In the last few years, actor Dwayne Johnson has become a name synonymous with the creation of major franchises whether it is the revival of Jumanji, Hobbs & Shaw, the expected sequels to Red Notice and Jungle Cruise, etc. But Johnson entered the Hollywood scene decades ago, back in 2001 when he starred as The Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. Since then, the actor has starred in many critically appreciated films which unfortunately never properly received the fan treatment his recent works have been enjoying. But thanks to the era of streaming we live in, his 2014 released Hercules has found new life on HBO Max.
Based on Steve Moore’s graphic novel of the same name and directed by Brett Ratner, the film also stars Ian McShane, Rebecca Ferguson, Irina Shayk, Isaac Andrews, Reece Ritchie, Tobias Santelmann, Rufus Sewell, Aksel Hennie, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, and John Hurt. Dwayne Johnson stars as the titular Greek hero, Hercules, the demigod son of Zeus. He is tormented by the haunting visions of his wife and children’s murders, which he seemingly committed in a fit of rage as well as the three-headed hound of Hades.
Dejected by the losses he has suffered and the sins he thinks he committed, he becomes a traveling mercenary who only works for gold. He starts leading a group of mercenaries: the prophet Amphiaraus, the thief Autolycus, the warrior Tydeus, the archer Atalanta, and the storyteller Iolaus, who is his nephew. But one day, Ergenia, a noble of Thrace, and its ruler, King Cotys, seek Hercules’ help in training their armies to face the deadly attacks of King Rhesus’ army. While initially, he accepts the offer in exchange for the gold he was promised, Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules soon discovers that there exists a complicated web of lies and deception, which goes deeper than he expected and will need him to finally realize his potential as a true hero.
Before the film’s ultimate release in 2014, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had shared a glimpse behind the grueling training routine he underwent to get into the physical and mental mindset for his role in Hercules. The actor shared that he trained for eight long months for the role and even lived alone in Budapest for six months while the production was underway to “completely transform” into Hercules and “disappear in the role.” And while the process had been tough, Johnson assured that despite the mental and physical stress the role caused him, he enjoyed portraying the Greek demigod immensely and would be more than willing to play such a character again.
Before the days of streaming releases, Dwayne Johnson’s hard work paid off at the box office, as Hercules earned a towering $244.8 million against a budget of $100 million. This was one of his earliest big successes. While Variety called Johnson the “strongest asset” the Brett Ratner film had and praised him for being one of the “most affable, guileless screen personas in movies today,” USA Today remarked how the actor was perfect for such a “kick-butt-with-a-smirk role.” So, in case, you had a hankering for a superhuman Dwayne Johnson delivering some kickass action scenes, now would be the time to binge Hercules on streaming on HBO Max!
And after you are done streaming Hercules, you will have Dwayne Johnson taking on yet another badass role as the DC antihero, Black Adam, from Kahndaq who is blessed (or cursed) with superpowers and destined to become the archenemy of the superhero Shazam. Johnson has already wrapped up the film’s shooting in the summer of 2021 and is currently busy with its post-production. Directed by Jaume Collet- Serra, who also helmed the Johnson and Emily Blunt starrer Jungle Cruise, Black Adam is all set for a theatrical release on July 29, 2022.
After Black Adam, Dwayne Johnson’s next venture will be a voice role in the upcoming animated feature, DC League of Super-Pets wherein he will be voicing Krypto, Superman’s dog. He is also working on a sequel to his hit 2021 fantasy-adventure film Jungle Cruise, which saw the actor play the role of the immortal Frank Wolff bound by the curse of a magical Tree somewhere around the Amazon river. As per Giant Freakin Robot’s exclusive report, Netflix has also greenlit three sequels to the recently released comedy-heist drama Red Notice, starring Ryan Reynolds, Johnson, and Gal Gadot.