Newsbites: The ancient and/or biblical edition!

1. Brett Ratner isn’t the only director working on a movie about Hercules. Renny Harlin, whose credits include Die Hard 2 (1990) and Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), plans to start shooting Hercules 3D three months from now, and to release the film in March 2014 — or about five months before Ratner’s film. Harlin says his film will be “not a comic book, cartoony fantasy thing. It’s closer to Gladiator than flying horses.” Interestingly, Ratner himself was once attached to the film that Harlin is now directing. — Hollywood Reporter

2. After several years of hiccups and delays, Kasi Lemmons’ adaptation of the musical Black Nativity is finally in production. Fox Searchlight issued a press release last week to announce that cameras were rolling — or whatever cameras do in this increasingly digital era — and it also confirmed an earlier report that Tyrese Gibson has joined the cast, though it did not say who his character will be. — BlackFilm.com, ComingSoon.net

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One more ancient-Greek movie to add to the mix!

I may have written my post on possible upcoming Greco-Roman movies too soon. Today, MGM (the studio that is currently pondering a remake of Ben-Hur) and Paramount (the studio that is currently making Noah — which admittedly has nothing to do with Greece or Rome, but it does take place within a similar sort of ancient mythic context) announced that their adaptation of Steve Moore’s Hercules comics will come out next year. The film, which has been in development for at least five years, currently has Brett Ratner attached to direct and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson attached to star. The projected release date is August 8, 2014 — or less than five months after the release of Noah.