Watch This. Why? Because The Rock, That’s Why

Hercules, Dwayne Johnson, movie poster

Not to be confused with Kellan Lutz (seriously – not ever), Dwayne Johnson becomes a hirsute Hercules (weird to see him with hair and yet…I like it. The transformation, complete with yak-hair beard, supposedly took a lot of hours each day) in these first pics from Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Actually, it looks like this has already have been shortened to just plain ole’ Hercules, because apparently no one is going to confuse it with the Renny Harlan version which came out mere weeks ago, starring the aforementioned Mr. Lutz.

While it pains me to want to pimp a Brett Ratner film,  with a cast that includes Ian McShane(!), Rufus Sewell(!), Joseph Fiennes, John Hurt and Rebecca Ferguson (“The White Queen”), one has to admit, it’s got potential.

Based on the graphic novel by Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya, “Hercules: The Thracian Wars”, this is a revisionist take on the classic myth set in a world where the supernatural (ie: Gods, Goddesses) does not exist.  Using the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors as the jumping off point, the story begins after they’ve concluded.

“Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary.  Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies.  But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the hero he once was… he must embrace his own myth… he must be Hercules.”

See (and HEAR with voice-over by Ian McShane!) the first full-length trailer here (brought to us by Machinima – who also brought us those G.I. Joe trailers. Coincidence? No. Not at all.):

The Rock is wearing a lion. Oh yeah…I’m in. Pass the popcorn.

The writers Evan Spiliotopoulos (Lion King 1 1/2, Jungle Book 2, Cinderella III) and Ryan Condal don’t have a lot to recommend them, but maybe this will be their big break! The good news is that a filmmaker who, just my humble opinion, deserves at least a soupcon of our trust, Peter Berg, is among the producers.  It should look gorgeous, in any case, with cinematography by the estimable Dante Spinotti (Last of the Mohicans, LA Confidential, Heat among many others).

We’ll find out when Hercules hits theaters on July 25.

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