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Dwayne Johnson Talks Up ‘Hercules,’ Teases ‘Badass’ DC Comics Role

Paramount Pictures gathered a small group of journalists Monday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas for a preview of director Brett Ratner’s Hercules, which the studio describes as “a revisionist take on the classic myth.”

“The tone is a nice, even balance,” Dwayne Johnson, who stars as the legendary hero, told reporters. “I think of Gladiator and 300. There’s also personality in the movie. There’s fun. There’s some wink in the movie in a way that makes the audience feel good.”

Opening July 25, the film is based on the 2008 Radical Publishing miniseries Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which depicts the hero and his loyal companions traveling ancient Greece, working as mercenaries. The teaser trailer flashed scenes from the famous twelve labors, including such CG creatures as the Nemean lion, the Lernaean hydra and three-headed Cerberus. Other scenes were reminiscent of the more grandiose sequences from the aforementioned period epics, with battalions of armored soldiers preparing for battle.

“For me, as an actor and then going into Hercules, finding Hercules like this – this [has] been a passion project for 10 years,” explained Johnson, who has long pursued the role of the demigod.

hercules poster“I’m so grateful that I didn’t make it when I first asked about it,” he said. “I first asked about it when I came to Hollywood 14 years ago. I asked about Hercules and Walking Tall, but at that time I was actually shooting Scorpion King, so it was a little close. I’m happy I didn’t make it back then, because I couldn’t have brought I think the same weight and substance, just living as a man and having the experiences I’ve had today.”

Johnson didn’t limit the discussion to Hercules, as he also tackled his attachment to a couple of storied DC Comics characters. When asked about his long-rumored role as Green Lantern John Stewart, he responded, “So, you know, there’s been mutual interest with myself and DC for many years to find the right character. I, like everyone here in the room, love superheroes. So there’s been mutual interest with us for years, and we’ve been having ongoing discussions, myself and DC, for years about the right character, what the right character would be. That’s another thing, too: It had to be right.”

When pressed for which role he was in talks to play, Johnson cryptically responded with three qualities of the character.

“The first quality we were looking for was that he had to be extremely complex and have a lot going on,” he said. “What that does for me as an actor and the studio is it gives us space that we can explore; his complexities.

“The other quality was that he had to – the character we were looking for had to be well-known but never brought to life. Then what that does again as an actor, it gives me a little bit of space, and we talked about personality. It just gives me a chance to put an imprint into his personality, with the set of tools that I could bring to the table and put a very unique twist on his personality, but still pay homage to who he is.”

hercules dwyane johnson 1“The third thing – and most important – is he had to be a badass motherfucker, OK, and on a Superman level of power, where [he] could throw down. In those three qualities, I’m happy we’ve found that character.”

He also talked about how he became involved with his upcoming disaster movie San Andreas. “Yeah, so I read the script when I was in Budapest, and I loved the script and the idea of being in a disaster movie that felt very real and very grounded, based of course on the San Andreas Fault,” Johnson said. “I did a lot of research on the fault and sat down with geologists over in Budapest. We had a great meeting. So it felt very real and very grounded.”

“The script came in – by the Hayes brothers, who wrote The Conjuring, and we’re working on some other stuff together. They delivered a great script. [Director] Brad Peyton came in and flew to Budapest. We had a couple of directors fly out, but he came in – not only because of the relationship I’d had with Brad from a movie that we did three or four years ago – Journey 2: The Mysterious Island — but he came in and had an awesome take, just visually and stylistically, I think what Brad’s going to be able to do with an earthquake movie in 3D – first 3D earthquake disaster movie ever filmed – and the opportunity of playing a first responder in the LA Fire Department was exciting.”

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Comments

  • boogeradornado

    Lobo?!!

    “The first quality we were looking for was that he had to be extremely
    complex and have a lot going on,” he said. “What that does for me as an
    actor and the studio is it gives us space that we can explore; his
    complexities.”
    – Neither hero nor villain, and space can be literal space

    “The other quality was that he had to – the character we were looking
    for had to be well-known but never brought to life. Then what that does
    again as an actor, it gives me a little bit of space, and we talked
    about personality. It just gives me a chance to put an imprint into his
    personality, with the set of tools that I could bring to the table and
    put a very unique twist on his personality, but still pay homage to who
    he is.”

    – Popular fanboy character

    The third thing – and most important – is he had to be a badass
    motherfucker, OK, and on a Superman level of power, where [he] could
    throw down. In those three qualities, I’m happy we’ve found that
    character.”
    – This pretty much nails it.

  • Alex Hayden

    Lobo.

  • http://talkbacker.com/author/sfm CaneTheSutter

    great, no one asked him if he knew that the creator of the comic upon the movie he was presenting recently passed out?

    classy stuff both on the rock and the journalists behalf

  • Ryan Duchak

    Darkseid!

  • mel

    I really hope it’s Black Adam.

  • http://lalomartins.info/ Lalo Martins

    Yeah probably Lobo, but I got a serious Martian Manhunter vibe from the text.

