What's the next step up from "movie star"? Because that's where we need to classify Dwayne Johnson. The man isn't just blowing up at the multiplex. He's capturing the explosion in a headlock, pile-driving it into the ground, cracking a joke as he does so, then finishing us off with his trademark, 1,000-watt mega-smile. If we're lucky, he'll even arch an eyebrow, just to remind us that this is The Rock's world. We're only renting space for a limited time.
The Rock has numerous movies heading to theaters in the near future. Beyond that, he has attached his name to various projects, all of which sound like they will keep the one-time wrestler and current big-screen phenom in the blockbuster business for years. Because we know that you love The Rock as much as we love The Rock, we've documented the actor's next films... even the ones that have just been announced and are still wading though different forms of development. Which of these are you most interested in seeing? Yes you can answer "all of them" if you so choose.
Fighting With My Family
This one flew under the radar for some time (outside of The Rock's social promotion of it), though it's a surprise because it's right in The Rock's wheelhouse. From what we can tell, Dwayne Johnson will be playing a former wrestler who still tours to small venues and keeps his name in the lights. Now, though, his daughter has her own dreams of fighting in the big leagues, leading to comedic and dramatic developments. Stephen Merchant is writing and directing this one, with Kim Matula, Lena Heady and Vince Vaughn along for the ride.
Release date: February 14, 2019
Hobbs and Shaw
The Rock might not be back for Fast and Furious 9 -- whatever it ends up being titled -- because he and Vin Diesel still have beef, AND because he's cultivating a spinoff with Jason Statham that would follow their feuding characters on some type of adventure. There's no question that the chemistry between these two action-movie icons was the key takeaway from the last two Furious movies. And, while it would have seemed to be a scheduling nightmare to try and find a time when these two extremely busy dudes could find time to bang out a team-up film, they are currently doing just that and have brought Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby along for the ride. There IS a release date, so everything's on track for Universal to stick that landing.
Release date: July 26, 2019
Even The Rock -- who is used to silver screen success -- had to be surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. A huge part of that success had to do with the chemistry of the ensemble, which included Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart. Now, Sony is saying that they want to get everyone back together for a sequel (the studio needs reliable franchises, so I'm not that stunned), but it's a matter of finding time in Dwayne Johnson's packed schedule. There was talk that Jumanji 3 would target a December 2019 release date, where it would go toe-to-toe with Star Wars: Episode IX. But, seeing as how it held its own against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there's no real reason for The Rock and his crew to back down now, and the current release date will give the film a week long head start on the latest Star Wars film.
Release date: December 13, 2019
San Andreas 2
After the above titles, we start to get speculative, as nothing else on The Rock's calendar has an actual release date... just a lot of chatter, and updates from the actor's camp on project possibilities. San Andreas 2 is a no-brainer, as the first movie earned a whopping $473 million in global ticket sales. Rumors at the time of announcement had Dwayne Johnson's character -- an LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot -- going up against the Ring of Fire... which means The Rock is going to punch a volcano. No release date yet, but seeing as how Rock loves working with Alexandra Daddario, we think this one's destined to happen.
Shane Black returned to theaters with his '70s detective noir The Nice Guys, and while he was on the publicity circuit, he talked about projects from his past, and his hopeful future. The writer/director most recently finished The Predator, a reboot of that popular franchise which debuted on September 14, 2018, and is now taking a stab at Doc Savage, a pulp magazine character. Shortly after the Doc Savage news broke, The Rock teased a collaboration with Black that he would film in 2017. While some rights issues have stopped the film from getting underway as quickly as Black and Dwayne Johnson had hoped, The Rock did confirm in early 2018 that they're still working on the project. The story would focus on a heroic character who's damn near perfect in every way... sounds exactly like Dwayne Johnson! Look for more news on this one soon.
Black Adam / Suicide Squad 2
DC and Warner Bros. locked up The Rock in the role of Black Adam in a Shazam movie several years ago, and while we've all just been waiting for that dream to become a reality, it looks like several things have changed behind the scenes. Stay with us here, as this gets kinda confusing. Originally, the plan was for Johnson to play the bad guy/anti-hero in Shazam's big screen debut, but in January 2017 it was revealed that there was a new plan, one that would see Black Adam get his own movie and not appear in Shazam! at all. Then, at San Diego Comic-Con in July, DC showed off their upcoming slate of movies, but guess what was missing? Black Adam. So, we now have no idea when this movie will happen, or why it doesn't appear on DC's latest film slate, but we do still have confirmation from DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns that the film is, supposedly, happening. So, I guess we'll see!
