Kellan Lutz is strong-arming his way into theaters ahead of Dwayne Johnson.

Millenium Films' "Hercules: The Legend Begins," one of two upcoming films featuring the mythical Roman hero, has been acquired by Summit/Lionsgate and slated for release on February 7, 2014 - several months before Dwayne Johnson's bigger-budget effort directed by Brett Ratner finds its way to the big-screen on July 25. Starring Lutz ("Twilight") as the muscle-bound adventurer, "The Legend Begins" will center on Hercules' efforts at winning his freedom and returning to his lover Hebe (Gaia Weiss) after being betrayed by his king and sold into slavery.

“We look forward to working with Millennium to bring this larger-than-life hero to theaters and action fans in the new year,” said Lionsgate co-chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger in a statement.  “We are also very proud to work on a project starring Kellan, with whom we have grown very close throughout the release of all five 'Twilight Saga' films as well as the production of 'The Expendables 3' scheduled for release next year.”

Directed by Renny Harlin ("The Covenant," "Exorcist: The Beginning"), "Hercules: The Legend Begins" also stars Scott Adkins, Liam McIntyre, Liam Garrigan, Jonathan Schaech, Roxanne McKee and Rade Serbedzija. It will be released in both 2D and 3D.

Lutz was last seen in the action film "Java Heat" co-starring Mickey Rourke. His upcoming slate includes Sylvester Stallone threequel "The Expendables 3" and a new version of "Tarzan" opposite Spencer Locke.

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