2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth was one of the first to fuel the building 3D firestorm, and went on to pull in $241.9 million to its $60 million budget. Since then, a sequel, now titled Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, has been always planned, and things are starting to get moving forward…without previous star Brendan Fraser.
Fraser apparently couldn’t return due to scheduling conflicts, so New Line Cinema has gone out and signed Dwayne Johnson — previously known as “The Rock” from his wrestling days — to take his place in the lead. Johnson will play the boyfriend of returning star Josh Hutcherson‘s mother in the movie, who joins Hutcherson on an expedition to a wondrous island to try and find his missing grandfather.
The Mysterious Island will be directed by Brad Peyton, who has previously helmed Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The original movie was directed by Eric Brevig, who is currently in post production on Yogi Bear and was nominated for a couple of special effects Oscars.
The sequel is said to be loosely based on Jules Verne’s classic The Mysterious Island, and will also be filmed in 3D. No exact release date is known, but production is planned for October with a 2011, early 2012 release likely.