‘Hercules’ Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Full Cast Revealed

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dwayne johnson hercules1 Hercules Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Full Cast Revealed

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back on the big screen – for the fourth time this year – in Fast & Furious 6, where he reprises his Fast Five role as the relentless federal agent Luke Hobbs. The film, in an ironic twist, sees Johnson as the rule-abiding officer join forces with Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his rowdy band of vehicle-racing outlaws – leaving open the door for future adventures, where Dom and Hobbs work together.

The Rock is supposed to make an appearance in next summer’s Fast & Furious 7, but his on-screen time may (or may not) end up being significantly reduced. That would be a direct result of Johnson’s commitment to starring in Hercules, which director Brett Ratner – of the Rush Hour trilogy and X-Men: The Last Stand fame (or infamy, take your pick) - has just started filming in Budapest, Hungary.

Here is the official synopsis for Hercules:

Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend…

Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules’ help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail… he must again become the hero he once was… he must embrace his own myth… he must be Hercules.

Hercules is based on the Radical Studios graphic novel “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” by Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya. Radical Studios President Barry Levine is a producer and Executive VP Jesse Berger is an executive producer on the film. (The duo’s most recent movie credit is the Tom Cruise sci-fi tentpole Oblivion.)

Moore and Wijaya’s source material was adapted into a script by two screenwriters who are looking to prove their mettle: Ryan Condal, who worked on director Alex Proyas’ abandoned Paradise Lost adaptation, and Evan Spiliotopoulos, a writer who has worked his way up the food chain – by providing script material for several Disney direct-to-DVD animated features (The Lion King 1.5, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, etc.) – and penned an early script draft for Wanted 2, which (last we heard) is now being restructured.

hercules 3d renny harlin Hercules Begins Filming; Official Synopsis and Full Cast Revealed

Both Ratner’s Hercules and Die Hard 2 director Renny Harlin’s Hercules 3D look to reach theaters in 2014, and will offer revisionist takes on the traditional mythology by dropping the supernatural elements that are inherent to the story and titular character. The central difference (on a narrative level) will lie with how old the ‘Son of Zeus’ is in these respective swords-and-sandals movies. Johnson, as the official synopsis for Ratner’s film reveals, is portraying a world-weary version of the mighty warrior, who has the chance to seek redemption for “a sin from his past”; by comparison, Hercules 3D star Kellan Lutz (Immortals) is playing a younger version of Hercules, who has only begun to form his adult identity.

The supporting cast for Hercules has its fair share of seasoned acting veterans, like Ian McShane (Jack the Giant Slayer), John Hurt (Doctor Who) and Peter Mullan (War Horse). Meanwhile, the younger players – relatively speaking – include Joseph Fiennes (American Horror Story: Asylum), Rufus Sewell (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Rebecca Ferguson (The White Queen), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Aksel Hennie (Headhunters) and Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones).

So, how about it, which Hercules movie adaptation sounds better (the key word here being better): the one featuring Johnson – and a respectable collection of older gentlemen – as morally-ambiguous warriors for hire? Or the one with ’3D’ in the title, starring Lutz as a fresher-faced version of the Hercules character, who’s still finding his footing?


Hercules is slated to open in U.S. theaters on July 25th, 2014.

Source: MGM and Paramount Pictures

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Hercules
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  1. Another fun, action and adventure film starring The Rock. What more could you ask for? ….. A better director!

    • +1

    • +1

    • +1

    • You realize nobody directs The Rock… he directs himself… I mean, that should be obvious to anyone. Especially Brett “One Night in Lindsay” Ratner.

      Having said that, the Harlin version sounds so bad it’s craptastic. A hack director and a vacant, pretty leading man. I hope they realize they’re eating a ham sandwich and give it the “Kull the Conqueror” treatment.

  2. Brett Ratner and The Rock as the lead… So long as this is more along the lines of Conan the Barbarian and The Scorpion King and not trying to be a Lord of the Rings style epic it should be fine.

  3. I think I prefer Rock’s movie at the moment. Sounds better and damn, what a cast. Most of them are extremely talented Brit actors, Rock himself has always been charismatic and easy to like, even before he got into movies, sounds like it should be a success if all goes well.

