Dwayne Johnson is attached to headline Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian War graphic novel adaptation – as well as Joe and Anthony Russo’s Ciudad comic book movie, which the duo plans to tackle after Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Moreover, “The Rock” remains the front-runner to play “The Main Man” in the gestating Lobo from Warner Bros. and DC (according to the rumor mill, the character could also appear in Justice League).
If that wasn’t enough: Johnson’s also onboard for Lore, a graphic novel adaptation described as being tonally similar to the Men in Black movies. Warner Bros. has reportedly met with a handful of directors about the project, but the studio appears to be going the safe (re: unimaginative) route – by literally hiring on the director behind the Men in Black movies, Barry Sonnenfeld.
Men in Black III grossed $624 million and earned surprisingly decent reviews this summer, but the future of the franchise is somewhat up in the air right now – as is Sonnenfeld’s continued involvement – and neither Will Smith nor Tommy Lee Jones has expressed much interest in continuing the sci-fi/comedy series (which is also based on a comic book). Sonnenfeld is already attached to helm DC’s Metal Men movie, which suggests he has no immediate plans to make MIB IV.
How, or even if, Metal Men fits into WB/DC’s coalescing plans for a Justice League movie universe, remains to be seen. Thus, while the studios makes up their mind, Sonnenfeld will be setting to work on the first installment in a potential franchise based on Lore. Deadline is confirming that Sonnenfeld has entered talks to direct the Johnson vehicle, but has no additional information to report on the project’s status at this time.
What we now for certain is Lore draws from the original graphic novel, as created by husband-wife comic team T.P. Louise and Ashley Wood. The story takes place in a world once overrun with mythological monsters, who were banished and remain held at bay by an ancient society whose members are known as the Shepherds. However, the actual protagonist is described as “a reluctant hero [who] finds her life threatened from every quarter,” after the Shepherd line is broken and nasty creatures begin roaming the planet once more.
Johnson will most likely be playing the mentor figure and guardian to the main character, with the dynamic between the two possibly resembling that between Jones and Smith in the first Men in Black. The script is being co-written by Jeremy Lott (a relative unknown) and Cory Goodman (Priest), whose involvement could be read as a signal that Lore will play loose with its source material’s, well… lore. Wood is serving as an executive producer, though, so that might not end up being the case.
Other producers onboard for Lore include Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex), David Alpert (The Walking Dead), and Rick Jacobs, who is also collaborating with Alpert on an adaptation of Woods’ Zombies vs. Robots comic book for Platinum Dunes. In other words, the personnel for Lore have their share of comic book adaptation successes and flops between them – not to mention, Sonnenfeld doesn’t exactly have a clean record when it comes to potential franchise starters (ex. Wild Wild West).
“The Rock” won’t be struggling anytime soon, though, regardless of how Lore ultimately pans out. The wrestler-turned action star has no less than five films due out next year, including G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Fast and the Furious 6, and Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. Of course Johnson has an engaging screen presence, so that should help prevent moviegoers from tiring of seeing him in (seemingly) every other movie arriving over the next year.
More on Lore as the story develops.