as the Disney Renaissance began, and it was Disney’s big return to producing critically and commercially successful animated movies. During that time, in 1997, Hercules was released, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements, and loosely based on characters from Greek mythology.

Hercules follows the title hero (voiced by Tate Donovan), son of Zeus and Hera, who is kidnapped as a baby by his uncle, Hades (James Woods), to kill him. However, Hades’ henchmen fail to fully turn Hercules into a mortal. and he retains his super-strength but has to grow up among mortals. Years later, Hercules learns the truth of his origin and goes on a quest to earn back his godhood and place in Mount Olympus next to his parents. Like most Disney animated movies, a sequel to Hercules was planned, and had it happened, it would have fixed the first movie’s Greek mythology problem but would have created a big plot hole.

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Hercules 2 Would Have Covered The Trojan War

Hercules would have met Helena and Paris.

Hercules received mostly positive reviews from critics, with most praise going to Woods’ performance as Hades, but the movie’s animation style and music received mixed reactions. Hercules performed well at the box office, but compared to other Disney animated movies, it wasn’t a big success, but despite all this, a sequel was planned. Titled Hercules II: The Trojan War, the movie would have seen Hercules and Meg living in Athens with their daughter, Hebe. When Hercules’ old friend Helen (Helen of Troy, that is) is captured by Paris of Troy, Hercules joins the united Greek army in the war. In addition to that, Hercules finds an old friend who later goes missing, though it’s unclear who this friend was, but it’s possible it was his mentor, Phil (Danny DeVito).

One of the biggest problems with Hercules was the many changes it made to Greek mythology. While many characters and stories from Greek mythology definitely aren’t kid-friendly, Disney made unnecessary changes to the characters of Hercules and their connections, such as making Hera Hercules’ biological mother. Covering the Trojan War in the sequel would have been Disney’s perfect chance to fix this mistake and be more loyal to Greek mythology, though the details known about Hercules 2 already show one big change that would have inevitably caused controversy.

In Greek mythology, Hebe is the goddess of youth and the daughter of Zeus and Hera, as well as the wife of Heracles a.k.a. Hercules. Hebe and Hercules had two children, Alexiares and Anicetus. Heracles and Megara did have children, and though the number and names vary, some experts believe their children were Therimachus, Creontidas, and Deicoon. However, in a fit of rage induced by Hera, Heracles killed his children and Megara. Aside from that, Hercules 2 had a big chance of being closer to Greek mythology with Helena, Paris, and the Trojan War, but this also means it would have created a plot hole.

Hercules 2’s Trojan War Story Would Have Created A Big Plot Hole

Hercules 1997 Phil talking enthusiastically to Hercules

Hercules 2 covering the Trojan War and featuring Helen and Paris of Troy means that it would inevitably have had to feature Achilles, too. Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War and the greatest of all Greek warriors, and was known for being invulnerable in all of his body except for one heel.

Now, Hercules was trained by Philoctetes a.k.a. Phil, an old Satyr who trained various heroes in Ancient Greece. Phil was retired when Hercules arrived at his home to ask for his help, and Phil told him he trained some of the greatest Greek warriors, including Achilles, and even mentioned his downfall due to his infamous “weak” heel. This means that the Trojan War had already happened by the time of the events of Hercules, which would have created a big problem for Hercules 2 if it had focused on the Trojan War.

Why Hercules 2 Never Happened

Hercules expanded in other media.

Young Hercules in the animated series

Hercules 2 never went past a concept, and while it was projected for a 2001 release, the movie was officially canceled in 2006 after John Lasseter took over as Disney’s new chief creative officer. Under Lasseter’s direction, all direct-to-video sequels that Disney had planned were canceled, so Hercules 2 wasn’t the only project lost in this transition. Despite not getting a sequel, Hercules expanded in 1998 with a TV series simply titled Hercules: The Animated Series and with an animated TV movie in 1999 titled Hercules: Zero to Hero.

An episode of Hercules: The Animated Series covered the Trojan War but with a couple of changes, with the war being a rivalry between the students of the Athens Prometheus Academy and the Trojan Academy. Hercules got the musical treatment in 2019 and is now in line to get a live-action remake directed by Guy Ritchie – and the live-action version is now the best chance Disney has to fix the biggest problems of the animated version.

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