@HerculesLegend On the panel discussion. @thescottadkins says "pretty hard not to kick" when talking about the different fighting style on #TheLegendBegins
*This is a totally different type of movie - points out @rennyharlin_msp - Hercules starts off not even knowing he is a demigod! #angst
*3D is about creating a world where you feel you are in it. Not gimmicks like swords poking in your eye! 3D wisdom from @rennyharlin_msp
*Current discussion is about how @gaiaweiss_ and @kellanlutz enjoyed their kissing and love scenes. It's confirmed. They had fun. ❤️
IGN Getting serious for a New York Comic-Con minute, the director said that he wanted to create a Hercules who the audience could see as a real character and not just a muscle man. To that end, he told Lutz to work out and “get cut, but I don’t want you to look like a giant.”
Lutz tacitly acknowledged the existence of that other Hercules movie that’s currently in production -- the one with Dwayne Johnson -- saying that guy already has a lot of muscles, so they wanted to do something a little different anyway.
As for “why Hercules?” -- Harlin compared the character to a superhero. Actually, he called him the original superhero.
“I think people have a lot of stereotypical ideas of who the character is, so we wanted to go to an origin story of Hercules, to a young guy who doesn’t really even know who he is,” he said. “We think this story is special because it’s a young man who comes from a dysfunctional family. Scott plays his dad, but of course it’s not really his dad because his real dad is Zeus. And Liam plays his friend, only eventually he’s really not his friend. … And one day he finds out that he’s a demi-god. And that his mission is much grander and he has a destiny that he has to fulfill.”
Harlin felt that the love story between Hercules and Weiss’ character Hebe was the key to the protagonist and his story. He was looking for someone who could play the “tragic love interest” -- someone innocent yet determined, soft yet tough -- but he had a hard time finding the right actress. After hundreds of auditions in multiple countries, he finally happened upon the newcomer Weiss. (She didn’t even have a proper agent when she got the job.)
When it came time to run the trailer for the film, most of the cast jumped down off the stage to watch along -- much to the giddy excitement of the audience. Harlin said he cut the piece together for New York Comic-Con, though he wished that he could screen it here in 3D -- the way it was shot. In fact, he told the crowd to “give a big boo to Comic-Con because their technology doesn’t allow us to show you this trailer in 3D.” (The crowd did.)
As for the footage itself, it’s got a Gladiator feel at times, a bit of 300 to it, and maybe a dash of Clash of the Titans. The stuff that most impressed me was an enslaved Hercules who is forced to fight in the arena, which he proves quite adept at as he works a unique sort of move involving body-slamming poor bastards while impaling them with his sword. There’s also glimpses of the love story between Hercules and Hebe, as well as a climactic moment where the hero finally seems to have accepted his lineage and takes to wielding lightning from the sky against his enemies. (Watch a teaser of the trailer below.)
Lutz would later say that one of the scenes that meant the most to him to shoot was when Hercules gets crucified (!) and has to fully embrace his true name and heritage as Zeus’ son.
In the end, perhaps it was McIntyre who summed up things best: “It’s got a hot dude in it who wants to make love to a beautiful woman. Understandable. And he gets everything taken away. And he has to kick a whole lot of ass to get it back. I’d go see it!”
screenrant In attendance were stars Kellan Lutz, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Gaia Weiss (Mary Queen of Scots) and action icon Scott Adkins (Expendables 2), along with co-producer Jonathan Yunger and director Renny Harlin.
The moderator’s first question was to Renny Harlin regarding Kellan Lutz’ workout regiment. His answer was a lot of double entendres before settling into an actual explanation that he wanted a non-stereotypical Hercules – cut, but not swollen, more realistic.
The moderator’s next question was why Harlin wanted to make the film at all. He first stoked the Comic-Con fan fire then said that Hercules is everyone’s fantasy and dream of movie adventure experience.
Liam McIntyre added that they filmed in Bulgaria, where “anything goes. It’s amazing.”
Kellan claimed that getting this leading man role and getting to ride horses and fight “Spartacus” (McIntyre) is a dream come true.
Weiss told a story about how Harlin came all the way to London and randomly found her after an extensive search. She had trained for the film in order to help a friend. She’s a newcomer (and it showed when she was facing the ‘Con crowd).
McIntyre talked about growing playing Greek and Roman-themed mythology games – which made it perfect for both his role in Spartacus and when Harlin approached him for a role in the film.
McIntyre claimed that Hercules “is the first superhero.” He added that this film tells that origin story “with pinnace.”
Harlin big-upped Scott Adkins and his marital arts prowess. Adkins revealed that he snuck a copy of the script, and was happy to get the chance to actually play a a well-rounded character (a rare allowance for the action star).
Harlin echoed the Hercules as original superhero idea, and challenged the established iconography of Hercules, claiming he wanted to stick close to the actual writings about the character, and tell the origin story about how he became a hero.
