Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s rise to the top of Hollywood isn’t a coincidence, nor did it happen without a shedload of hard work and determination. The former WWE star didn’t get his film break until 2001, where he briefly appeared in The Mummy Returns, before starring in its spinoff, The Scorpion King, a year later. His roles gradually began to grow, assuming leads in action films like The Rundown and Walking Tall that hinted at Johnson’s potential to be the next big movie star. With a promising venture into comedy – his short-lived role in The Other Guys affirmed this, as did his part in Get Smart – his ability to provide both muscle and laughs was viewed as a recipe for success.
Yet it was landing a role in the hugely popular Fast and Furious in 2011 that really put him on the map. As the towering, frowning Hobbs, his character – over the course of the next two Fast & Furious movies – developed into arguably the most likeable and watchable of the lot. And now, with director F. Gary Gray’s Fast 8 on the horizon for a 2017 release, Johnson’s firmly established himself as not only a Fast and Furious regular, but as one of the biggest action stars on the planet.
Having been busy promoting his latest film Central Intelligence, a comedy-crime alongside Kevin Hart, Johnson’s only just made it to the Fast 8 set, with shooting having already begun earlier this year. And, as he often likes to, the actor’s teased fans on social media with the first image of his intimidatingly awesome Hobbs (in a waistcoat, no less) on Facebook and Instagram. In the post, he teases about Hobbs’ future: ‘Maybe it’s a spinoff movie. Maybe it’s more #FF movies. Or hell maybe Hobbs just gets on his motorcycle and rides off into the sunset never to be seen again.’
But he’s also given everyone real hope in a related matter, after a qusestion on Twitter about the idea of a Hobbs spinoff. Johnson tweeted, ‘Haha one fine day. Discussions have been aces. #Hobbs’ in response to a Twitter fan pleading for a Hobbs spinoff to actually happen.
The notion of Hobbs getting his very own action film series was entertained last week by Fast and Furious producer Hiram Garcia, where he said they were looking into starting that process up because everyone involved was game for the challenge.
With the Hobbs character reported to have a much more substantial role in the eighth instalment than ever before, it seems Johnson’s muscle-bound hero could steal the show. It’s also no surprise to hear that he’s been bumped up the pecking order after becoming the new face of action movies, with San Andreas 2, Jumanji, and Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon on their way; we’d be impressed if the man can fit a spinoff in any time before 2019 – so far, he’s only listed as starring in Shazam! that year, but that’s likely to change as the year approaches.
Johnson’s one of the more social media savvy stars working today, whereby he uses all formats (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to promote his HBO series Ballers as well as films, appearances, other projects he’s doing, and notably his time spent pumping iron in the gym. Importantly though, he uses social media to interact with his fan base, since he’s fully aware that they helped him get to where he is today. So with his reply to a fan about a Hobbs movie, it’s probably best to keep an eye on his social accounts for when the news (and anything else for that matter) officially breaks.
Fast 8 opens in U.S. theaters on April 17th, 2017, followed by Fast and Furious 9 on April 19th, 2019, and Fast and Furious 10 on April 2nd, 2021.