Right around the time that the defunct video game publisher began to slide toward bankruptcy, it’s been revealed that THQ had mapped out early plans for a live-action Saints Row movie that almost featured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a starring role.
Word comes by way of a Fandom post by Nick Nunziata and Peter Aperlo – producer and screenwriter, respectively – who shed new light on the canned project that was officially shelved circa 2012. Boasting all of the irreverent sensibilities that the series is celebrated for, THQ’s doomed Saints Row film was billed as “a modern-day Escape from New York, only bigger and with that Saints Row attitude.” That’s quite the elevator pitch, and Johnson was likely high on the calling card following his appearance in Andrzej Bartkowiak’s middling Doom movie.
Indeed, out of the franchise’s zany legacy, Nunziata and Aperlo pointed to Saints Row 2 as primary inspiration for the nascent film, placing a laser focus on “the Boss as a Count of Monte Cristo figure coming in to reclaim what was once his.” Because of this fidelity, THQ’s project was initially angled as a hard R before Dwayne Johnson became “very interested” in climbing board, leading creative thinkers like Nunziata and Aperlo to shuffle the premise in order to churn out a PG-13 script. Alas, now that THQ is no more, the Saints Row movie has all but fallen off the radar at this point.
Dwayne Johnson, meanwhile, has lined up a string of blockbusters as we approach 2017, with the likes of Fast 8, Baywatch and Sony’s Jumanji sequel all poised to drop within only a few months of each other. The latter recently plucked Guardians of the Galaxy alum Karen Gillan.