Ryan Gosling, Arnold Schwarzenegger: 5 actors who've played Hercules - Digital Spy - 2013 (October 17)
This article is from the site Digital Spy, dated Thursday 17, 2013, featuring Ryan Gosling.
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Ryan Gosling, Arnold Schwarzenegger: 5 actors who've played Hercules
By Kristina Bustos
Two new Hollywood adaptations of the Greek hero Hercules will be battling for box office supremacy in 2014 - Hercules: The Thracian Wars and Hercules: The Legend Begins.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars as the titular role in The Thracian Wars - out on July 25, 2014. After performing his legendary 12 labors, Hercules is asked by King of Thrace and his daughter to defeat a cruel warlord.
Meanwhile, Twilight's Kellan Lutz will play his own version of Hercules in The Legend Begins. Lutz's Hercules is exiled after falling in love with the Princess of Crete, who is set to marry his brother. The upcoming film is set for a March 2014 release in the US, and will debut on August 8 in the UK.
As if that wasn't enough, BBC's new series Atlantis has Mark Addy starring in a more comedic take on the role. While Johnson and Lutz have the traditional physical brawn to bring Hercules to the big screens next summer, the two actors aren't the only ones who have played Zeus's son. Here are five actors who have portrayed Hercules in movies or television.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Hercules in New York (1969)
Arnold Schwarzenegger was only 22 when he made Hercules in New York, in which he was credited as 'Arnold Strong, Mr. Universe'. Billed as his first feature role, Schwarzenegger's Hercules gets his wish to travel to Earth from his father Zeus at Mount Olympus. He arrives in New York City, where he soon finds himself getting into misadventures with the locals. Eventually, Hercules carves out a successful career as a bodybuilder - but not without any villains plotting against him.
Lou Ferrigno in Hercules (1983)
After ending his five-season stint in The Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno showed his muscle again as Hercules on the big screen. In Ferrigno's Hercules, the Greek demigod must battle with the wizard Minos to stop his plan from ruling the world. The '80s film was so bad that it was nominated for five categories at the 4th Golden Raspberry Awards, including Razzies for 'Worst Actor', 'Worst Screenplay' and 'Worst Picture'. However, the movie still spawned a cult following and a sequel in 1985 called The Adventures of Hercules.
Kevin Sorbo in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-1999)
Just as the television show's title suggests, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys follows its title character (Sorbo) and his best friend Iolaus (Michael Hurst) on their adventures as they rescue village folks from mythical monsters and tyrants. Sorbo's Hercules is possibly the most recognizable version in pop culture, and was seen on TV screens for six seasons. The Legendary Journeys spawned the spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess, with Lucy Lawless starring in the lead title role.
Both Hercules and Xena were produced by Sam Raimi, who went on to direct the Spider-Man franchise and this year's Oz the Great and Powerful.
Ryan Gosling in Young Hercules (1998-1999)
Before he made women swoon in The Notebook and Crazy Stupid Love, or gained critical acclaim for his roles in Half-Nelson and Blue Valentine, Ryan Gosling racked up his acting credits in television including the short-lived Young Hercules.
The Fox Kids show, a spin-off of Sorbo's Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, followed Hercules as he trained to become a warrior in Chrion's Academy. Although it only lasted for one season with 50 episodes, Young Hercules was nominated at the Daytime Emmy Awards for 'Outstanding Sound Editing' and 'Outstanding Sound Mixing'.
Tate Donovan in Hercules (1997)
Hercules hasn't just been brought to life by real-life actors - he was also hand-drawn by Disney. The 1997 animated film Hercules starts off with our hero as an infant, whose immortality is stripped from him by Hades's minions. As he grows up, Hercules finds out that to reclaim his immortality he must become a true hero.
Tate Donovan, James Wood (Hades), Danny DeVito (Philoctetes) and Susan Egan (Megra) provided voice acting work. The film's soundtrack featured Michael Bolton's 'Go the Distance' - nominated for 'Best Original Song' at the Oscars, it lost out to Celine Dion's Titanic ballad 'My Heart Will Go On'.