'Hancock' helmer takes on film for Universal

“Hancock” director Peter Berg is spearheading a fresh take on Hercules for Universal.

Berg will produce and will develop to direct “Hercules: The Thracian Wars,” a co-production of Spyglass Entertainment, Berg’s Film 44 and Radical Pictures. Spyglass and Universal will co-finance the film.

Ryan Condal will write the script, based on a five-issue comicbook series by Steve Moore that debuted in May through Radical Publishing.

Spyglass’ Jonathan Glickman, Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber will produce with Berg and his Film 44 partner Sarah Aubrey, with Barry Levine producing for Radical. Jesse Berger will exec produce.

Levine said the creative partners came together because Glickman, Berg and Aubrey wanted to develop a film that stayed true to the comicbook.

“What resonated for them was that this was character driven, about a character who’s more man than god, with conflicts and redemption,” Levine said.

Radical’s the most recent company making an aggressive push for its comicbook properties in motion pictures. Radical Pictures is also teamed to produce “Caliber” with Johnny Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and John Woo’s Lion Rock, with Woo attached to direct. The publishing company recently closed a funding deal through a privately held company called Lacho Calad, with coin coming from Singapore. The money includes a discretionary fund for script development of Radical comicbook properties.

Berg is also set to direct and produce a new version of the Frank Herbert sci-fi novel “Dune” for Paramount Pictures.

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