Dwayne Johnson Set to Swing Swords as 'Hercules' for Brett Ratner
Two summers ago we heard that director Brett Ratner was looking to direct a new film from producer Avi Lerner that would bring the epic action hero Hercules back to the big screen. But then last spring it was reported that Ratner was circling a completely different Hercules project in the form of Hercules: The Thracian Wars, a film set up at the recovering MGM Pictures, which is based on Steve Moore's comic book of the same name. The film will apparently go by the singular title Hercules, and all we need is that name to go with Variety's report that Dwayne Johnson will play the titular role and the crowd goes wild.
The synopsis from Moore's comic book at Radical Publishing (the company that also has an adaptation of their Legends comic in the works) sounds pretty epic:
Nearly 3,200 years ago, a tormented soul walked the Earth as neither man nor god: Hercules, powerful son of the god-king Zeus, and for this he received nothing but suffering. After 12 arduous labors and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods, finding solace only in bloody battle. Over the years, he warmed to the company of six similar souls, bonded by their love of fighting and the presence of death - never questioning where they go or who they fight, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to turn his men into the greatest army of all time, which means training them to be as bloodthirsty and ruthless as their own reputation. It is time for this band of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen - and the narrow, perilous path to their own redemption.
Hopefully this kind of hero from the past turns out better than Johnson's earlier career effort as The Scorpion King. However, it's not clear how eager fans are for more sword and sandal epics since the remake of Conan the Barbarian didn't fare too well. Clash of the Titans rocked the box office, but the film is by no means a masterpiece and Wrath of the Titans looks like more of the same (watch the new trailer right here).
Johnson has had a decent acting career even if his choice in films have been pretty generic in the action genre with a few comedic turns (which I actually prefer). This year alone Journey 2: The Mysterious Island hit theaters with G.I. Joe Retaliation yet to come this summer and a role in Pain & Gain not too far down the road. Johnson certainly has the build to take on Hercules, but it remains to be seen whether audiences have the thirst to actually see it on the big screen.