Dwayne Johnson has played plenty of great characters in the past, but none more personal than Maui in Moana, where he was able to be a part of a film that celebrated his South Pacific culture. Now he will get ready to do that again, but for a new movie.
New reports say he will play Hawaiian king Kamehameha in The King from director Robert Zemeckis. More on the story below.
Deadline says Warner Bros. and New Line have won a bidding war over the title, which Zemeckis will direct from a script by Braveheart‘s Randall Wallace. The auction was conducted while Johnson and his team are working on Disney’s Jungle Cruise over in Atlanta.
Here’s how the pic is being described:
Kamehameha is the legendary king who was the first to unite the warring Hawaiian islands, which fulfilled the prophecy that surrounded his fabled life since birth. He took control of Hawaii’s destiny, and gave the islanders leverage in advancing the culture in trading with the foreign ships from Europe that began showing up on the shores of islands that must have seemed like paradise, albeit a sometimes dangerous one as explorers like Simon Metcalfe and Captain James Cook discovered before Kamehameha forcibly unified the islands.
This is being hailed as a very personal project to Dwayne Johnson, who said it was his dream to play Kamehameha when he was just starting out to be an actor. That was nearly 20 years ago when he started with some smaller roles before landing the role of the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns in 2001, which led to his first leading role in the spinoff The Scorpion King in 2002. At the time, the actor was making that transition from being a wrestling star to being a movie star. A transition that doesn’t come easily to some. And yet, Johnson was able to navigate through all of that and overcome those obstacles to become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
Johnson is so close to his heritage that got his tattoo in a modern way, but it tells a story of his own Polynesian roots that involve Samoa, New Zealand, and Hawaii.
It will be interesting to see if the film has any award-winning potential. The film certainly has the right creative minds behind the project. Zemeckis has been behind plenty of Oscar-nominated (and winning) films. And we all saw how Wallace’s Braveheart turned out. So, could The King be the film that helps Dwayne Johnson actually win an Oscar? We will just have to wait and see.