Dwayne Johnson once described himself as ‘Franchise Viagra,’ and so far he’s done a pretty good job in living up to that moniker. Thanks to his presence, sequels to Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jumanji and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra all performed much better at the box office than their predecessors, while he joined the Fast and Furious series at exactly the moment that it reinvented itself as one of Hollywood’s premiere blockbuster franchises.
As the world’s biggest movie star, he doesn’t really dabble in the low-budget realm, having only appeared in three movies since 2013 that cost less than $100 million to produce, and with Black Adam, Red Notice and Jungle Cruise on the horizon, it’ll likely be a long time yet before we see him in a project that requires him to venture outside of his established screen persona.
He was originally drafted in for G.I. Joe: Retaliation to give the cast a boost in terms of star power, and unsurprisingly ended up stealing the show as Roadblock, and we’ve now heard that the studio want him back for their in-development reboot. And he’d be playing the same role.
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You see, Retaliation was already a soft reboot for the original movie, but the proposed third installment is set to wipe the slate clean again, with Paramount seemingly desperate to establish G.I. Joe as a valuable brand, with a Snake Eyes spinoff already in the can and set for release in October. However, Johnson proved to be such a hit as Roadblock with both fans and studio execs that sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us Transformers was being rebooted and that Now You See Me 3 is in development, both of which were correct – say that they’re looking to have him reprise the role, albeit without directly referring to any of the previous events that have unfolded onscreen. So he’d be playing a totally different version of the character, kind of like what Ryan Reynolds did with Deadpool
So far, the two G.I. Joe movies have made a little over $675 million globally against combined production costs of $300 million, making the profit margins relatively slim for a property that Paramount seem keen to just keep rebooting over and over until they finally get it right. But if they convince Johnson to sign on, then their chances of box office success will no doubt significantly increase.