Dwayne Johnson Signs For A Pair of Graphic Novel Adaptations

3 years ago by  

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been earning his fair share of attention in recent months thanks to his starring roles in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, this summer’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation and confirmation that he’ll have a role in Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, while also returning for Fast and Furious 6.

If the soon-to-be-40-year-old wasn’t keeping busy enough, today saw confirmations of the once undisputed WWE Champion landing starring roles in a pair of graphic novel-based action films: Hercules and Ciudad.

Ciudad marks the first feature directorial gig for Joe and Anthony Russo since 2006 when they helmed You, Me And Dupree. Since then, the brothers have work on TV shows including Community and Happy Endings. The film is based on the upcoming Oni Press graphic novel written by the brothers Russo and Ande Parks, which follows “black market mercenary who’s hired by a Brazilian drug lord to rescue his kidnapped daughter.”

Ciudad is being pitched as a hard-hitting, gritty action flick, something of a departure for the comedy-rooted Russos.

On the more mythical side of things, Variety has the scoop that Johnson has also signed for the upcoming Brett Ratner project Hercules, confirming early reports of Johnson being in talks for the part in February. The film is based on the Hercules: The Thracian War comics from Radical Publishing, split among two limited series, both written by Steve Moore with art by Cris Bolsin.

This take on the Greek demigod, sees Hercules under the command of the Thracian King as a leader and trainer of his armies. Moore’s unique spin on the character caught the attention of Peter Berg years ago. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Moore explains what his Hercules is all about:

“I wanted to give some idea of the brutality of ancient warfare, rather than a prettified “fantasy movie” version.

Obviously a warrior doesn’t fight alone, so my first job was to give him some companions, but only companions who would have been mythologically contemporary with him. For example, there was no point in teaming up Hercules and Achilles, because they were of different generations. So, apart from Meneus, who was invented for the series, all the other characters in Hercules’s band are actual legendary characters who would have been alive at the same time, and whose personalities are largely based on what we know of them from their original stories.

The next decision was that, to avoid the more mythological aspects, the easiest thing to do was to take Hercules and his war-band out of Greece. Since we wanted a dark, moody feel to the story, barbarian Thrace was the obvious place to set the action. And then, having gotten the basic ingredients, it was pretty much a case of letting them stew for a couple of weeks. I’m not someone who comes up with instant story notions, I was making the odd note as ideas came to me, quite often while half-awake in bed, until the whole thing just sort of grew together naturally. I used the same method on the outline for the second series, though that required a bit more research, as it is set in ancient Egypt, and I’m less familiar with that than the Greek world.”

With that description, we can only hope the brothers Russo make up for the soft and cheesy Scorpion King which marked The Rock’s first leading role in a feature film.


Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Variety, CBR

Cover Art by Imaginary Friends Studios, Clint Langley, J.P. Targete,

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: ciudad, hercules


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  1. Interested in the hercules project. Would be more interested if there was no brett ratner

    • Word!

  2. Will be a horrible movie. We all know why. If you don’t know why. Watch X-Men last stand.

    • I’m hoping they pull it off, I’ve read these books and they are fantastic, absolutely amazing, and the arteork was sick.

  3. I could understand having to participate in bad movies at the beginning of his career, but he’s at the halfway point now. He needs to find a individual project or franchise that will ultimately define him as the preeminent action star of this generation.

    He needs to find his Jim Cameron, his John Ford, in order to create a run of films that will be as beloved by fans as Predator, True Lies, and Terminator are to Arnold’s fan base.

    With the exception of The Rundown and Walking Tall, I can’t think of any other films starring the Rock that I would stop to watch.

    • The Rock was also in Faster, pretty good movie and G. I think The Game Plan and The Tooth fairy made him ridiculous rather than entertaining.

      • Hopefully his new action leading film G.I. Joe 2 would be his star making franchise. I think The Rock helps franchise financially like what he did with Mummy Returns, Fast and Furious series, Journey 2, and if he boosts G.I. Joe 2, then Channing Tatum would be thoroughly replaced by Johnson.

  4. “Who–is this roody-poo?!” Well, guess I’ll just have to check into the Smackdown Hotel and see….

  5. Some people learn from their mistakes so hopefully this will be Ratner’s redemption.I just hope this turns out better then the last Conan the Barbarian remake.

