I like Dwayne Johnson, I really do. I often felt that he was the natural successor to the Action Man throne vacated by Sly, Arnie and Bruce (which they then went and reclaimed themselves. Selfish old bags of leather!). So I can completely get behind him taking on the role of the Greek demigod, Hercules. Well I can get behind any of his roles actually, as long he isn’t wearing a tutu or taking care of meddling kids.
And last time I checked, being a tooth fairy was not one of Hercules’ twelve tasks.
Reported as a possibility earlier in the year already, Deadline now confirms that Johnson has officially come on board this co-production between MGM and Paramount Pictures, which will be an adaptation of Radical Publishing’s Hercules comic, written by Steve Moore with art by Cris Boslin. There’ve been two series already, “The Thracian Wars” and “Knives of Kush”, with the former appearing to be the inspiration for Ryan Condol’s screenplay for this film. Here’s a blurb for that book:
Fourteen-hundred years ago, a tormented soul walked the Earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules, powerful son of the god king Zeus, received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labors and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods, finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and the presence of death. These men and woman never question where, why, or whom they go to fight; only how much they will be paid. Knowing this, the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. Hercules begins to question King Cotys’ motives when he takes his army out to battle and sees them practice on innocent men, women, and children of their neighbors. Deep in his soul something stirs, but is it enough to stop a mad king and his army of the damned from marching across Greece – or even Olympus itself?!
All of which, admittedly, sounds a bit Kevin Sorbo-y, but with Johnson having more charisma and screen presence in his right eyebrow than most people have in their whole bodies, he could make this work granted the director keeps it dark and dirty and lays off the cheese.
Unfortunately, said director is none other that perpetual hack, Brett Ratner. Hopefully, he just pulls another Rush Hour 1 and lets his far more talented stars do all the heavy lifting. Ratner is now waiting for the rest of the cast to be confirmed and then will begin shooting early next year.