Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to Provide 'Protection'

IM Global studios has officially signed former WWE wrestler, turned action star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and director Simon West to work together in the new action film Protection.

Speculation had placed Clive Owen in the starring role, but we can now officially confirm that Protection will feature Johnson as Hombre - “a mercenary in Mexico City who is forced to smuggle the daughter of a high ranking judge, who is being threatened, across the border while being pursued by corrupt cops, drug lords and white collar U.S. criminal forces.”

The $35 million dollar budget action film is slated to start filming this fall in New Mexico.

Simon West, for better or worse, is a decent action director, with credits that include Con Air, Laura Croft: Tomb Raider, and the upcoming action flick The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham. West should do just fine working from the Brandon Noonan written script.

We already know that Johnson is a bankable action star, and even if the movie isn’t very good (did someone say Doom?) it won't be attributed to his acting skills.

Personally, as much as I like his family friendly films like The Game Plan and The Tooth Fairy (they usually play well to their intended audience), I’m glad to see him doing another action oriented role. Protection and this fall’s Faster might be just what the doctor ordered to get Johnson's action blood flowing once again.

Protection has the backing of a solid group of industry execs including IM Global CEO Stuart Ford (Area 51) will serve as producer, as will Robert Lawrence (Die Hard: With a Vengeance) and Gordon Gray (Invincible) and Marc Ciardi (Miracle) of Mayhem Pictures. Jib Polhemus (Night of the Living Dead: Origins) will co-produce and Brian Kavanaugh Jones will act as executive producer for Protection.

It would seem Ford at IM Global, according to his quote in a press release, shares a similar excitement about getting Johnson back in his action saddle:

"Dwayne is poised to consolidate his position as one of the planet's top action stars over the next few years. Meanwhile Simon is a proven commodity when it comes to studio level action pics. Add to that a pulsating storyline which is very much grounded in current events and I think we have a potential smash hit movie."

Protection certainly does sound like a decent action film but the story seems a bit too cookie cutter at first glance. Mercenary, Mexico, drug cartel, judge in danger, border crossing…blah, blah, blah. We’ve definitely heard, read and seen all of that before, although I can’t figure out why there are white collar criminals chasing a mercenary - maybe that's the twist. Hopefully, Noonan will make sense of the mishmash and Protection will turn out to be a fairly solid Fall 2011 popcorn flick.

What do you think of the storyline for Protection? What are your thoughts on Dwayne Johnson and Simon West's involvement?

There is no official release date for Protection at this time - but we'll keep you updated as we hear more.

Follow me on Twitter @Walwus

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