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ABC reaches deeper into fairy tale well, pulls out Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Having scored a hit with Once Upon a Time, ABC isn't through ransacking the public domain for more fairy tales to feed into the gaping maw of Television, a ravenous beast that demands a constant stream of intellectual property already familiar to audiences. Hoping to buy some time until it can figure out how to finally turn Television back into the handsome prince that may still lurk somewhere behind the claws and fangs, ABC has turned to a hero. A man who has lived to face Television's bigger, hungrier, more fearsome brother, Hollywood, and lived to tell the tale.

That shining white knight is none other than Evan Daugherty, who sated the mighty beast with a screenplay for Snow White And The Huntsman, and so may be able to pull off the same trick twice. This time, Daugherty comes armed with a magical bauble found in the same trunk of dusty treasures that contained Snow White. This second well-worn artifact is creaky, shopworn, and barely looks up to the task. But ABC is hoping that Daugherty is wizard enough to transform the shriveled pumpkin that is The Hunchback Of Notre Dame into a gaudy coach they call Esmeralda.

Esmeralda will be an "event series," (ie. a single season) on ABC, and will retell Victor Hugo's classic story through the eyes of its female lead. While this seems like a refreshing new take on an old story, the list of fifteen notable film adaptations of the story—a list that doesn't even include that Pirates Of The Caribbean-inspired action take or the Tim Burton/Josh Brolin version that were recently considered—begins with 1905's Esmeralda, which also shares its title with a 1922 film, an opera from 1836, and a ballet from 1844. So never mind.


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