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There will be two films about the Greek demi-god Hercules hitting theaters in 2014. Paramount and MGM are co-producing a film that will be directed by Brett Ratner and stars Dwayne Johnson. At the same time, Millennium Films, the studio behind The Expendables 2, is hoping to get their own film in theaters just months before Ratner’s film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Millennium has hired Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2) to direct Hercules 3D, a $70 million project. The studio wants to get production running by May in Bulgaria so it will hit theaters in March 2014.
Ratner’s Hercules will hit theaters on Aug. 8, 2014. That film is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars and is set after Hercules finishes his 12 labors. Production on that film is also supposed to start early this year.
Millennium's film was written by Sean Hood and Hanna Weg. The studio can’t be said to be copying Paramount and MGM, since the project has been in development since 2007.
“It's not a comic book, cartoony fantasy thing,” Harlin told THR. “It's closer to Gladiator than flying horses.”
He added that there have been different versions of the Hercules myth, citing the Disney film, and notes that his will be different from Ratner’s. “I wish them luck,” he said. “Ancient Greek mythology is an endless source of good stories. ... Let's see both movies be successful.”
Harlin has more recently directed horror films like Exorcist: The Beginning and The Covenant, so Hercules 3D marks his return to big budgets.
“I'm so excited and feel very blessed,” the Finnish director told THR. “I've been working really hard and it's starting to pay off.”