Dwayne Johnson: “I am Hercules!”

Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson


Many fearsome beasts including the impervious Nemean lion, the multi-headed serpent Hydra and the three-headed hellhound Cerberus are on display in the new trailer for Brett Ratner’s “Hercules.”

However, the most formidable of them all is the titular hero himself, played by a supremely buff Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a loincloth, a yak-hair wig and much more.

The trailer for the 3-D action epic opens with a voice-over by Ian McShane intoning, “No matter how far you go, a man cannot escape his fate. Who are you?”

Then subsequent shots show Johnson chained to boulders, tangling with supernatural creatures, stepping over scores of fallen warriors and finally bellowing, “I am Hercules!”

“Hercules” stars Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and John Hurt in addition to Johnson and McShane.

The Paramount Pictures movie will be released on July 25 and will mark the second Hercules movie this year.Released in January, Renny Harlin’s “The Legend of Hercules,” starring Kellan Lutz was a box-office flop.

“Hercules” could prove a test (apparently a labor) of whether Johnson can anchor a new action franchise on his own, after giving a shot in the arm to the “Fast and Furious” and “G.I. Joe” series.

“The Scorpion King” of 2002, which was a spin-off of “The Mummy” franchise was an effort to topline his own action movie. However, that was a decade ago.

Johnson trained for eight months to transform himself into the ancient hero as part of preparation for the movie “Hercules”. He had also talked to at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Monday about that yak wig.

“Generally in Hollywood, they use lace [wigs] and it takes 20 minutes to put on,” he said. “But for this character, we needed a coarseness. So we had long strips of yak hair that they put on my face, cutting it strip-by-strip. I sat there for 3½ hours every day.”