In what's surely the biggest dueling concept movies since the "Armageddon" vs. "Deep Impact" conflict of 1998 nearly split the nation in twain, director Renny Harlin ("Die Hard 2," "Cliffhanger") is about to start production on "Hercules 3D" with plans to beat Brett Ratner's "Hercules: The Thracian Wars" to the box office by five months (read more about the Ratner movie at MTV Splashpage).
According to THR, the Harlin-directed action-fantasy will start production in May with a planned $70 million budget. However, instead of the likely big, CG fantasy Ratner's putting together with his lead, The Rock, Harlin promises a more down-to-earth vision of the Greek hero of myth, describing his film is "closer to Gladiator than flying horses." By contrast, Ratner's film, adapted from the Radical Comics miniseries by Steve Moore of the same name, is set squarely in the myths and legends surrounding the character.
Neither film will be an adaptation of "The Incredible Hercules," though and just coming to that conclusion has just made this piece of news a little bit of a bummer.
The script is from screenwriters Sean Hood ("Cube 2: Hypercube" and the Lucky McKee-directed "Masters of Horror" ep, "Sick Girl") and newcomer Hanna Weg. Hood's familiar with the sword and sandals stuff, having written the fun and undeservedly unloved "Conan the Barbarian" in 2011. That movie wasn't afraid to kick up the blood and guts while having a sense of humor about itself.
"Hercules 3D" is being produced by Millennium Films, whose targeting March 2014 to release their Hercules movie before MGM releases their Hercules movie in August.