HBO is expanding its relationship with “Ballers” star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Johnson will produce and appear in a documentary for the network about youth prison boot camps, which is inspired by his young life. The film is set to premiere in May.
Titled “Rock and A Hard Place,” the documentary captures the lives of incarcerated young people who are granted a second chance: the opportunity to trade an extensive prison sentence for a fresh start by completing the famed Miami-Dade County Corrections & Rehabilitation Boot Camp Program. The doc chronicles the harsh six-month program, in which drill sergeants push inmates to their limit, encouraging them to learn from their past mistakes and become constructive members of society so that they’re less likely to return to prison.
Inspired by Johnson’s own experiences with the law as a youth, the wrestler-turned actor will appear in the documentary — a passion project for him — as he visits a facility to speak with a group of young offenders who are on the brink of serving long prison terms.
“By the time I was 16, I had been arrested eight or nine times for a variety of things, and can relate to what these kids are going through,” Johnson said.
Hailing from Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions — which he co-founded with Dany Garcia — and 44 Blue Productions, Johnson, Garcia and 44 Blue president Rasha Drachkovitch will serve as exec producers, in addition to HBO’s Sheila Nevins and Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert who are directors on the film. HBO’s Jacqueline Glover is a supervising producer.
Garcia commented, “Miami-Dade is making a difference and truly changing lives in the process of all their hard work. That is why we wanted to make a film about it.” Drachkovitch added, “Something remarkable is happening behind the scenes of this program — we’re going to find out exactly what that is.”
“Rock and A Hard Place” marks the second collaboration between Seven Bucks Prods. and HBO, following “Ballers,” which is heading into Season 2. The project is the latest partnership between Seven Bucks and 44 Blue, following the companies’ co-produced docu-series “Hard Corps,” which is set in the competitive world of Drum Corps International and was recently greenlit at Fuse.
Aside from a stacked slate with “Hard Corps,” “Ballers” and “Rock and A Hard Place,” Johnson is staying plenty busy this year. News of the HBO doc — which the star announced Wednesday on social media — comes just one day after Seven Bucks Prods. landed a script deal for a LAPD drama “Boost Unit” at Fox.
EXCLUSIVE: Our @SevenBucksProd is proud to partner with @HBO Documentary Films & @44_Blue to bring you “ROCK AND A HARD PLACE”. A look at one of the most hard core and successful boot camp prisons in the world (an astonishing 9% recidivism rate, while the national prison rate is 70+%). The moment I stepped inside, spent time with and spoke to these incarcerated young men, I felt in my heart the world should see their struggle and hopefully witness their triumph. I was arrested multiple times starting at the age of 13yrs old. I was once in their shoes, but I changed and I know some of these young men can too. It’s a powerful documentary that’ll hit you to the core. Can’t wait for you to see it. COMING THIS MAY. #SevenBucksProds #44Blue #HBODocumentaryFilms #RockAndAHardPlace