×

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.”

Popular on Variety

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

  • The Witcher Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Netflix Developing Anime Feature 'The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf'

    In today’s film news roundup, Netflix announces a spinoff feature based on “The Witcher,” Liam Neeson’s “Honest Thief” finds a home and Sheryl Main will receive the Henri Bollinger Award. PROJECT LAUNCHED Netflix is expanding its fantasy series “The Witcher” with an anime feature film “The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.” The streamer made the [...]

  • Marvel Studios' CAPTAIN MARVEL..Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel

    'Captain Marvel' Sequel in Development

    Disney has officially launched development of a “Captain Marvel” sequel. The studio is in final negotiations with Megan McDonnell, a staff writer on Marvel-based series “WandaVision” on the project. The 2019 blockbuster “Captain Marvel” starred Brie Larson as Carol Danvers and grossed $1.13 billion worldwide. Disney and Marvel have not yet set a release date [...]

  • Aviron Pictures Hit With Layoffs

    Aviron Pictures Hit With Layoffs, Joel Kinnaman Action Movie 'The Informer' in Limbo

    Fledgling distributor Aviron Pictures has been hit with a significant staff reduction less than a month after the removal of top executive WIlliam Sadleir, numerous insiders told Variety.  Almost half of a staff of 30 were dismissed last week, amid wide rumors that the company’s deep-pocketed financier Black Rock has defunded the outfit entirely, sources [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein Bill Clinton

    Harvey Weinstein's Lawyer Seeks Mistrial When D.A. Refers to Bill Clinton Friendship

    Harvey Weinstein was associated with the Clintons for years, socially and as a generous donor to both of their political campaigns. And according to prosecutors in Weinstein’s criminal trial, he bragged about his friendship with the former president to women he allegedly sexually assaulted, in an effort to intimidate them. During opening statements on Wednesday, [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum to Star in 'Bob the Musical' Comedy for Disney

    Channing Tatum is attached to star in and produce “Bob the Musical” for Disney — a project that’s been in development for more than a decade. Tatum will produce through his company, Free Association, and partners Reid Carolin and Peter Kiernan. Tripp Vinson and Chris Bender are also attached to produce. No director is currently [...]

  • John Henry

    'John Henry': Film Review

    Terry Crews’ John Henry is a man of few words. “John Henry,” the folklore-cribbing, violent thriller (opening theatrically and available on demand) about a former gang member who must face his demons when two young immigrants require his help, feels like it wants to say a lot. But what exactly? Utilizing horror-movie gestures and ladling [...]

  • Matt Damon SNL

    Matt Damon to Star in NYPD Thriller 'The Force'

    Matt Damon has come on board to star in “The Force” with James Mangold directing for Disney’s 20th Century Studios. Mangold, who directed Damon in “Ford v. Ferrari,” has been developing the Don Winslow bestseller since 2017. “The Force” centers on corrupt NYPD officers with Damon attached to play detective Denny Malone, who runs an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content