Renny Harlin is one of Hollywood’s most uneven directors: You KNOW a Michael Bay film will make you question the existence of a benevolent God….You KNOW a Joss Whedon or Christopher Nolan movie’s probably gonna be awesome….But Renny Harlin? You might get Die Hard II….or you might get Cutthroat Island–it’s about 50-50.
Harlin’s been all but hitless when it comes to big budget films since The Long Kiss Goodnight flopped–though he’s done some reasonably competent smaller films like Exorcist: The Beginning, and some notable work on the small screen directing shows like Burn Notice and White Collar. However, he’s poised for another shot at the big leagues with his forthcoming 3D adaptation of Hercules.
The project has been in development at Millenium since ’07 and has a $70 mil. budget. The screenwriters: Hanna Weg and Sean Hood (who penned the recent, “Ahnold-less” Conan reboot) claim this will be a darker, grittier adaptation of the Greek demigod’s tale. Millenium wants the film casted and under production in Bulgaria by this May.
Why the rush? MGM has their own Hercules, helmed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson–with an announced release date of August 8, 2014. Harlin and Millenium hope to beat Ratner and MGM to the cineplexes…..a bold statement considering Harlin’s Hercules doesn’t even have a cast yet. Millenium wants their Hercules in theaters in March, 2014–meaning Harlin has only a few weeks to cast eight leads. Hopefully for Millenium, access to actors from their wildly popular Expendables franchise will be a big help, but they still have to somehow find leads willing to work on a 70 million dollar 3D action-adventure.
To be honest–I’m calling this fight for Ratner and Rock. Harlin’s been out of the game for too long, rushing his Hercules is only going to leave Millenium with a subpar film, and nothing short of a contract with Satan will nab Harlin’s film enough star power to seriously threaten MGM’s adaptation.