By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 23, 2012 at 3:44PM
With Brett Ratner already on the comeback path/apology tour with a bunch of smaller gigs including directing a TV pilot, a Jennifer Lopez video and a GLAAD campaign, it looks like his return behind the camera will be (shocker!) another big studio tentpole, with a rising franchise action hero looking to take the lead.
Variety reports that Dwayne Johnson will take the lead in "Hercules," which Ratner was first linked to nearly a year ago (back when it was known as "Hercules: The Thracian War"). This project has been kicking around Warner Bros. offices for years, and back in 2008, Peter Berg was signed on to direct (he's still on board to produce). Anyway, it's based on the Radical Comics book that has Hercules and his crew of mercenaries hired by the King Of Thrace to prepare his men for war. The script has been penned by Ryan Condal, who also wrote Alex Proyas' aborted "Paradise Lost."
No matter what, this movie can't get moving until the second half of 2012 at the earliest. The Rock will spend his spring filming "Pain And Gain" with Michael Bay, before moving over to "Fast Six" after that. But the hire of Johnson means that executives are becoming believers in the man as the next action hero, and this will arguably be his first real test as a standalone audience draw, at least since 2002's "The Scorpion King." As for the movie, we expect it to be as dim and witless as "X-Men: The Last Stand" -- which is also the most successful movie in that franchise. So what do we know.