For the reveal Thursday at VidCon in Anaheim, Calif., the actor-producer enlisted YouTube comedy star Lilly Singh (a.k.a. IISuperwomanII) to introduce the promo video for the channel. Johnson is not actually attending the confab, as he is currently filming “Fast 8,” the latest in Universal’s “Fast and the Furious” franchise, a rep said.
Johnson, who currently stars in buddy comedy “Central Intelligence” with Kevin Hart, is part of growing flock of Hollywood celebs like Ellen DeGeneres building digital-native media businesses. Swimming from the other direction are Internet-famous creators trying to break into mainstream entertainment in a bigger way.
The Rock is already a bona fide digital star: The former wrestler has more than 122 million total followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social channels. Johnson actually joined YouTube more than a decade ago — way back in November 2005 — but his channel hasn’t been frequently updated and currently only has about 61,000 subscribers. The Rock’s YouTube channel has now been renamed Seven Bucks Digital Studios.
The YouTube channel will feature Johnson’s own videos, a scripted action series, as well as highlight projects from his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, along with other creators who share his ethos “to inspire, motivate and entertain.” The channel will also promises monthly collaborations with top digital talent.
The Rock’s YouTube channel is overseen by general manager Scott Brown, Studio71 director of digital content, who previously directed online talk show “Larry King Now.” Studio71 is owned by Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Group. Johnson is repped by WME, manager Dany Garcia, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.
The teaser video, directed by Brown, is styled as a mock movie trailer complete with an absurdly hyperbolic voiceover. “Call the president of the Internet,” Johnson says, calling to an off-screen assistant. “Tell him Rock’s got a helluva an idea.” But first, he says abashedly, “the Rock’s gotta clear his, um… his browsing history.”
Watch the video: