Dwayne Johnson always keeps you guessing with his career choices - from his early 2000s action roles (Walking Tall, Doom) to the mid-2000s indie film phase (Be Cool, Southland Tales) to the late-2000s family film phase (Tooth Fairy). Luckily the Fast and Furious 6 star has returned to big-budget action and/or comedy (Pain & Gain), with big budget epics on the docket for 2013 (Hercules).
Today Johnson keeps us guessing yet again, as he is producing and could star in a new film tentatively titled Teddy Bear, which tells the story of the titular cuddly companions' real purpose in the world; fight monsters hiding under children's beds, naturally.
As strange (or... awesome?) as that premise sounds, the story of how the film got pitched is even better. THR reports that software engineer-turned-fantasy artist Alex Panagopoulos drew a concept image with a tagline for the film's concept; it was enough to get the attention of Hiram Garcia, a former assistant of Dwayne Johnson, who brought the sketch to producer Beau Flynn, who (through his FlynnPictureCo. imprint) brought the concept to the trio's Journey 2: The Mysterious Island studio, New Line - with all three (Johnson, Flynn and Garcia) attached as producers. No writer is attached, but the plan is reportedly to make the sort of adventure film that will appeal to a wide demographic of moviegoers.
Check out the sketch by Alex Panagopoulos below:
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Of course, any mention of a project like this immediately draws comparisons to Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane's Ted, which became a $500 million megahit this past summer. Both projects obviously involve teddy bears as protagonists - and to certain extent, it's easy to see how both utilize the iconic stuffed companion as a metaphor for aspects of childhood. That said, a family-friendly crowd-pleaser blockbuster adventure is a lot different than a raunchy R-rated comedy. Take out the similar protagonist, and you're pretty much left with apples and oranges.
More to the point: who doesn't want to see a teddy bear battling fearsome monsters? If you're anything like me, that image above fills your head with all sorts of wonderful ideas that could be explored in a movie. Where do the monsters come from? How did the teddy bears get the job of protecting kids from them? Is there more to that plush little guy's power than his dinky little sword and shield? Etc...
This story seems to developing fast, so we'll keep you up to date about Teddy Bear as more info comes in.