Feast your eyes on the mighty Hercules — specifically, the version of the legendary hero played by Dwayne Johnson in Brett Ratner’s upcoming Hercules. During filming, Johnson tweeted plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of the project, but these two images of the actor in full regalia mark the first official studio releases.
They arrive courtesy of USA Today, which spoke with Johnson about the role and the process. The film is based on Radical Publishing’s comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars, by Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya.
“It’s when Hercules breaks through the chains and becomes the demi-god he was born to be,”Johnson said. “I was actually yelling with all the power I could muster, ‘I am Hercules!’ I gave it my all and made myself pass out every time we did it. But I honestly felt in that moment that I was born to play this role.”
Referring to Hercules as “the first superhero,” Johnson explained that he and the filmmakers understand a lot of eyes are on this project. “The No. 1 goal is to make the definitive version of Hercules,” he said. “We know we’re going to be under a microscope.”
Hercules, which also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Irina Shayk and Rufus Sewell, debuts July 25.