Dwayne Johnson hasn’t been having the greatest time recently, with the star and producer confirming that Black Adam will remain a one-and-done effort in DCU canon until James Gunn decides there’s a place at the table for the hulking antihero, if that day ever comes at all.
There’s also the small matter of DC League of Super-Pets, which saw The Rock double down on setting up a showdown opposite Superman, but there’s a growing chance the animated adventure isn’t going to get a sequel, either. And yet, neither of the DC misfires rank as the first time Johnson bungled a dream comic book project, although it’s understandable if you forgot about 2014’s Hercules.
The former professional wrestler had spent years telling anyone who’d listen that the mythical hero was one of his dream roles, so he was eager to strap on a fake head of hair, a beard made out of yak pubes, and armor that was hilariously too small for his body in order to headline disgraced director Brett Ratner’s adaptation of Steve Moore’s comic book series The Thracian Wars.
A 58 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and a $244 million take at the box office wasn’t bad all things considered, but the open-ended conclusion that left the door wide open for sequels bore absolutely no fruit, something that’s become ironically commonplace for the man who dubbed himself “Franchise Viagra” before producing several receipts to underline his credentials.
It’s not the worst historical fantasy actioner you’ll ever see, and it landed better reviews than Black Adam, but The Thracian Wars franchise and the Man in Black share one notable similarity; not even Johnson could get them off the ground.