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Dwayne Johnson calls “Hercules” his passion project

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For Dwayne Johnson, getting to play “Hercules” for Brett Ratner is literally a dream come true. In fact, it’s something he’s been dying to do for over a decade.

“The next shoot, I’m really excited about, a passion project I’ve had now on my mind ever since I got into Hollywood, over 15 years now, ‘Hercules.’ I can’t wait,” he told MTV News. “We’re going to shoot that in Croatia and Budapest. I’ve been preparing for this role now for the good part of a year.”

Beyond the fact that Johnson could play a very convincing version of the mythological Greek, he said he’s always related to the character. This time it’s Radical Publishing’s comic books “The Thracian Wars” and “The Knives of Kush” that are being adapted, but Johnson seems happy just to get to play Hercules no matter what the source material.

“Understand, for me when I was a kid, Hercules was always a hero of mine, from Steve Reeves to the multiple guys who have played Hercules, but the idea and the notion of this man,” Johnson said. “When I first got into movies, I thought, ‘Gosh, I would love to do that one day.’ I always thought that the version of Hercules that I want to play was one that was more dramatic and survived in barren lands and not necessarily slick in any way or anything like that. It’s been around and been on my mind for some time.”

Ryan Condol wrote the “Hercules” script that Ratner is going to direct off of. The movie is due out on August 8, 2014.

Do you think Johnson is a good fit for “Hercules”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

ikea heights

IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

fresno

When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

soap

Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

darkplace

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

attitudes

Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

invitation

Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

Michael Bay’s “Pain & Gain” trailer unites Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson

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What defines a Michael Bay movie more than steroids, strippers and action? After spending the past five years working on the “Transformers” franchise, he’s returned to his “Bad Boys” roots and is examining the seedy underbelly of Miami in “Pain & Gain.”

Instead of telling the story of bad boys on the good side of the law, now he’s examining the tale of men working for the “American dream” by whatever means they can. In this case, it’s Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie as body builders who became criminals for the sake of some quick cash. Of course, things go terribly wrong, or this wouldn’t be a good — true — story.

And it is true. Miami New Times published a three-part feature in 1999 called “Pain & Gain” that tells the story of the real-life Miami Sun Gym gang and all their terrible misadventures that led two of them to get death sentences in Florida. Judging by this new trailer, the actual story of Daniel Lugo and the men he convinced to help him and the one in “Pain & Gain” are actually pretty similar.

It only helps that the film is led by Wahlberg, Johnson, Mackie and Ed Harris, and has supporting help from Rebel Wilson, Tony Shalhoub, Rob Corddry and Ken Jeong. With that cast, even Bay can’t go wrong — and we doubt he will go wrong in his element. Keep in mind that this film is what convinced Wahlberg to star in “Transformers 4″ — and convinced Bay that Wahlberg was his leading man — so that’s definitely a selling point.

“Pain & Gain” is due in theaters on April 26, 2013.

What do you think of the “Pain & Gain” trailer? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

That 70s Show Fez

Good Day, Fez!

10 Quotes That Prove Fez is That ’70s Show’s Secret Weapon

Get groovy with Fez on That '70s Show Mondays and Tuesdays from 6-11P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Carsey-Werner Productions

Who is Fez? Wilmer Valderrama’s foreign exchange student was a lot of things on That ’70s Show. Loveable. Confusing. Creepy. For eight seasons he operated as the heart of the show, adding a pinch of weird to their ’70s stew. If Kelso was the show’s puppy, and Hyde its attack dog, Fez was the loveable stray you welcomed into your house, and then found humping the vacuum cleaner. Before you catch Fez on That ’70s Show (airing Mondays & Tuesdays from 6-11P on IFC), we thought it was high time to revisit some of his funniest and weirdest lines, from hitting on girls to hitting on himself.


10. He knows how to pamper himself.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


9. He’s a deeply spiritual man.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


8. He has his priorities straight.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


7. And he doesn’t work for free.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


6. He knows when enough is enough.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


5. And always minds his manners.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


4. Really, he’s a kid at heart.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


3. He has modest dreams.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


2. And still knows how to kick back.

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions


1. And of course, when to say “Good Day!”

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

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