MOVIES

Why Disney Replaced John Lithgow As Hades In Hercules

As disappointing as it might have been for John Lithgow to be let go from playing Hades in “Hercules,” it wouldn’t take long for him to take center stage as an animated antagonist in 2001’s “Shrek.” The computer-animated comedy would see Lithgow play the deviously diminutive Lord Farquaad, who sends Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) out to retrieve Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz).

Not only was performing Farquaad a fun time for Lithgow, but he had great respect for the film’s artistry. Speaking with GQ, he shared his experience of visiting the animation team a year before the film’s release. “I was the only actor who had ever visited them and I walked through this place … to all these computer cubicles where all these animators were working,”  Lithgow said. “One was in charge of nothing but milk being poured out of a pitcher into a glass. One was in charge of only leaves blowing in the wind. One was in charge of mud when a wheel went through the mud … working on this for months in this technology that not many people had used yet. And I suddenly realized, I am something history-making and I didn’t even know it.” And history-making it was.

“Shrek” went on to earn over $492 million worldwide and took home the first-ever Academy Award for best animated feature, managing to even beat out Pixar’s “Monsters Inc,” while also being the first animated film to receive a nomination for best adapted screenplay. Lithgow may have missed out on the moderately successful “Hercules,” but it’s safe to say that what he got instead far exceeded his expectations. 

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