  6. i would much rather see him play as Kratos in a God of War movie.

  7. I was hoping the Rock would play Luke Cage in a Luke Cage adaptation. Not really interested in Hercules. I’ll have to see a trailer before I decide on Ciudad.

    • I still say Michael Jai White is the perfect Luke Cage. But The Rock would be could as well.

      • ** would be good **

        Where’s that fraking edit button? :-D

  8. @ Xmasevebaby

    Faster was good also.

  9. Hercules is a comic book mini(?) series, Ciudad is a graphic novel.

    Has Ciudad even been released yet?

  10. Dwayne Johnson as Hercules? Best choice and that’s awesome.

    Brett Ranter directing Hercules? Worst choice ever, this could either be worse than the remake of Conan The Barbarian or better than that.

    Ciudad could be a gritty, hard action thiller movie but I think this could be a disater since it’s going to be directed by the guys who made You, Me and Dupree.

    That movie was good but not that great so let’s hope Hercules and and Cuidad turn out to be badass action movies.

    Plus, I am happy that The Rock is returning for Fast and Furious 6, he was awesome in Fast Five, especially the fight scene between him and Vin Diesel which was the best part of the movie.

    It was a great comeback to the action gerne.

  11. Still don’t get how a Samoan/African actor can play a Roman (well ok Greek) demi god. Not trying to be racist, just logical.

    • That’s hollywood for you…you can be green as an alien and still be able to play a human. It’s not your race but how good you are as an actor that can portray differently. What’s logical is if actors only perform in movies that relates to their own race than that would be boring, just saying.

  12. It doesn’t matter what The Rock ethnic background is, once he becomes the God of War his skin will be painted white from ashes of his dead loved ones. Most people from Mediterrainean area had a dark complexion from the climate. Did you know that Kratos in the video game is played by a black actor? T.C. Carter is his name.

    • Oh you mean the VOICE of TC Carson? Big difference between playing the voice of a CG character and the real thing.

      And let’s not mistake a video game’s made up Greek myth version with what is either in the real myths or this movie. Heracles afaik doesn’t have any ambitions to kill Ares and take his place.

      I also hate to break it to you but Greeks do not have a “dark complexion”. They have at best an olive complexion which is a world apart from having actual dark skin. Skin tone aside though, The Rock has a Polynesian face shape, not a Mediterranean one. So unless they plan on using a mound of appliances on him (which I doubt) and spray paint him, he doesn’t look even remotely Greek. Why the hell is it so wrong to want someone to actually look relatively close to the ethnicity of the character they are playing?

      People get so bent about suggesting a black actor shouldn’t play a certain role but when someone suggests a white guy (or anyone other than a black guy) play characters like Blade, Black Panther or Luke Cage, all of a sudden it’s not alright? and no, by the same token I would want a black actor to portray those roles so don’t even try.

      • For goodness sake, we’re talking about the son of Zeus, the King of the Gods. I’m assuming old Zeus wasn’t Greek so why would his son have to look like he’s from any particular region?

        Can’t wait for this to start filming in October and will hopefully be on it as an action extra. As long as it’s gritty and serious rather than tongue in cheek like some of Dwayne’s movies it will be cool. Am hoping that because it’s a graphic novel adaption it could take a similar style to the Spartacus series which is also filming here and sadly ends this season in October.

        Roll on Hercules.

  13. My point is I really don’t care what race the person is as long as they do a good job of the character they portray. You are too caught up into racial background. That seems to be a deal to you. Why don’t you complain about Sam playing Perseus? I bet he don’t have a greek bone in his body. Ha!

    • At least he can fake Greek which isn’t nearly as easy for The Rock. Not saying Worthington is necessarily a great match either but there are certain limits. Of course by your standards why not get say Chow Yun Fat to play Hercules!? He’s a good actor right? Or do you draw the line at Asians not counting?

      You are also implying that Dwayne there is a good actor. All they did was find a big guy willing to do the job that had some acting experience. They set the bar too low imho just to get the movie in production. So sue me for wanting both a great actor AND someone who at least vaguely matches the look of the demi-god.

  14. Soft? Did you miss the amazing fight scenes? Especially in the camp. The movie may have been cheesy but that is a plus and one of the most enjoyable elements of a good Action Movie :)