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Dwayne Johnson Rocks Out As Hercules In New Stills

Let's all forget The Legend of Hercules happened. (Oh what's that? You already have? Perfect.) This summer Dwayne Johnson is primed to take theaters by storm as the impossibly brawny son of Zeus in Hercules, and we're getting a taste of the action in two new stills.

USA Today (opens in new tab) shared these new pics from the Brett Ratner production of Hercules. In the one up top, Johnson's bare-chested, bearded and bellowing. And we're loving it.

When production started, this transformation took an astounding 4 ½ hours to create in hair and makeup. Part of that time was devoted to covering up Johnson's many tattoos, while the rest was dedicated to applying the wig and fake beard made of yak's hair. By the end of production, the team shaved off an hour of this prep time, but that beard demanded 2 ½ hours to get just right, every day.

Why put all that time and effort into such a minor detail? Well, Johnson has told USA Today, "The No. 1 goal is to make the definitive version of Hercules. We know we're going to be under a microscope." We want The Rock in everything, so if he thinks 2 ½ hours of yak hair application is a must, we're on board.

Hercules's second shot shows Johnson in battle mode complete with chest plate, rugged cape, bracers and what appears to be a massive sword.

Hercules 2014

Evan Spiliotopoulos and Ryan Condal penned the adapted screenplay, which was inspired by Steve Moore and Admira Wijaya's graphic graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Rather than tackling Hercules' best-known adventure of the 12 Labors, Hercules picks up after he's paid his debt for slaying his family in a murderous rage. Here he's a damaged demi-god who has teamed up with a band of mercenaries, taking on bigger and bigger battles, getting up to 1,000 soldiers in the field. And don't expect sloppy CGI troops. Johnson said of the film's scale, "Green screen and effects can be fantastic. But when you have real men, real sweat and even real blood, it's very gratifying. You feel the substance."

This third shot comes from /Film, and gives a look at some of those sweat and blood soldiers, with Johnson's battered Hercules in the fore.

Hercules 2014

It seems these shots are playing precursor to the film's first teaser, which Johnson promised on Twitter earlier this month. Note the Nemean lion headpiece, a reference to the bygone 12 labors.

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Hercules opens July 25th.

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.