The Rock to refresh the role that helped launched his career with an all-new modern retelling and a new cast!
Back in 2002, Universal Pictures brought us a spin-off from their rebooted ‘The Mummy‘ franchise in the shape of ‘The Scorpion King‘. The film marked the first time Dwayne Johnson a.k.a WWE’s The Rock had taken on a starring role. He had played the character before in the opening to 2001s ‘The Mummy Returns‘ in a brief three-minute segment.
Despite the limited screentime (and the worst use of CGI EVER at the film’s climax!), Johnson came across as a decent action hero, one that could lead a franchise or any other movie. And so ‘The Scorpion King‘ saw Johnson play the character, Mathayus again in an origin story set 5,000 years before ‘The Mummy Returns‘. And in what should have been a throwaway, cheesy action movie became a box office smash hit, leading to many straight to video sequels, none of which starred Johnson. But the original film was a 92-minute action film that was highly enjoyable, fun to watch, and showed the world that Johnson REALLY could act and would go on to become a major box office draw over the years.
Now it seems that Johnson and Dany Garcia’s production company, Seven Bucks Productions, is gearing up alongside Universal to reboot the character and the franchise for a brand new theatrical feature film. Although details of the film are thin on the ground, apart from the announcement that Jonathan Herman will be writing the screenplay for the film, it appears that the film will be a more modern take on the material and set in the present day. However, it is almost 100% certain that Johnson won’t be stepping back into the role that gave him his big Hollywood break eighteen years ago and a new actor is being eyed to play Mathayus. That being said, it is also being said that the possibility of Johnson appearing in the film somehow is an extremely good one. Johnson, in a statement, said:
“The Scorpion King was my very first role ever on the silver screen and I’m honored and excited to reimagine and deliver this cool mythology to a whole new generation. I wouldn’t have had the career I’m lucky enough to have had it not been for The Scorpion King and I’m thrilled that we at Seven Bucks Productions can help create those same opportunities for other hard-working actors today. I believe Jonathan Herman will put in the hard work to deliver a fantastic script for our global audience”
Dany Garcia echoed those sentiments and went on record to say:
“The original Scorpion King was a crucial catalyst helping to catapult us into the world of film. To be able to now produce the next iteration as part of our Seven Bucks Productions slate is a special, full-circle moment, a testament to what we have been fortunate enough to build for our audience, and ultimately a humble reminder of the timeless value of authentic storytelling”
It will be interesting to see how Johnson and Garcia get on with their desire to reboot the film. On the one hand, it seems fitting that Johnson is bringing the character back but giving a new actor the same chance he was given all those years ago, to take that first crucial step onto the Hollywood ladder to become a global superstar. On the other hand, it also seems that Hollywood is devoid of ideas at the moment and seems intent on raiding their back catalogs and rehashing (or as they LOVE to call it, rebooting or re-imagining) films that in reality don’t need or desire this treatment.
Besides, I’m concerned that the film is going to be set in modern times. In one respect, it could work out pretty well. The other? Four words. Tom Cruise ‘The Mummy‘. That certainly didn’t work out so well, did it? After that disaster, you could be forgiven that Hollywood and in particular, Universal would have learned a valuable lesson. Apparently not. But if anyone can pull it off, it has to be Dwayne Johnson. And I wish him and Dany Garcia the best of luck.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!