Dwayne Johnson is more ubiquitous than ever in the entertainment industry; he costarred in Furious 7 earlier this year, his natural disaster action/adventure San Andreas is currently playing in theaters, and his TV show Ballers only just debuted on HBO (read our review of the series premiere). If you've been keeping up on your movie news, then you know that's not going to change anytime soon, either.
Johnson, at the time of writing this, is in the midst of production on the buddy action/comedy Central Intelligence (where he's sharing the screen with Kevin Hart) and is prepped to reprise as Agent Hobbs on Fast & Furious 8 when shooting begins in the first half of 2016. There are a couple of projects in development right now that Johnson is attached to headline sometime thereafter (like the Big Trouble in Little China remake), but we're now hearing he's (unexpectedly) instead lined up for another film altogether - the video game adaptation Rampage.
The Rampage property originated as an arcade game in the mid-1980s and reports about New Line adapting the game brand for the big screen have been around since at least 2009. Deadline is reporting that Johnson is now set to headline the project, reuniting him with both New Line and San Andreas producer Beau Flynn. The live-action movie, as indicated before, is now being eyed to begin principal photography in Summer 2016, in order to fit into Johnson's packed work schedule.
Rampage, like Need for Speed, is a film inspired by a game that has a pretty straight-forward setup; namely, in the Rampage games, players take control of giant monsters and attempt to reduce various cities to rubble, while at the same time avoiding being taken down by attacking military forces. Odds are that the Rampage movie script penned by Ryan Engle (Non-Stop) will call for Johnson to play a member of the military, who leads the charge to stop the enormous creatures from wreaking havoc on Earth.
... Still, how funny would it be if Johnson played one of the monsters attacking giant cities (as unlikely as that is)?
A director has yet to be hired for Rampage though again, chances are the project is being envisioned as something of a formulaic disaster tentpole; a cross between the big-budget (and brainless) escapist thrills of San Andreas and the giant monster angle of a Godzilla movie, in other words. There could be something more imaginative in mind here, similar to how this summer's alien invasion adventure Pixels involves actual video game characters laying waste to the cities of Earth. All things considered, though, Rampage will likely be more in line with previous Johnson-headlined tentpoles.
Is that a bad thing, though? Well, not per se, especially seeing as most people don't appear to have grown tired of watching the ever-charismatic Johnson save the day on the big screen. The combination of 'The Rock' and the big monster movie sub-genre could prove to be an effective (and enjoyable) one - more so than some of Johnson's past forays into different popcorn genres (looking at you, Hercules). Once we know who's calling the shots, it'll be easier to gauge what to expect from this one.
We'll keep you updated on Rampage's development as more information becomes available.