The Robert Ludlum Universe
This one might be the most recent addition to The Rock's calendar... because the man clearly isn't satisfied unless he has double-digit projects on his cinematic To-Do list. The late Robert Ludlum wrote thrillers and espionage stories (the Bourne series drew inspiration from Ludlum's stories), and Dwayne Johnson recently broke the news that he would be backing an adaptation of the author's The Janson Directive, which would cast The Rock as an ex-Navy SEAL who gets caught up in a far-reaching government conspiracy that has him hunted by assassins from the Consular Operations. Naturally, if this hits, The Rock could have another franchise on his hands. Because the only thing The Rock likes more than kicking ass if having a new franchise to his name.
Big Trouble in Little China
Truthfully, we were hoping this one would fade away. But The Rock recently reaffirmed plans to make a new version of John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China. And he's saying all the right things about respecting the source material, and honoring the work of both Carpenter and the legendary Kurt Russell, neither of whom are totally cool with the idea of the film being remade. And, that's why it's good that Hiram Garcia, who's producing the new film, came out recently to let everyone know that this isn't actually being planned as a remake, but a follow-up. I love The Rock. But, I also love this movie. Because of that, I can freely admit that when plans were announced for Big Trouble to come back to the big screen, I wished The Rock would do something different, and leave this movie alone. Now that I know that it's more of a sequel, though, am I more on board with the potential? Sure. I'll probably be there on opening day, hoping with all my heart that they did the world of Big Trouble in Little China justice.
Let's start with the movie that we'll be able to see next month. From the director of We're the Millers, Central Intelligence casts The Rock and Kevin Hart as former high-school classmates who reunite years later, with one being in the CIA (Johnson) and the other reluctantly helping him crack a difficult case. Not surprisingly, Rock and Hart seem to have incredible chemistry with each other, and the trailers for Central Intelligence had a ton of authentic laughs... many coming from the Rock shower scene that involves some incredible prosthetics (pictured above).
Release date: June 17, 2016
We won't see The Rock in Disney's animated Moana, but we're bound to hear him when the film opens over the Thanksgiving holiday. Set in the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana will follow a young woman and skilled navigator who sets sail on a thrilling adventure to find a fabled island. Johnson isn't voicing Moana. Instead, he'll lend his pipes to Maui, a demi-god who helps Moana on her journey... especially when she starts to encounter sea creatures and legendary oceanic obstacles.
Release date: November 23, 2016
The Fate of the Furious
You can't keep a good franchise down, and so -- even though they lost one of their founding fathers in Paul Walker -- the eighth Fast & Furious film is racing into theaters in April, with new locations (New York City, Iceland and Cuba) and a new villain in Charlize Theron. Still, the F&F series is about family, and The Rock has been part of the crew since Fast Five (still the highwater mark, in my opinion, of this wildly entertaining series). What will Hobbs be doing in The Fate of the Furious? He'll be holding the "family" together, because "Evil" Vin Diesel wants to tear it apart.
Release date: April 14, 2017
After pounding bad guys as part of his Fast series, it's back to the beach for Dwayne Johnson as he heads up a remake of the classic TV show Baywatch. Only, from everything we have been hearing, this one is NOT television friendly. Co-starring Zac Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Priyanka Chopra and several members of the original Baywatch cast, this new comedy is going to be pushing the hard-R rating... which can come from violence (it's going to have a criminal element to it) but likely will come from the language and humor. So long as it's funny, and given the Rock's increasing sense of humor and confidence as an on-screen comedian, we're feeling optimistic.
Release date: May 19, 2017
This one, all of a sudden, has been on The Rock's radar. Johnson's Central Intelligence co-star Kevin Hart, Guardians of the Galaxy co-star Karen Gillan, and Jack Black will be part of the remake. Rock has even talked about how they have a great tribute to Robin Williams, the original star of Jumanji, planned. It's not a remake of the original. It's a sequel, and a continuation, that will use video games to update the story. We shall see soon enough.
Release date: December 22, 2017
Rampage was an arcade game that had gigantic monsters -- a wolf, an ape and a dinosaur/lizard -- attacking a city and avoiding the military. Players played as the monsters, though the Rampage movie has The Rock defending the city against this onslaught. Director Brad Peyton has already revealed that the film will be "a lot more emotional, a lot scarier and a lot more real than you'd expect," so we'll see how the story for this one evolves as time goes on.
Release date: April 20, 2018
After Central Intelligence, director Rawson Marshall Thurber mentioned a pitch he had for a Dwayne Johnson action pic that would cast the hulking lead as a retired FBI badass who now assesses security levels in very tall buildings. While on assignment in China, Rock's character finds himself being framed for a fire set in the skyscraper, and now he has to race time (and overcome obstacles) to free his name and rescue his family. If Skyscraper sounds like The Rock's Die Hard, well, it is. But Universal believes enough in the concept to give this one a greenlight, and a juicy summer release date.
Release date: July 13, 2018