This article originally appeared on Den of Geek UK.
Got a movie you’re trying to make? Why not put Dwayne Johnson in it? It’s what everyone else seems to be doing, and it’s bound to earn you a flurry of publicity. The man who it may not be acceptable to call “The Rock” anymore has a whopping 12 films on his slate at the moment, so he may struggle to fit you in, but is there a movie star who’s working harder at the moment?
Fighting With My Family
The Rock returns to his wrestling roots, producing and taking a small role in this dramatization of the rise of WWE star Paige (played by Lady Macbeth‘s Florence Pugh), from her humble beginnings in Norwich’s amateur circuit to becoming the youngest Divas champion in history. The film is written and directed by Stephen Merchant, who was introduced to the story by his pal and Tooth Fairy co-star Johnson, and also stars Lena Headey, Nick Frost and Jack Lowden as Paige’s wrestling-obsessed family. Vince Vaughn appears as the WWE talent scout who coaxes Paige to try her luck in the U.S., while Johnson pops up as her unlikely mentor. The film is due for release on Feb. 14.
Hobbs and Shaw
Johnson continues his onscreen bromance with Jason Statham in this upcoming Fast & Furious spin-off, which will see tough-talking Diplomatic Security Service agent, Luke Hobbs (Johnson), and baddie turned sort-of goodie Deckard Shaw (Statham) teaming up to take down Idris Elba‘s villain–a criminal mastermind known as “Brixton.” As The Rock revealed on his popular Instagram feed, The Crown‘s Vanessa Kirby will be getting in on the action as an MI6 agent who also happens to be Shaw’s sister. Filming took place around the UK and wrapped late last year, with David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2) on directing duties. The film will be in theaters on July 26, 2019.
Jumanji 2 (or 3)
Thanks in no small part to the Rock’s towering onscreen charisma, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle became an unexpected mega-hit back in 2017, grossing over $962 million worldwide. It’s no surprise, then, that a sequel has been fast-tracked into production. Johnson’s co-stars Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black are all returning for the second adventure along with director Jake Kasdan, while Ocean’s Eight star Awkwafina and the invaluable Danny DeVito are joining the cast in “key” roles. Filming starts in January 2019 for a Dec. 13 2019 release.
Following in the footsteps of Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney are turning Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise theme park ride into a big-screen blockbuster, directed by The Shallows helmer Jaume Collet-Serra. The movie will be a period piece set during the Great Depression, and apparently takes inspiration from Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn’s The African Queen.
Johnson plays a riverboat captain who takes a scientist (played by Mary Poppins herself, Emily Blunt) and her brother (comedian Jack Whitehall) on a dangerous jungle mission to find a mythical tree with healing powers. Filming has already wrapped, in plenty of time for the delayed July 24, 2020 release, and if Johnson and Blunt’s onscreen chemistry is anything like it is in the production announcement video below, expect this to be massive.
Johnson is teaming up with director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) to bring the story of King Kamehameha–the first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii who fought to unite its warring islands–to the big screen. The Rock announced the project via Instagram, revealing that the film–which has been described as a “sweeping historial epic”–will be written by Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace.
The King is something of a passion project for Johnson, who spent some of his teenage years living in Hawaii. “[I’m] humbled and grateful to begin this once in a lifetime journey,” he posted, adding: “From the day I began my Hollywood career, my dream was to bring this legacy to life.” The film is due to begin shooting in 2020.
Universal has had to break out its checkbook for the next big Dwayne Johnson action movie. Several studios were involved last week in an auction for a film called Red Notice, that’s going to see The Rock playing an INTERPOL employee. The Red Notice of the film’s title refers to the most serious of the notices that the agency can issue. More eye-catching still, Johnson will be reteaming with his former Fast and Furious co-star, and current Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot. The film is set to cost around $150 million to make, with Skyscraper director Rawson Marshall Thurber also on board. Johnson will trouser in the region of $20 million to appear, and Universal has put the project on the fast track, with the aim of getting it filmed next year. That said, Johnson has to fit in filming the Fast & Furious spin-off movie, alongside Jason Statham, for the studio too.
We’ll be on notice on Nov. 13, 2020.
Doc Savage is the world’s first superhero, who debuted in pulp magazines way back in 1933 and was portrayed on the silver screen by Ron Ely in 1975’s Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
“Doc was physically and mentally trained from birth by his father and a team of scientists to become the perfect human specimen with a genius level intellect. His heightened senses are beyond comprehension. He can even identify a women’s perfume from half a mile away. He is literally the master of everything. But here’s the #1 reason I’m excited to become Doc Savage.. HE’S A F*CKING HILARIOUS WEIRDO! Confidently, yet innocently he has zero social graces whatsoever due to his upbringing so every interaction he has with someone is direct, odd, often uncomfortable and amazingly hilarious.”
There’s still no official word on when this is going into production, but one might assume it’s a safe bet with Black being done with The Predator. However, given that film’s mixed reception, box office, and behind-the-scenes controversy… well, time will tell.
San Andreas 2
Dwayne Johnson will be reteaming with director Brad Peyton at some point for a second San Andreas movie. Most of the supporting cast are believed to be returning too. The first film earned an impressive $473 million worldwide in 2015, making it a surprise hit and justifying New Line Cinema’s interest in a sequel. There’s no word of a release date yet, but this one seems fairly certain to us. Expect a more global focus, more earthquakes, and perhaps some more shirking of responsibility from the Rock’s character.
Big Trouble in Little China
John Carpenter’s 1986 gem Big Trouble In Little China is susposedly being remade, with The Rock at centre stage and some superhero scriptwriters involved behind the scenes (Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz of Thor and X-Men: First Class are penning the screenplay). Dwayne Johnson is also producing this one, which has backing from 20th Century Fox.
“I loved reading the reactions from the fans, that they were so polarized – I’m the same way”, he said to Entertainment Weekly. “My response is that I come to the project with nothing but love and respect for the original, which is why we want to bring on John Carpenter.”
However, the last updated came in October of 2016 from the original director himself, with Carpenter telling the press, “No one’s talked to me about it. Haven’t heard a thing!” This could be another Johnson project that has fallen to the wayside.
Dwayne Johnson has been attached to play the DC Comics character–an ancient Egyptian villain or a reformed antihero, depending on which comics you’re reading–on screen for quite some time. Originally thought to be the main villain in this year’s Shazam!, it now seems that the focus is on developing a solo Black Adam movie. (The Rock has confirmed that he won’t even make a cameo appearance in Shazam!) But with all the reshuffling going on behind the scenes of the DC Extended Universe, the film seems to have slipped into development hell while execs figure out how the character fits into to their wider superhero world.
The Black Adam movie is still definitely happening though, according to producer Hiram Garcia. “We’re very deep into a script on it, which is coming along really well,” he recently told Collider. “I’m really excited with the story we’ve crafted. You kind of have this living superhero in Dwayne Johnson, so I was always trying to figure out what’s the perfect character that will fit him.”
Alpha Squad Seven
DreamWorks apparently acquired the rights to this one after a hefty bidding war, but have yet to hire a director. Alpha Squad Seven is a sci-fi action comedy set in space, from producer Beau Flynn (Journey 2, San Andreas, Hercules), and writers Nick Palmer and Jeremiah Friedman (both of whom are also working on The Karate Kid 2 at the moment). Alpha Squad Seven is believed to have franchise potential (of course it does, the Rock is in it), and Mr. Johnson will star alongside someone else at the heart of the film. We don’t know who that person is yet, but the movie is a “two-hander” apparently. There’s been no real news on this project since 2015, though, so it seems like this has definitely dropped to the bottom of The Rock’s to-do list.
Fast and Furious 9
The movie is definitely happening and has an April 10, 2020 release date to boot. However, Johnson has other committments around this time like Red Notice and… well, if you haven’t followed celebrity social media in a while, Johnson and “the Family” (or what’s left of it between Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson) are not exactly on great terms. Johnson’s Hobbs might be riding just in his own franchise for now, but time will tell.