In the new epic action-adventure “Hercules,” “It doesn’t matter to the titular character if he’s the son of Zeus or not,” actor Dwayne Johnson reflects. “The only thing that matters to him is righting the wrongs of the past. But he has this band of brothers and sisters – and they are the ones who push Hercules to believe that he can be a better man.”

Joining Johnson in the film as his loyal crew are Ian McShane (“Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”), Rufus Sewell (“Legend of Zorro”), Aksel Hennie (“Headhunters”), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”) and Reece Ritchie (“Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time”).

AMPHIARAUS/Ian McShane. The soothsayer Amphiaraus joins Hercules’ band of mercenaries as a much-needed spiritual adviser. Now, having seen a vision of his own future death, Amphiaraus fights without a drop of fear because he believes it is not yet his time. Ian McShane right away was drawn to the character. “He’s someone who says don’t blame the gods for the acts of man – you must take responsibility for your own fate,” he explains.

AUTOLYCUS/Rufus Sewell. Autolycus might lack for Hercules’ astonishing strength, but he has more than made up for it with the sharp blade of his wit, ultimately becoming Hercules’ master strategist. Rufus Sewell takes on the role of Hercules’ wisecracking friend. “Autolycus and Hercules go way back, and they’ve got each other’s backs,” Sewell explains. “They have a kind of communication that goes beyond words. They’ve always worked together, and that’s a source of great pride to Autolycus, that he knows Hercules better than anyone else.”

TYDEUS/Aksel Hennie. Mute Tydeus, the lone survivor of an onslaught on the city of Thebes, is loyal to Hercules, but when he is unleashed, the beast within can take over. Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie was intrigued by his character’s way of dealing with the world. “I love the fact that you have this character has all these feelings, and all this rage, but he’s not able to express that verbally. It gives him a mystique,” says the actor.

ATALANTA/Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. The archer Atalanta possesses the world-famous feminine strength of an Amazon – and owes Hercules a blood debt. Says Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, “Atalanta is the icon of strong women, so it took a bit of self-confidence to take that on. But the story was so good, an epic action blockbuster full of interesting characters with their own arcs and agendas, it was irresistible. And it attracted great actors which made it even more thrilling.”


IOLAUS/Reece Ritchie. The mercenary Iolaus is Hercules’ cousin and the storyteller who has spread his legend across the land. He is played by Reece Ritchie, who made his debut in Roland Emmerich’s “10,000 B.C.” and played the role of Bis in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” Ritchie says of Iolaus: “He’s always followed Hercules, but I don’t think he’s ever been on an adventure this big or incredible, and it gives him lots of new material for his stories. He is someone who is full of wonder, but he wants to prove himself as a worthy warrior also.”

The most towering myth of all time meets up with the mission of a real man leading a rag-tag band of warriors in “Hercules,” this summer’s action-adventure thriller that reveals the famed symbol of lion-hearted courage as he’s never been seen before: finding the hero’s heart that beats beneath his colossal image.

Opening across the Philippines on July 23 in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D cinemas, “Hercules” is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.


Bensimon Redefines the Concept of Casual Footwear

Happy Ka Ba Sa Piso Mo? GrabTaxi it!