Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will once again join the team behind the hit disaster film San Andreas, starring in the upcoming live-action film Rampage, according to Deadline Hollywood. Based on the classic Midway arcade game about monsters that knock down buildings (and eat the inhabitants), the film is set to start production in the summer of 2016.
In the game, players control one of three giant monsters (George the gorilla, Lizzie the lizard, Ralph the werewolf) and romp across America, smashing as many buildings, helicopters, tanks and civilians as possible.
While people are little more than tiny, tasty snacks in the 8-bit version, Johnson will be positioned as a far more capable foe and will look to stop the monsters in their over-sized tracks.
The film is the property of New Line Cinema, and Ryan Engle will provide the screenplay. The studio has yet to hire a director and is actively looking for someone to oversee all of the destruction and mayhem.
Rampage is set to be Johnson’s follow-up to Fast & Furious 8, which is slated for release April 14, 2017. The former WWE star is fast-becoming one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. New Line’s San Andreas has hauled in $415 million globally, a solid figure to add to the $1.5 billion that Furious 7 earned earlier this year. Johnson is also the star of the recently-released HBO series Ballers, where he plays an athlete turned money manager who helps NFL stars manage the trappings of fame and fortune.
For those who grew up in the 80s, the announcement evokes mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is confirmation that Hollywood will mine even the furthest reaches of the pop-culture universe in effort to avoid creating an original story. On the other hand, with the right amount of tongue-in-cheek direction, this could be loads of fun. Like, skyscraper-smashing, button-bashing, quarter-popping fun. We’ll have to wait and see how it all comes out in the wash.
Rampage has no release date as of yet, but the film is set to begin production next summer.
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