Adkins plays Hercules’ human father and the character is said to have a complex, dysfunctional backstory. They wanted to focus on the love story, not a brooding action flick. The film will be about Hercules’ journey around the world just to come home and be with the woman he loves.
Weiss appreciated being the lady on a set full of oiled-up beefcakes. Harlin joked, “Huge oil budget.”
Adkins had to shave his legs; in fact, all the guys had to go hairless. Harlin took the blame; the ladies in the crowd were appreciative.
Harlin talked about hating post-converted 3D and how he ABSOLUTELY went into his use of it by creating the film AROUND the medium in the immersive sense – “It’s not about arrows popping out at your eye.”
Yunger joked that they new Lutz was their man, because when he walked into the office, all the girls were staring. McIntyre added “and some of the men.”
Harlin and Weiss launched Lutz into discussion about the love scenes in the film. Lutz tried to deflect, claiming a tight camaraderie with the cast – but stumbled when he said he and Weiss had to make love on a goat. He meant goat rug. Weiss told a story about her and Lutz shooting the scene and eating ice cream in between takes. He said “It’s so good… I don’t want to rush it.” We THINK he was referring to the ice cream. A story about Hercules’ snake pendant melted down into jokes about Lutz trying to ‘put his snake’ in Weiss’ mouth. Classy!
Harlin talked about Bulgaria and how it allowed them to save a LOT of money. No one confessed what went on after hours. Lutz is still there shooting Expendables 3. McIntyre joked that he’s now an official citizen. They had dinner, danced, sang karaoke; Weiss and Lutz wouldn’t show their expert dance moves. Boo. Other activities the studio would frown upon took place.
The horses on set were pretty wild (don’t let PTA hear your say that). The were Arabian stallions; every horse enthusiast in the crowd gasped in horror.
spinoff.com via @HerculesLegend
Hercules: The Legend Begins stars Lutz as the titular demi-god who falls for the Hebe (Weiss), princess of Crete, who’s sadly betrothed to another.
To separate these lovers, the vile King Amphitryon (Adkins) exiles Hercules to a far-away war. There he must fight to stay alive, but he aims to do more than that: The Greek hero wants to return to the woman he loves, and seek vengeance. McIntyre co-stars as Hercules’ good friend Sotiris. Waving prop weapons, ranging from a hatchets to swords to shields to a dagger, the stars arrived to cheers from the audience.
The entire cast appeared elated to be at the convention. “How awesome is it to be at Comic Con?” Harlin asked the crowd. “This is my first Comic Con, and I came here yesterday, and I walked through the halls, and I saw the banners and the posters and the stands and the costumes and the fans, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ This took me right back to where I started from and gave me back that feeling of inspiration and excitement about creating illusions and stories and creating dreams. I think it is so exciting to be here. And I think this is the perfect movie to be talking about here, because it really is for all of us a childhood dream.”
The filmmaker added, “I think every director has two dreams: one is to make a Western one day, and one is to do a historical epic, and this is my dream come true. It’s a huge canvas, huge historical story with a love story in it. So it’s kind of like everything I loved as a kid, growing up and watching movies, and what I still love.”
Of course, this isn’t the only Hercules movie arriving in theaters next year. But for the most part, the cast and crew was careful not to mention their competition, Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which stars Dwayne Johnson. That is until Harlin and Lutz addressed the latter’s physical transformation for the role. “Get cut, look great” was Harlin’s direction for Lutz’s bodybuilding.
The actor added, “There’s another Hercules, and already that guy has a lot of muscles, and I wanted to make my guy a little more real, a little slimmer.” Lutz continued, “Like Renny said, you have dream projects, and for me growing up, born in the Midwest, you play a lot of pretend. And Hercules was always that hero to me. I think he is the first iconic hero in the stories told over and over again. And for me, meeting Renny, seeing his vision, seeing where he wanted to take this story, I was just so excited for the opportunity and to get to work. It’s every boy’s dream to ride horses and fight Spartacus with swords. So it was an honor to be a part of it. Then Gaia … she’s a good love interest, that’s for sure. So it’s very much a blessing to be part of this movie and to be Hercules.”
Finally, they screened a special teaser trailer cut just for New York Comic Con, although Harlin lamented it was not in 3D because of the limitations of the venue. As promised, there was a lot of slow-motion action of brawny men in battle. The journey set before Hercules is clearly established, from his love of the fair princess, to his exile, travels on the high seas, and tribulations as a warrior. All of that leads to his vow, “I will not stop until I have returned to the princess and avenged my friends.” When the final title crossed the screen, the assembled audience roared with approval. This was the first time the cast had seen the trailer, and Lutz was clearly overwhelmed. He put his head in his hands and said, “I love being an actor!” Then he turned to Harlin and added, “You did an amazing job!”
The panel drew to a messy close when Harlin revealed the panel was giving away the signed prop weapons they brought. He urged everyone to look under their seats for a gold star sticker to learn whether they’d won. Immediately people began flipping over seats in a frenzy. The panel dissolved without an official end as fans with gold stars rushed to the stage to claim their prize.