Dwayne Johnson, colloquially and sometimes professionally known as "The Rock", is stepping into the role of the legendary Hercules and we finally have a trailer, officially released today, for the upcoming Brett Ratner-helmed film in which we get to see the former-professional-wrestler-turned-actor portray heroically proclaim "I am Hercules!"
While Johnson's involvement in the film as been known for quite some time, his actual look as Hercules was agreed to be kept a secret while filming last year. The 41 year-old actor joked about keeping it a secret yesterday before the trailer was premiered at Las Vegas' CinemaCon, ABC News reported: "As an actor, not showing my chiseled, extraordinary, handsome face was a tremendous sacrifice for me." Johnson added, "Paramount, MGM and I made a pact. We wanted to make a massive global and entertaining movie while doing all we could to never reveal the actual look of Hercules."
Johnson also took to Instagram last week to talk about his preparation for the role and keeping it all under wraps, as well as offer a little tease for the trailer released today:
"I trained and worked harder than ever for 8 months for this role. Lived alone and locked myself away (like a moody 260lb monk) in Budapest for 6 months while filming. Goal was to completely transform into this character. Disappear in the role. Press journalist asked me today, with the mental & physical toll the role had on me, would I do it again? Not only would I do it again.. I'd do it f*cking twice. You'll be the first to see the EXCLUSIVE #HERCULES trailer one week from today. Look forward to showing you... #TilDeathOrVictory #AndALittle12LaborsBlood"The secrecy was officially put to rest Sunday when Johnson tweeted a picture of himself in full Hercules glory.
EXCLUSIVE first look..#HERCULES The world's first superhero. #TilDeathOrVictory pic.twitter.com/NXZp8JfWo5Hercules, originally announced as Hercules: The Thracian Wars, doesn't draw from the typical stories of the divine hero but rather is based off a limited series published by Radical Comics and written by Steve Moore, who at one time penned the earliest adventures of The Doctor for Doctor Who Weekly (now Doctor Who Magazine) as well as being involved in the British sci-fi comic anthology 2000 AD since its early days. Moore's Hercules stories take place after the Twelve Labors and will have Johnson portraying the hero assisting the King of Thrace in dealing with a tyrannical warlord.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 24, 2014
While some may question Johnson's ability to successfully lead a film, the man seems ready to flex his acting muscles by taking up not just the titular role but two more in the film as well: Zeus (Hercules father) and Achilles. Joining Johnson are Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Ian McShane and John Hurt in his first role since joining the Doctor Who franchise last year, as well as Johnson's cousin Tamina Snuka, who will be making her acting debut in this film.
Hercules is directed by Brett Ratner, who replaced Bryan Singer as director on X-Men:The Last Stand, and is currently set for a release date of July 25th, two full months after what will likely be its biggest summer blockbuster competition, Singer's own X-Men: Days Of Future Past.