Dwayne Johnson is the biggest movie star in the world. Every franchise wants him and he can pick pretty much any project he wants or just will what he wants into existence. So with his talents in such high demand, and a non-stop schedule that seems to defy the laws of time and space, what made him want to tackle his upcoming Die Hard-esque movie Skyscraper? As Johnson tells it, he wanted to make Skyscraper because it was something different in the modern blockbuster landscape, while also hearkening back to movies of yore, saying:
In a summer full of cool & bad ass Superheroes & capes, my town of Hollywood doesn't make movies like this anymore. But I wanted to make a film that paid homage and respect to the classic action movies that inspired me and entire generations - DIE HARD to TOWERING INFERNO to THE FUGITIVE. A wounded warrior's blood, sweat, love & grit to save his family. Most physically and emotionally demanding role of my career --- loved every second and grateful to my writer/director Rawson Thurber for bringing this role my way.
Although not all actors have the luxury of such choices, you always get the sense that Dwayne Johnson does a movie because there is something he likes about it and connects with it. He played Rampage as a kid, so he made a movie about it. Skyscraper is a movie about a family man who is framed and has to fight mustache-twirling terrorists in a high-rise. This is definitely an amalgamation of elements from the movies he mentioned that he enjoyed, while also having the sheen and special effects of a modern blockbuster. Something about a movie in the mold of those classic action movies that also pays homage to them appealed to Dwayne Johnson, and for fans of those classics, it isn't hard to see why.
The Rock makes a fair point too that Skyscraper is a big, original blockbuster in a summer full of superhero movies and brand-name franchises. Strangely, superhero movies are the biggest blockbusters out there, and Dwayne Johnson hasn't been in one yet. Although that will change if and when Black Adam happens. We don't necessarily separate something like Skyscraper from all the other blockbusters out there because it stars The Rock, but you have to think that if he wasn't starring in it, is this the type of movie that would really get made? Although it should be mentioned that long ago Paul Walker was attached to this movie.
It is also worth noting that if he wasn't an actor, or a wrestler, Dwayne Johnson could make a great living selling ice to Eskimos. His sales pitch for Skycraper in his Instagram post is infectious in its enthusiasm, getting you excited simply because he seems so high on it. Saying that Skyscraper was the "most physically and demanding role" of his career is quite interesting considering all of the action movies he has been in. And as we've seen from the trailers, his character looks like he will be put through the emotional ringer as he fights to save his family and clear his name. The Rock loves to push himself, so I'm especially looking forward to his performance in this film.
Skyscraper jumps into theaters on July 13. Check out our guide for all of The Rock's upcoming movies.