The Los Angeles Times reports that Millennium/Nu Image has approached director Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) for a live action film based on the Greek hero Heracles (or the Roman ‘Hercules’, as he is more commonly known), which the studio has been developing for almost three years. Ratner was originally attached to direct Millennium/Nu Image’s similar upcoming Conan remake, but was ultimately dropped in favor of Marcus Nispel, who helmed the 2003 remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now it looks like he’ll be getting a sword-and-sandal flick of his own.
This is by no means the first time Hollywood has dealt with the mythic Greek hero. You probably remember Disney’s 1997 animated Hercules, with Danny DeVito voicing that funny goat character and James Woods as Hades, or Schwarzenegger‘s campy 1970 Hercules in New York (hey, every actor has to start somewhere!). And of course there’s been around a dozen foreign films that have been influenced by tales of the demi-God, as well as a handful of TV spin-offs like Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (which inspired the wildly popular `Xena: Warrior Princess’).
The real question is whether Ratner is going to be any good for this movie – and here fans and critics will be divided. Ratner’s been a real mixed bag over the years: X-Men: The Last Stand was undeniably a huge letdown for fans, while the director’s 1998 Rush Hour is something like a classic. Unfortunately, Rush Hour 3 sort of sucked. But I liked Red Dragon! So I guess we’ll just have to see how Ratner does with this one. He doesn’t have the best track record, but we’ll give the man one last stand, if you will.