Hercules is the upcoming movie adaptation of Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya’s comic book about the mythological warrior. In this version, however, Dwayne Johnson as the muscular demigod has fallen from grace, following his completion of his famous 12 Labors. Herc now spends his days traveling Greece with his five most loyal companions, who together work as mercenaries-for-hire seeking gold (and little else).

Johnson as the son of Zeus gets a fresh chance to prove that he’s a true hero, but unlike in Disney’s animated musical take on the legend, that requires more than just believing in himself (and getting over his ego). As glimpsed in the first trailer, The Rock’s Herc has to battle a dangerous warlord and his vicious, bloodthirsty army, in order to defend the King of Thrace and prove that he’s truly worthy of the legends to his name.

Directed by Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand, Tower Heist) from an adapted screenplay by Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos, Hercules features a supporting cast that includes Ian McShane (Jack the Giant Slayer), John Hurt (the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special), Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story: Asylum), Rufus Sewell (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), and relative newcomer Irina Shayk.

Check out the first poster for Hercules, below (click to enlarge):

No surprise, Ratner’s Hercules doesn’t appear to have the stylistic bravura – charging the proceedings with more propulsive energy and emotion – as the more recent mythological swords and sandals fare by such quasi-auteurs as Tarsem Singh (Immortals) and Zack Snyder (the 300 movies). No, the footage in the trailer seems more on par with the 2010 version of Clash of the Titans, as a pop action/comic book treatment of ancient legends – albeit, a fun one, in no small part thanks to having a good leading man in The Rock.

If nothing else, though, the first trailer for Johnson and Ratner’s movie alone offers more sword-swinging, monster-fighting fun than any of the previews released for The Legend of Hercules earlier this year (to mention nothing of that completely-forgettable movie). Could be the perfect slice of summer ham that moviegoers are in the mood for, by the time this blockbuster rolls into town.


Hercules opens in U.S. theaters on July 25th, 2014.