You may have heard of an actor named Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock. He’s been in a couple of popular movies over the last few years and now, rumor has it, The Rock might be joining Universal’s Dark Universe as The Wolf Man.
This is merely rumor at this point, but where there’s smoke, and where there’s a Rock, there is often fire. The rumor was buried in the middle of The Hollywood Reporter’s analytical breakdown of Universal’s Dark Universe and whether or not it will make enough money to sustain itself because movies are no longer artistic ventures and all life is meaningless:
There are rumors that Dwayne Johnson could resurface in the “monsterverse” for a Wolfman reboot (he starred in 2002’s Mummy spinoff The Scorpion King).
That’s the only mention of Dwayne Johnson’s involvement, and it may never come to fruition since Johnson is scheduled to appear in roughly eight million movies over the next five years. Nevertheless, the word is out there, and Universal wants Johnson to play Lawrence Talbot, the tortured everyman who transforms from a mild-mannered rich kid into a rabid, murderous werewolf. Sounds just like Johnson, doesn’t it?
No, it doesn’t. But that doesn’t matter, because Universal isn’t about creativity with their casting, or hiring actors who aren’t big enough box-office draws, or trying to inject a little horror in their “Dark” Universe. These are action movies, plain and simple, and hiring Johnson to play a tortured soul is a clear indication of this.
I love Dwayne Johnson the movie star. He is great in roles where he plays himself basically. And he brings in massive dollars, save for this past weekend’s Baywatch misfire. I get it, believe me I do. But the rumor just deflates my love for the Universal Monsters and their history even more than any of the Mummy trailers. Why couldn’t Universal cast a normal-looking dude, normal size and shape, not a hulking action megastar to play a role that was once owned by Lon Chaney Jr. and his perpetual cry face? Even Benicio del Toro in the abomination that was Joe Johnston’s Wolf Man remake a few years back carried some sense of tortured darkness to the role.
But, yeah, tortured darkness isn’t what we’re doing here. And maybe it will work, but good lord why does everything have to turn into the MCU or some other assembly-line franchise world of people running and jumping and explosions and loud noises and CGI? Maybe there is hope for the Dark Universe with Bill Condon’s Bride of Frankenstein (Angelina Jolie is in talks to play the title character, which is awesome), but everything else seems to lack any sort of creativity or original thought.