He’s played an Army sergeant in DOOM and an anti-poaching special forces soldier in Rampage, but now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is getting set to star in a whole new movie framed inside the world of video games. The big mystery, though, is which gaming franchise it’ll be based on in the first place.
Whatever he's teasing, it sounds like The Rock may be eyeing a franchise that could be infused with old-school Xbox DNA. Speaking recently with Men’s Journal to promote his starring role in DC’s upcoming Black Adam, Johnson responded to a question about his long history with Microsoft and Xbox with a cryptic hint at his involvement in a new film adaptation of “one of the biggest, most badass games,” adding that it’s an existing franchise that he’s “played for years.”
Of course that’s not a lot to go on, but a new movie tease straight from The Rock himself was more than enough to immediately set social media ablaze with wild (and mostly funny) speculation about which corner of the gaming-verse he’s getting ready to tackle next. Though he mentioned being a fan of the Madden football franchise, it doesn’t sound as if totin’ the rock on the big screen is the specific mission The Rock is gearing up for. Here’s his entire statement on the matter in full:
“I’ve always been a big Madden fan. I can’t tell you which game in particular we’re doing, but there will be an announcement this year. We’re going to bring one of the biggest, most badass games to the screen — one that I’ve played for years. I’m really excited to bring it to fans around the world. Of course we’re going to do right by our gamer friends — but really we’re just going to make a great movie.”
Chances are it won’t be long before Johnson’s given the greenlight to drop more details. But in the meantime, is it possible to make a semi-educated guess? Well, Halo is already in production as a TV series for Paramount+, so a separate big-screen project centered around Master Chief seems unlikely. Based on the possible Microsoft connection, the most obvious franchise still ripe for the big-screen treatment could be Epic Games’ Gears of War.
Believe it or not, a movie adaptation of Gears of War has been making its way through development purgatory since all the way back in 2007, when New Line first revealed that it had assembled a creative team that included original Gears designer Cliff Bleszinski as an executive producer. Since then, the project has gone through a ton of changes, including a major shift in 2016, when the movie reportedly moved to Universal Pictures under a new writing team.
Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista has also harnessed the Gears of War movie momentum in recent months, telling Collider last year that he was interested in starring as Gears' leading man Marcus Fenix in a possible film adaptation. There’s no way to know whether anything will come of that, nor whether Johnson would entertain the idea of sharing screen space while Bautista plays the lead role — but then again, since we’re speculating, an ensemble cast stacked with different flavors of sci-fi super soldiers at least sounds right up Johnson’s alley.
In the meantime, fans won’t have long to wait to see Johnson back on the big screen — even if it’s not in a video game movie. Watch for The Rock to bring new superhero style points to the DC movie-verse when Black Adam charges into theaters on July 29 of this year.