Known for his super-strength, bulging muscles and accomplishment of seemingly impossible tasks, Ancient Greek hero Hercules is set to be portrayed in two big-budget blockbusters by rival film studios.

Paramount and MGM Studios will be battling it out against Millennium Films in true sword-and-sandals style for the box office top spot next year when they both release their portrayal of the ancient Greek demi-god warrior.

Hercules as the Romans called him (or Heracles in Greek), was the son of the king of the gods, Jove (or Zeus in Greek), and a mortal. He was famous for completing the seemingly impossible Labours of Hercules using his immense strength while clad in only an animal skin.  But now there are to be two versions of the hero, which will conquer the cinema ratings?

It has been known for some time that MGM and Paramount were co-producing Hercules, but now Millennium Films have jumped on the band wagon and are set to release a version just months before.

Renny Harlin of Die Hard 2 fame is  directing Hercules 3D for Millennium’s big-budget take on the Greek warrior, while the man behind the Rush Hour series, Brett Ratner, will be producing Paramount and MGM’s ‘Hercules: The Thracian Wars‘.

Millennium Films have sneakily planned to release their blockbuster in March 2014, just 5 months before Paramount and MGM’s release date.

Millennium hopes to cast its eight leading roles within the coming weeks before production begins in May. Their Hercules project – which has a whopping $70m budget – will be filmed in and around Sofia, Bulgaria.

Despite a later release date, Paramount and MGM are one step ahead and have already cast muscle-man Dwayne Johnson as their heroic Hercules. The former WWE wrestler is already familiar with tough-guy roles having played muscle-bound demi-Gods in films such as G.I Joe and The Scorpion King, so Hercules should be a doddle.

Millennium’s Hercules script has been penned by Sean Hood and Hanna Weg, who have decided to reinvent the ancient Greek myth, so unlike the Disney adaptation it will not feature flying horses or flame-haired demons.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Harlin said, “It’s not a comic book, cartoony fantasy thing… it’s closer to Gladiator than flying horses,”

Despite competing against Paramount and MGM studios, Harlin hopes both movies will be successful and wishes the rival studio luck.

It won’t be the first time Millennium have taken on a major studio with a film about a similar subject. This March, the company is set to release the Die Hard-inspired Olympus Has Fallen which rivals Sony’s action-packed spy-misison, White House Down, starring Channing Tatum.

Both Hercules adaptations sound exciting, but which film are you most looking forward to? Tweet us your opinions at @thefilmreview.

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