  4. no, not everyone knows the real story of “Heracles” everyone i’ve asked so far at least. i was actually really excited for how they would make that story about a man who goes from being a proud hero to shaming himself by being driven mad and killing his family and completing impossible tasks in search of redemption. maaaan. thats the story i wanted to see. aw well :(

  5. A mythology-based movie stripped off of its supernatural element? See how well Troy and King Arthur turned out to be! This could not possibly go wrong!

    On unrelated note, one of the screenwriters’ name reminds me of that protagonist of 90s Godzilla remake.

  6. I love the Hercules movies from the late 50s.
    Because of the immortal Steve Reeves
    who looked like a god on Earth..

  7. You lost me at “Ratner”.

    • Hahahaha! Me tooo! Glad I’m not the ONLY one! Zero interest in the flick!

  8. Dwayne Johnson apparently surrendered any ambition to join THE EXPENDABLES 3 due to the film-start for HERCULES. It’s Sly Stallone’s loss. That said….

    The “supernatural” element of the Hercules mythology is the mythology.

    HelloThere got it right in saying “…not everyone knows the real story of ‘Heracles’….” And yes, absolutely, the story about a man (demi-god, actually) who goes from being a proud hero “to being driven mad and killing his family and completing impossible tasks in search of redemption.” Well, that’s the story I also want to see.

    It would seem the problem with film studios is relying more on comic-book re-interpretations of historical biographies and mythological narratives, or (even worse, if that’s possible) a pitch-men who doesn’t have a clue.

    Between these two movies, Hollywood can’t seem to get it right (correct) because the generation running the studios haven’t read a text book in so long (if ever) or know only what the inside of a comic book looks like.
    So we’re stuck with this film tandem.

    Having gotten this rant out of the way…to answer the question:

    Story-wise, HERCULES 3D (Harlin) is a precursor of HERCULES (Ratner) thereby making the latter “a continuation” of the former. Which movie sounds “better” appears moot. The real question: Which one will be first?

  9. Nothing screams hero of Greek myth like a 6’5″ half Black, half Samoan. /rolls eyes

    This is going to fail harder than the turkey that was the failed Conan the Barbarian reboot attempt.

  10. I don’t know, but i’ll be seeing both.

  11. Both Herc movies sound about equal (“watchable”, maybe), and I will watch them when available on Netflix. In the meantime, someone needs to revive the paradise Lost movie. *IF* that could be well-done, it could be a half-way decent special effects extravaganza.

  12. What!? This movie has two Norwegian actors in it as well? Awesome! Aksel Hennie might be the best actor Norway has to offer, and can convey a lot of emotions. So I hope Ratner will let him expand his character a bit, but I’m not expecting it. I’ve always loved the Rush Hour movies though, but that might have more with nostalgia to do than quality. So I guess we’ll just have to see what he can do with the cast and script.

  13. Scorpion King 3 by Bret Ratner? NAWsome! The Rock should just finance a movie about a Somoan legendary hero and do it right…

    • Hercules’ great-grandfather was Ethiopian.

  14. This is going to fail harder than the turkey that was the failed Conan the Barbarian reboot attempt.

    • thief!…but I approve :)

  15. 1 hercules movie = me seeing it.
    2 hercules movies = me seeing neither.

    Nice job studios!

  16. It’s gonna suck..I promise

  17. I’m pretty sure this will turn out like Conan. Prolly save my money on this one.

  18. Yeah…Agreed…A half black half somoaen playing a greek mythology character, that kinda sound like Jerry Sienfeild casted as Adolf Hitler…

  19. Hercules was asian?

  20. I hate to say it, but I’ve never seen Lutz in anything well, good (sorry Twilight Fans).
    Compare that to The Rock, who’s pretty much saved a lot of recent movies by just being in them even as a supporting character, This one’s a no brainer – Rock’s movie, hands down

  21. Hercules was white though.

  22. how many movies can Dwayne do in one year its boring already i see the rock in every movie is wasted

  23. It looks like on the lines of another The Scorpion King movie! Except the character’s name & location is changed! But, pretty much the same movie as TSK!