Director Brett Ratner puts former WWE star Dwayne Johnson in the role of mythical hero Hercules as the pair adapt graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars for the big screen…
Dwayne Johnson, aka WWE’s The Rock, is back, shirt off and flexing his muscles. UK audiences can check out his latest film Hercules from Friday July 25th when director Brett Ratner’s “revisionist take on the classic myth” swash-buckles its way into theatres. The latest Hollywood reworking of the Hercules story sees the character grounded in a world “where the supernatural does not exist”.
The film picks up the story after his legendary 12 labours with the man, who has no godly status despite being the son of god king Zeus, broken and world-weary, the only outlet for his anger found in bloody battle. Having become a sword-for-hire alongside a group of similarly battle-seasoned fighters, Hercules has his loyalty tested when a tyrannical warlord prompts the King of Thrace and his daughter to seek his help.
Typical of Johnson, his preparation for the role was suitably determined and extensive. He trained for eight months solid, saying he “worked harder than ever” to increase his weight through a gruelling training routine. He said, the “goal was to completely transform into this character; to disappear into the role.”
The former World Wrestling Entertainment star told Collider.com that this version of Hercules took the spirit of the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars to create a story that “gave a very unique twist on the story”. He adds, “But we also pay attention, respect and homage to the mythology of Hercules as it relates to the 12 Labours and the group that Hercules had around him, the anguish that he had to go through with the death of his family. So the goal was to strike a nice balance between a unique twist on the story and at the same time make sure that we still paid homage to the mythology of Hercules.”
Johnson says director Ratner was the perfect man for job, noting how passionate he was about bringing a new version of Hercules to the big screen. The super-sized actor is also confident the finished product is one that might bring about a sequel or two.
“It all depends obviously on the box office and how much fans enjoy it. If they enjoy it, one of the cool qualities about Hercules is that the stories and the mythology continue,” he said.
This latest version of the Hercules myth, which also stars Ian McShane, Reece Ritchie, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Joseph Fiennes and John Hurt, comes hot on the heals of Renny Harlin’s forgettable The Legend of Hercules which was released earlier in the year. Let’s hope the Ratner/Johnson team’s effort is much better when it is released in UK cinemas July 25th.
Check out the trailer…
NB. This post is sponsored by Paramount Pictures but all opinion is that of Top 10 Films