According to a report from Variety, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is currently in negotiations to star in Brett Ratner’s next film, Hercules. Normally I might be scoffing a little at this news, but today it’s striking me as being a good move, and for several reasons. The first being that while I usually find Brett Ratner’s work to be less than satisfying, last night I gave Tower Heist a watch, and while it was pretty stupid, it wasn’t completely offensive. And the best parts of the film were the performances by Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda, two charismatic actors who were given pretty decent platforms to show off their inherent charm. If there’s one thing that The Rock has got in spades, it’s charisma, so perhaps there’s hope for a Brett Ratner film yet.

The second reason I’m cautiously optimistic about this news is just that it’s a movie about Hercules. Any career move that shows Johnson intends on continuing his re-commitment to getting huge in the gym, dropping elbows on people at Wrestlemania, and starring in big budget action movies is a good sign to me. He lost me there for a few years when he was way trimmed down and just trying to subsist on smirking his way through kids’ movies. The world needs another action icon, not another former symbol of masculinity degrading himself for money. Leave that to Ice Cube.

As a little side note to this story, I’ve seen some speculation surrounding this report regarding which role The Rock would be playing. Though he’s reportedly negotiating to join this movie, that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to play the title role himself, does it? Well, some Twitter activity on The Rock’s part leads me to believe that it does. Earlier today industry writer Jeff Sneider tweeted, “There’s only 1 man in the world who could POSSIBLY play HERCULES & Thank God MGM/Ratner found him! You don’t mess w/@TheRock,” which pretty immediately got re-tweeted by Johnson himself. I think that’s indication enough that the role he’s looking at here is the main one, and not the role of the villain or something. He’s so past being the bad guy at this point.

I guess we should all start taking bets. Will this be the sweatiest Hercules ever?

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