[Article updated with plot-related information. See below.]
When Brett Ratner was attached to direct the Conan movie, folks who are... let's just say 'less than fans of him' weren't too happy. When Ratner dropped out of the project I imagine to those people it felt like a big bullet had been dodged.
However, more than a year after Ratner detaches himself from one classic macho-man he goes and attaches himself to another. LA Times is reporting that Ratner is now in talks to direct a new live-action Hercules movie.
The untitled project comes from producer Avi Lerner, who coincidentally enough is also producing Conan. Lerner has been trying to develop the Hercules project for over three years now, but it's only recently begun picking up speed. It's still in the development stages, but being in talks with a director is certainly a sign of things pushing forward. The script was written by Sean Hood, the man who also wrote the Conan script, coincidentally enough.
But is Ratner the right man for the job? Those of you who already hate him for what he did to the third X-Men movie will have already made their mind up. To me, Ratner hasn't yet proven that he can handle action in the kick ass, gritty sort of way I'd want for a 21st century Hercules movie. The Rush Hour franchise, for example, doesn't exactly take itself too seriously.
When the movie idea was first floated about three years ago, it was going to be a low budget production, so Hercules was going to be more of a reluctant hero in the real world - as opposed to the mythological character that's familiar to everyone.
If Ratner does get the director's chair, he'll be going with the more traditional Hercules - fighting monsters and being a bad-ass. Essentially the idea would be to make him an ancient Greek superhero, along the lines of Spider-Man, Iron Man or X-Men. If it moves forward with Ratner, the script will get a major rewrite and the movie will have lots of action and spectacle, but the intent would be to also craft memorable characters and relationships... and to allow for moments of humor.
The last time there was an American live-action version of Hercules was when Lou Ferrigno played him in the 1980s. There are no specific details on plot or who will play the titular mythological figure in this new version. Will they go the Conan route and get someone who is not a household name (see: Jason Mamoa)? Or will they go for someone everyone knows? I'm sure Sam Worthington, The Rock and Vin Diesel's names will all get thrown in the ring at some point...
Despite a lack of plot details, it's assumed that the new Hercules will have the same sort of action mentality that a lot of Lerner's other produced movies have (see: The Expendables and Rambo). That's a good thing to hear - I wouldn't be surprised if the movie will follow in the stylistic footsteps of recent solid mythological action/adventures like Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia. No doubt the success of those two films is a major factor in why Hercules is moving forward all of a sudden.
Stay tuned to find out if Ratner does end up directing the Hercules movie. Until then, let the discussion on Ratner's suitability commence!
Source: LA Times