×

Dwayne Johnson to Star in Netflix’s ‘John Henry and the Statesmen’

Netflix has secured the rights to “John Henry and The Statesmen,” an original pitch from writer Tom Wheeler with Dwayne Johnson attached to star.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” director Jake Kasdan is on board to helm. Netflix landed the rights after a heated bidding war that attracted many of the major studios. The film marks Johnson’s first feature at Netflix, another win for the streaming giant, which is already in production on projects with Mark Wahlberg and Ryan Reynolds.

“Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way,” Johnson said. “These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race, or geography.”

Wheeler developed the pitch with Hiram Garcia, president of production at Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions. Johnson will also serve as a producer on the film. Kasdan will also produce alongside Garcia and longtime collaborator Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo., while Melvin Mar (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), FPC’s Wendy Jacobson (“San Andreas”), and Wheeler (“Puss in Boots”) will executive produce.

“We have been committed to an international storytelling model for more than a decade,” Dany Garcia said. “Our partnership with Netflix is giving us an incredible opportunity to reach a broad and diverse audience in the most accessible and intimate manner. We are absolutely thrilled with the opportunity.”

Netflix’s head of film Scott Stuber added, “Dwayne is a global superstar, inarguably one of the most popular actors in the world. He and Jake are a tremendous duo with a proven track record of entertaining audiences worldwide. We’re delighted to be able to partner with them and collaborate with Seven Bucks Productions and FPC. This is a story with universal appeal and we can’t wait to bring these characters to families around the globe.”

Johnson and Kasdan are coming off the hugely successful “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which grossed $962 million worldwide. The fantasy adventure earned $404 million in North America, marking a box-office best for Johnson. Up next, Seven Bucks Productions and FlynnPictureCo. are teaming on Disney’s “Jungle Cruise.” Johnson is currently filming “Fast and Furious” spinoff “Hobbs and Shaw” for Universal in London. Meanwhile, Kasdan is in pre-production on the “Jumanji” sequel, which Sony is releasing in December of 2019. Wheeler is the showrunner of the Netflix original series “Cursed,” based on a book he wrote.

Johnson, Kasdan, and Wheeler are repped by WME.

More Film

  • Radiohead - Thom YorkeRadiohead in concert

    Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to Release Solo Album Accompanied by Paul Thomas Anderson Film

    Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s new solo studio album, “Anima,” will be released digitally on June 27 on XL Recordings, he announced today. The album’s digital release will be accompanied by a “one-reeler,” also entitled “Anima,” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “Magnolia,” “There Will Be Blood”) and set to three tracks from the new [...]

  • HKIFFS and Heaven Pictures

    Hong Kong Festival, China's Heaven Pictures Launch 'Back to Basics' Film Project Support

    The Hong Kong International Film Festival Society (HKIFFS) and China’s Heaven Pictures announced that they will award six Asian filmmakers RMB1 million ($145,000) in a joint project to demonstrate how high-quality films can still be made inexpensively. The six films that emerge from the new initiative, titled “Back to Basics (B2B): A Love Supreme,” will [...]

  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan in conversation at

    Shanghai: How Nuri Bilge Ceylan Sees the World so Differently

    At a masterclass on Thursday, Turkish film director Nuri Bilge Ceylan gave the initial impression of being an austere and unwilling participant. Wearing heavy glasses, keeping his coat on, and responding to questions rather than offering a class, his manner suggested that he was difficult. In China as the head of the Shanghai International Film [...]

  • SpiderMan Far From Home

    Hollywood Takes on Italy's Vacation-Heavy Summer Season With Blockbusters

    With upcoming movies such as “Toy Story 4,” “Men in Black: International” and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” Hollywood studios are finally taking the plunge this year and slotting their blockbusters in Italian cinemas during the summer, a time when residents traditionally hit the beach en masse. For decades, the studios withheld their [...]

  • Easy Money

    Netflix Orders 'Snabba Cash' Series Based on Hit Movie Franchise from SF Studios

    Netflix has ordered a six-part original series based on the hit Swedish crime franchise “Snabba Cash” from SF Studios. Based on Jens Lapidus’s bestselling novels, the series is set in Stockholm’s gritty criminal underground ten years after the events depicted in the “Snabba Cash” (“Easy Money,” pictured) movie trilogy. The society has become even more [...]

  • The Kings Man

    Film News Roundup: Disney Sets 'The King's Man' Spy Comedy for February

    In today’s film news roundup, “The King’s Man” and “A Kid From Coney Island” get release dates, and “Barry” star Anthony Carrigan joins “Bill & Ted Face the Music.” RELEASE DATE Disney has set its Fox spy comedy prequel “The King’s Man” for release on Feb. 14, 2020. Disney made the announcement Wednesday at its [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content