February 20, 2013 6:13pm PT by Borys Kit
'Headhunters' Star Joining Dwayne Johnson in 'Hercules' (Exclusive)
Aksel Hennie, the star of the Norwegian thriller Headhunters, has booked his first studio gig, joining Dwayne Johnson in Hercules, the MGM-Paramount co-production based on a Radical Studios graphic novel.
Brett Ratner is directing the big-budget tentpole, which is being produced by Beau Flynn, Barry Levine and Ratner. Executive producers are Peter Berg, Sarah Aubrey and Jesse Berger.
The take on the project grounds the classic hero and ditches the supernatural, making Hercules not the son of Zeus but rather a mortal with a fearsome reputation. He leads a team of mercenaries on a job where all ominously is not what it appears.
Hennie will play Tydeus, a warrior devoted to Hercules who wields twin axes and is such a madman that he needs to be chained up at night when he sleeps.
Hennie, who was named by THR as one of eight actors to watch at last year’s American Film Market, starred in Max Manus in addition to Headhunters, which was based on a Jo Nesbo novel; both were huge hits in Norway.
He recently wrapped his English-language debut in The Last Knights, which stars Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen, while his latest Scandinavian production, Pioneer, sold its North American distribution rights to Magnolia at Berlin’s EFM last week. Pioneer also stars Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang.
Hennie is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment.