C'mon Hollywood: It's time for Dwayne Johnson to "rock" a comic-book film!
Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock. We’ve all come to know and love him. And how could you not? Rising to fame in the WWE, Johnson made the leap to feature films, hitting some high and low notes, before finally settling into the chiseled visage of badassery that he is now. After a string of hits in some franchise and standalone films, Johnson is hitting his stride, having paid his dues with some ugly flops and fought his way back to the top in true “Rock” form. Now more than ever, with the superhero genre in full swing, it’s time to suit Johnson up in a comic book role befitting of his stature, presence, and charisma.
2013 is the year of the Rock. With hits like SNITCH and PAIN AND GAIN behind him and the inevitable smash that will be FAST AND FURIOUS 6, Johnson also has EMPIRE STATE with Liam Hemsworth due out by year’s end, followed by Brett Ratner’s HERCULES: THE THRACIAN WARS and potentially another turn as Hobbs in FAST AND FURIOUS 7. He’s also still involved with WWE to a large extent and has his reality show on TNT and a scripted sports show in development with HBO. Johnson, to say the least, is a busy man.
The only problem is that Johnson is not on any slate (that we know of) to don the uniform of any of the untapped superhero’s that have yet to get the big-screen treatment. So, what’s the hold up?
There are a number of superhero projects that Johnson could tackle with ease. He was attached to a LOBO movie for some time, but has since dropped out, which is a shame, because he’s certainly well-suited for that. However, I think Johnson is due a much bigger and more iconic role. With all he’s done and all he’s capable of, I think he’s got more to offer than a hyper-violent galactic bounty hunter.
So, what comic book role would suit Johnson best? Let’s explore shall we?
First off, Johnson has expressed interest in the role of Luke Cage, which I think is a great fit. Some may say that the role belongs to a black actor, but nobody seemed to have a problem with him taking on Roadblock in G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, who is and always has been a black character. Johnson feels right at home with Luke Cage. Strong, smart, charismatic and intense, fueled by controlled rage. A former gang member who is sent to prison on false charges and submits to an experimental procedure that gives him steel-hard skin and enhanced strength? Johnson fits that like a glove.
Another role that I think would fit The Rock quite well is Namor, who is essentially Marvel's lookalike to DC's Black Adam, another role he's long been thought to be a good fit for. Now, some may say he's too big to play Namor or that Namor is just a silly, cheesy character that most haven't heard of. Well, I can only point to IRON MAN on that one, who was a long-running character that barely registered to casual fans until Robert Downey Jr. stepped in and made the character of Tony Stark a household name. Johnson has every bit the amount of character to make Namor more than an ill-tempered Atlantean in green undies. Hearing Johnson yell "Imperious Rex" onscreen would be pretty badass in my book.
With Warner Bros' JUSTICE LEAGUE somewhere on the horizon, I think that DC could easily find a place for Johnson in their cinematic universe. But, which one? The semi-obvious choice would be Martian Manhunter, which would be somewhat challenging as it's much more than a brute force role, but one that would easily fit Johnson's size and stature. An out-of-the-box choice that I think would fit his intensity the best for a DC movie? Hawkman. With rumors that the planet Thanagar is mentioned in MAN OF STEEL, there's obviously some universe-building going on that leaves the door wide open for a Rock-led Hawkman, be it in JUSTICE LEAGUE or a standalone film. Hawkman's savage and brutal nature, tempered with intelligence and strength is a great fit for Johnson's sensibilities.
Another role I think Johnson would suit well is the DC/Wildstorm character Deathblow, who is an aging mercenary fighting a terminal illness. Johnson has the physicality down to a tee and it would open up the doors for DC to kickstart another aspect of their comic book universe. Deathblow was once a part of Team 7, which also includes the fan-favorite character known as The Grifter and seeing both of those characters on the big screen would be pretty damn awesome and open the doors for a different kind of superhero franchise with DC.
What it all comes down to is that Dwayne Johnson has got all the right attributes to be a part of the comic book movie renaissance and I’d like to see him get in there and secure a worthy role before they’re all used up and he’s past his prime. Johnson has paid his dues and proven his worth in the cinematic world. It’s time for the powers-that-be to take notice and get Johnson suited up for a proper turn in the genre.
Poster art by Mattias Fahlberg
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|Extra Tidbit:||You’ve heard my choices, now let’s hear yours. What comic book character would YOU most like to see The Rock portray|