Kevin Sorbo, that guy who played Hercules, has lined up a new gig: Playing that guy who played Hercules.
Sorbo, who spent six seasons in the late ‘90s playing the mythological strongman in the wildly successful syndicated series “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” tells PopcornBiz he’ll be starring in a self-created SyFy series playing the tailor-made role of...Kevin Sorbo.
“I play an actor who played Hercules and meets a 21-year-old college kid that grew up watching the show,” says Sorbo, who currently appears in the feature film “Soul Surfer.” “They come to tell me that the gods and the monsters that I fought in 'Hercules' are actually real, and they've been released from their tomb because some sort of gravitational thing with the stars and the moons and the planets alignment has, sort of like the Titans, released them from their tomb. Yeah, it's going to be kind of fun.”
“I sold the series to SyFy and we're writing the pilot now – the bible's all done on it and we have a couple different names,” he says. “Right now it’s called 'Legendary'. It's a rip-off of 'Galaxy Quest' where I am playing myself. And it is a rip-off, as we all borrow from everybody!”
Give Sorbo credit for taking the initiative, but it's not like he's exactly wanting for work. He’s got several films in the pipeline: a 3D serial killer thriller titled “Julia X”; the “Naked Gun”-style comedy “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury”; “Abel’s Field,” a faith-based Cain and Abel-meet-“Friday Night Lights” allegory; and “Tranquility,” a Western with Ann-Margret and Dwight Yoakam. “A lot of things were coming my way and I just kind of said, 'Okay, what do I want to do to mix it up this year and to do different roles?'” he says. “I play a hero in ‘Soul Surfer’ so that's kind of reprising a hero role, but I met the real guy that really saved [Bethany Hamilton’s] life and it was just incredible.”
Sorbo says modern-day audiences and especially modern-day Hollywood filmmakers and executives are much more embracing of actors who played iconic heroes in genre-based projects: gone are the days when performers like George Reeves (“Superman”), Adam West (“Batman”) and even William Shatner (“Star Trek”) struggled to land new work immediately after their indelible signature roles.
“It's opened up a little bit,” he says. “I think it was smart – and lucky – of me to get a show like 'Andromeda' – even though it was a heroic type of role but completely different from 'Hercules’ – and to go right into that within months after 'Hercules' finished, chopping the hair, dropping 25 pounds of muscle and changing my look. We had a five-year run on that and I was very fortunate to have that. I think [Hollywood’s] a little more forgiving.”