He'll play the musclebound hero in a film based on a popular graphic novel

Dwayne Johnson has signed up to star in a new Hercules movie.

Johnson will play the musclebound hero in a film based on a popular graphic novel called Hercules: The Thracian Wars, which was published in 2008. The screenplay was adapted by rookie writer Ryan Condal with script revisions by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who’s also been working on Wanted 2 recently.

The new Hercules movie will be directed by Brett Ratner, best known for the Rush Hour movies and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Production is scheduled to begin early next year (2013).

In the meantime, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has several high-profile movies on the release slates. He stars with Bruce Willis in blockbuster sequel GI Joe: Retaliation, due next March, and appears alongside Mark Wahlberg in Pain & Gain, an action comedy scheduled for release in April.

Hercules, a mythological hero famed for his immense strength, first appeared on the big screen in a series of Italian films in the 1950s and 1960s. The character has been played by countless actors over the years. Most notably, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a cult 1970 film called Hercules In New York, while Tate Donovan voiced the role in a 1997 animated Disney movie.