Things might be getting hairy for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in the not-too distant future.
The wrestler-turned-actor is already one of the busiest stars around. Halfway through 2017, Johnson has already had two major movies in cinemas this year: the mega-hit ‘Fast & Furious 8,’ and the somewhat less successful ‘Baywatch,’ with a third due this December in ‘Jumanji.’ Nor is his schedule in the years ahead any less busy, especially if he really is serious about running for President in 2020.
However, it seems that Universal – a studio who clearly recognise Johnson’s star power, given he helped push the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise to billion dollar success – may have him in mind for the key role of The Wolf Man in their new Dark Universe franchise.
While nothing official has been said by either the actor or the studio on the subject, The Hollywood Reporter cite the rumour in a report on Universal’s new endeavour, based around the classic horror movies which helped establish the studio in the 1930s and 1940s.
Upcoming release ‘The Mummy,’ starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella and Russell Crowe, is the starting point for this interlocking universe of monster movies. Next, director Bill Condon is lined up to helm a new take on ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ starring Javier Bardem as the Monster, with Angelina Jolie said to be the studio’s favourite for the role of the Bride.
Johnny Depp has also signed on to take the lead in ‘The Invisible Man,’ and it is anticipated that Cruise and Crowe will reprise their roles in further Dark Universe movies. It’s readily apparent, then, that Universal are banking on star power to sell this franchise – and, as such, it’s entirely logical that they’d want to get Johnson involved.
1941’s ‘The Wolf Man’ introduced Lon Chaney Jr as Laurence Talbot, an ordinary man who unwittingly becomes a monster after being bitten by a werewolf. Chaney would reprise the role in four further films for Universal.
More recently, 2010’s ‘The Wolf Man’ cast Benico del Toro as Talbot, alongside Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt. This film – and 2014’s ‘Dracula Untold’ after it – had originally been hoped to launch a revival of the Universal monsters brand, but neither proved a big enough box office success.
However, this time it seems that Universal are determined to go ahead regardless of whether ‘The Mummy’ (which earlier this week was passed as a 15 certificate) proves to be a smash hit. Does this mean we’ll hear Dwayne Johnson howl at the moon in the years ahead?
If so, it will be interesting to see Johnson potentially sharing the screen with Tom Cruise, given he previously competed with Cruise (unsuccessfully) for the role of Jack Reacher.
‘The Mummy’ opens in UK cinemas next week, on 9 June.