  • http://filmsmartblog.wordpress.com/ Josh White

    It does sound like Lobo more than even Black Adam

  • http://talkbacker.com/author/sfm CaneTheSutter

    ignoring what I said below (that got me angry) and getting into the DC thing i would rather see a good martian manhunter appear in the movies ahead of Lobo, so I’m all for him being J’onn J’onnz

  • Bryan Ramos

    Martian Manhunter? Gonna do what boogeradornado did

    “The first quality we were looking for was that he had to be extremely
    complex and have a lot going on,” he said. “What that does for me as an
    actor and the studio is it gives us space that we can explore; his
    complexities.”

    – J’onn J’onzz is and has a complex story, and you know Space Alien

    “The other quality was that he had to – the character we were looking
    for had to be well-known but never brought to life. Then what that does
    again as an actor, it gives me a little bit of space, and we talked
    about personality. It just gives me a chance to put an imprint into his
    personality, with the set of tools that I could bring to the table and
    put a very unique twist on his personality, but still pay homage to who
    he is.”

    – Got well known in the Justice League Cartoon

    The third thing – and most important – is he had to be a badass
    motherfucker, OK, and on a Superman level of power, where [he] could
    throw down. In those three qualities, I’m happy we’ve found that
    character.”

    – people forget that the J’onn is on par with superman

    but yeah it could be J’onn or any other hero or villian or anti-hero, I would love to see J’onn

  • Sahil Chaudhary

    He could be playing the Martian Manhunter. He fulfils all the criteria.

  • Kerwin

    Darkseid would be crazy…I can’t see hm as a villian for some reaason…I figure its the Martian Manhunter or maybe even Shazam…should be fun either way.

  • Spencer

    It’ll probably be John Stewart. still wish it was Black Adam though, he’s was born for that role. Lobo would be a solid pick too

  • ziza9

    Whatever role he plays he’ll own it. Big fan of the Great One.

  • domininaldo

    he’s not talking about the comic. His passion was to play Hercules. It just so happen that THIS Hercules is based off of that comic. And just because the article doesn’t mention anything that has to do with the creator, doesn’t mean it wasn’t asked.

  • http://talkbacker.com/author/sfm CaneTheSutter

    so…was he asked? I tried to look online, found nothing. Tried “the rock about steve moore” and “dwayne johnson on steve moore”. Maybe I’m crap at searching stuff.

    So he would have liked to play in any Hercules related project then? ok, that’s fair enough..not sure it’s the best way to get projects going, but fair enough. He could have end up i the renny harlin one….*shudders*

  • BP

    actually Martian Manhunter was brought to life. He was in Smallville. I don’t think its MM.

  • ziza9

    It also may be that neither he nor the journalists present knew. Anyone working on the film would have probably been laser focused on the film’s production once they got started. The script becomes the new and only source material that matters at that point. The journalists though, that’s another matter.

  • http://talkbacker.com/author/sfm CaneTheSutter

    I know, i see why it would happen, but that doesn’t make me less sad of the lack of a mention about it.

    I haven’t read the comic, and knew mostly of steve moore through his connections with alan moore (specially unearthing), but his passing saddened me, and this morning I just read a great article about him:

    http://comicsbeat.com/steve-moore-1949-2014-a-personal-appreciation/

    so just coming to read this straight after the other bit was a bit like a sucker punch.

  • ziza9

    I hear you. To be honest I didn’t know he passed away. That saddens me. Hopefully some dedication is attached to the film. I’m going to read that article now. Thanks for the link.

  • Voice of Reason

    I hope it’s Black Adam. He’s just way too perfect for the role and he fits the description. Might be close to Scorpion King in some respects though, but it has been over a decade since so who knows. (He’d actually make a damn cool winged barbarian as Hawkman too.)

    Chances are though, it will likely be Lobo.

  • http://talkbacker.com/author/sfm CaneTheSutter

    no problem, man. I hope you’ll enjoy the read. It’s quite interesting even if it’s long.

    In case you like it, there is also that “unearthing” thing I said, a spoken word album done by alan moore in 2009 about steve moore. I think it can be streamed in most streaming servies (i listen to it using deezer, for instance)

  • Pocket Bucket Rocket

    Icon was an immortal being originally akin to a frog adapted by his vessel to the strongest specimen on planet, a black slave, taking the mantle of billionare descendant of the slave having powers far beyond those of mortal men he had to be convinced by gang bangers and a specially interesting young lady to use his powers for good

  • http://www.facebook.com/tekhnologeek Francisco A. Pizarro

    Ignoring Smallville, I think he caçould be J’onn J’onnz. John Stweart is an option too, some time ago he tweeted about John kicking Supes’ ass. I don’t see him playing a villain role.

  • BarryTheMuslim

    “I did a lot of research on the fault and sat down with geologists over
    in Budapest. We had a great meeting. So it felt very real and very
    grounded.”

    Nice to hear he can sum up a disaster experience and gain vast knowledge of fault lines in one meeting. The Rock “Super Brain”

  • JB

    Darkseid doesn’t consider himself to be a bad guy on any level.

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    new red Chrysler 200 Sedan only from working part time off a home pc… find
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  • Jay

    shazam or captain marvel, whatever DC is calling him now.