Does Dwayne Johnson possess access to time travel technology? Given the man's insane workload, it sometimes seems like it can be the only explanation. Somehow the guy makes three movie a year, plus an HBO series, and now we've learned that he has a new deal with Netflix that is going to see him star in and produceJohn Henry And The Statesmen - a new film which somehow already has a teaser trailer.
John Henry And The Statesmen, directed by Jake Kasdan (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle) and described as a "family action adventure," is being approached as a potential new franchise launcher for Dwayne Johnson. According to a press release from Netlflix, the legendary John Henry will be the central hero, but the titular Statesmen will be a collection of "the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world."
The legend of John Henry dates back to the late 19th century, and is a classic story of man versus machine. He was a steel-driver working on a railroad tunnel, and his strength and power was challenged when he was put up against a steam-powered drilling device. As the story goes, Henry was able to beat the machine, but he suffered a heart attack from the stress and exertion and died.
If John Henry And The Statesmen is planning a long future, that last bit is probably not going to make it into the movie.
Dwayne Johnson has never made a movie for Netflix before, but given the current path of the industry, it does feel like this was inevitable. A lot of the biggest stars and filmmakers are making projects for the streaming giant now, and while Johnson's success in theaters is unquestionable, that doesn't mean he can't split his time between Netflix and the big screen.
Tom Wheeler, who previous wrote The LEGO Ninjago Movie, wrote the script for John Henry And the Statesmen based on an original pitch, but very little beyond the basic setup is known at this point. We are particularly interested in hearing about the various characters who will be joining John Henry on his adventures, not to mention the foe that they will be going up against. Hopefully more details will arrive as the project starts to build its cast.
It just has to be better than The League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie... right? Seriously, how could it possibly be worse.
Exactly when John Henry And the Statesmen will go into production is unclear, largely because of the schedules of the key people involved. Not only is Dwayne Johnson a crazy busy individual (he is currently shooting Hobbs and Shaw in London), but he is also already gearing up for another collaboration with Jake Kasdan, as the next Jumanji sequel will be hitting theaters in December 2019.
It's possible that this new film won't be going into production until 2020, but between now and then be sure to stay tuned for all of the latest updates here on CinemaBlend.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.