Action star Dwayne Johnson was in Las Vegas yesterday for the CinemaCon convention, where he debuted the first trailer for his upcoming summer adventure Hercules. The actor also spoke with the press about several upcoming projects, including the 3D disaster movie San Andreas and next year's Fast & Furious 7.
But first, the action star threw more fuel on the speculative fire about playing a mystery DC Comics character, which could be either Lobo or a new Green Lantern. When asked about the swirling rumors, the actor revealed he has been in talks with DC for years about starring in a superhero movie.
"Okay, well since you asked. We're all friends. So, you know, there's been mutual interest with myself and DC for many years to find the right character. I, like everyone here in the room, love superheroes. So there's been mutual interest with us for years, and we've been having ongoing discussions, myself and DC, for years about the right character, what the right character would be. That's another thing, too: it had to be right."
What character could that be? Is it Lobo or Green Lantern? While he wouldn't give a concrete answer, the actor did list three qualities that he is looking for in deciding which DC character to portray, revealing that this mystery character has never been shown on the silver screen before.
"Well, here's the thing - so we've been having these ongoing discussions. I won't tell you who it is, but I'll tell you the three qualities we're looking for, okay? This is going to be fun! Here are three qualities. The first quality we were looking for was that he had to be extremely complex and have a lot going on. What that does for me as an actor and the studio is it gives us space that we can explore; his complexities. The other quality was that he had to - the character we were looking for had to be well-known but never brought to life. Then what that does again as an actor, it gives me a little bit of space, and we talked about personality. It just gives me a chance to put an imprint into his personality, with the set of tools that I could bring to the table and put a very unique twist on his personality, but still pay homage to who he is. The third thing - and most important - is he had to be a badass motherfucker, okay, and on a Superman level of power, where he could throw down. In those three qualities, I'm happy we've found that character. Right now, we're out to a lot of writers."
The actor says it's possible that they may announce this secretive role during Comic-Con this July, and that it's possible he may show up in another DC franchise as well.
The actor's next project is the 3D disaster epic San Andreas, which reunites him with Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director Brad Peyton. He spoke about his first reactions to the script, and the research he did regarding fault lines, while he was in Budapest shooting Hercules.
"Yeah, so I read the script when I was in Budapest, and I loved the script and the idea of being in a disaster movie that felt very real and very grounded, based of course on the San Andreas fault. I did a lot of research on the fault and sat down with geologists over in Budapest. We had a great meeting. So it felt very real and very grounded. The script came in - by the Hayes Brothers, who wrote The Conjuring, and we're working on some other stuff together. They delivered a great script. Brad Peyton came in and flew to Budapest. We had a couple of directors fly out, but he came in - not only because of the relationship I'd had with Brad from a movie that we did three or four years ago, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - but he came in and had an awesome take. Just visually and stylistically, I think what Brad's going to be able to do with an earthquake movie in 3D - first 3D earthquake disaster movie ever filmed - and the opportunity of playing a first responder in the LA fire department was exciting. So the tone is very serious, and I'm going to save my daughter. We reveal some other things along the way that have happened. Again, it's interesting. Thematically, for me, the family, loss, going to take care of it."
He also revealed that production will begin in Australia in two weeks.
"Yeah, we're going to start filming in Australia. In about two weeks I leave. Then I'll come back. We'll wrap that, so all my stuff will be shot - the first half of the schedule. Then I'll come back, and I'll see you guys again for the full-on promotion."
"Well, as best you can. You know, we've all dealt with that kind of loss before, where it jolts us and it jolts our hearts. I think it also has a way of informing us. Loss like that also has a way of making us love better, love stronger, appreciate our loved ones and our family that much more, when we wake up and when we go to bed. How families deal with loss, everyone has their own process. The biggest pain I felt was for his family, his daughter. You know, we had talked about that a multitude of times, how cool it is to be a dad; there's that really special bond between a dad and his little girl. She'll always be his little girl. We talked a lot about that. So my biggest pain was for his family and for his daughter, mom and dad. But as far as for the movie family that he had, it just takes time. You just need space, and space was created. The studio took a moment, took a beat, created a lot of space too. You know, you move forward one day at a time with it. As a family, they move forward one day at a time and get through it. Then I think the movie family and the studio and the movie itself, they move forward one day at a time too, and as respectfully as you can."
When asked how important it is to honor the late actor with this movie, Dwayne Johnson had this to say.
"It's very important for everybody involved, of course. It's not easy, and it's a challenge when you have something like this - a beloved person. Paul, as you guys know, he was truly one of the good guys - a great dude, who didn't take himself seriously, loved what he did, understood the business of the business. You got the real-deal, genuine guy when you got him. So it's important for everybody to creatively honor him in the best way that we possibly can."