The Rock’s upcoming projects include Fast & Furious 7 and some as-yet unspecified DC superhero movie (we’re pretty sure we know what it is), but he’s also got it covered in the family-friendly movie department. No, that doesn’t mean another Tooth Fairy movie starring Dwayne Johnson; it does, apparently, mean we’ll be getting two new installments in the Journey series, which added Johnson to the mix in the punny titled second installment, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
New Line and Walden have had Johnson attached to Journey 3 for some two years now, but this is the first we’ve heard of Journey 4 also being in the works. THR says the plan, schedule-permitting, is to shoot the third and fourth Journey movie installments back to back, with Josh Hutcherson reprising as Johnson’s son-in-law. Screenwriting brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (The Conjuring) have reportedly set to work on penning scripts for both adventure films.
The Hayes are fresh off co-writing Johnson’s upcoming 3D disaster/action film San Andreas, which was also directed by Journey 2 helmsman Brad Peyton; he is expected to return to call the shots on Journey 3. Peyton was also once lined up to direct a Lobo movie starring Johnson (before that project was canned), while the Hayes are currently working on the Seal Team 666 adaptation – a supernatural/action flick envisioned as a Johnson vehicle. That is to say, these four (the Hayes, Johnson, and Peyton) have clearly established a solid working relationship.
Rumor has it that Journey 3 may involve a trip into outer space, though it’s probably safe to assume that such a storyline will be a tad more light-hearted than something like Gravity. If Journey 3 and 4 are going to be filmed back to back, then it’s feasible the former will end on a cliff-hanger that sets up the fourth installment. It could also be that New Line and Walden would prefer to shoot theses movies together for cost efficiency, since they’ll be filmed largely on sound stages with green screen backdrops.
Journey 2 grossed just over $335 million worldwide in theaters (against a $79 million budget) and was mostly successful in achieving its goal – offering a wholesome adventure story and colorful pop-out 3D effects for young ones, while Johnson and his adult costars provided some wittier banter for older folk. So yeah, this franchise hasn’t exactly had lofty ambitions to date and that presumably won’t change with the next two installments; as far as being decent pop art for the whole family to enjoy, though, these next two Journeys ought to get the job done.
We’ll keep you updated on the status of both Journey 3 and Journey 3 as more information is made available.