The Rock is Brett Ratner's 'Hercules'

Dwayne Johnson to get shirtless and oily for MGM's new action franchise based on the demigod of Greek legend.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has entered talks with MGM to play the demigod "Hercules" in a new action blockbuster from director Brett Ratner (Tower Heist, Rush Hour). The movie will be based on the Radical Publishing comic book that produced two series', "The Thracian Wars" and "The Knives of Kush," both written by Steve Moore with art from Cris Bolsin. Adapted to the screen by Ryan Condal (Paradise Lost), the story follows the legendary Hercules and his bunch of mercenaries hired by the King Of Thrace to help prepare his men for war. Soon though Hercules questions the King's bloody and merciless actions and motives. This is a high profile summer blockbuster and another big motion picture for the fastly rising action superstar. Hercules has been a long-gestating project dating all the way back to 2008 when Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Hancock) was to direct the film (he will still produce), known then as Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Ratner has been trying to get a version of Hercules off the ground since 2010, first when he tried to leech off the popularity of Clash of the Titans in spring 2010 and now curiously as Wrath of the Titans is about to be unleashed he is setting up a new deal. Now MGM gone for the much cleaner and simpler titled Hercules, potentially the first in a lucrative franchise for them. This will be The Rock's first real standalone test at a big summer audience in the decade since 2002's The Scorpion King and on the backs of his recent casting in G.I. Joe, Fast Six, Journey 2 and upcoming role in Michael Bay's Pain and Gain shows that he is finally starting to get the roles we thought he would get more regularly after his full time wrestling days were over. The Rock will shoot Pain and Gain in the spring before moving to Fast Six in the summer, so don't expect Hercules to go before camera's for a little while yet. Like another popular literary character in Tarzan, Hercules is probably due a big, live-action treatment having been absent from the screen since the mid 80€s when, fittingly, Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno played him. Though since then there has been the somewhat lovable Disney version and that dreadful t.v. series. The mythological, larger-than-life demigod, for a reason I can€™t explained, has mostly found himself used as a somewhat cheesy, humorous character in his near 100 character credits on IMDB. And perhaps it€™s with that tone in mind that Ratner has boarded this but we look at those Ray Harryhausen pictures of yesteryear, and we look at the potential behind a Hercules movie, and we can€™t help but think there€™s something much more promising in this character than a movie Brett Ratner will make. You can a full synopsis of the comic series the movie will be based on below, which sounds way too much like a movie that would better suit Conan than the son of Zeus;
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?!
source - variety

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.