In 2002, Dwayne Johnson starred in a spinoff of The Mummy franchise, the action-adventure movie The Scorpion King where he played the hunter-assassin Mathayus. The movie went on to be a big hit and signaled Johnson's arrival as an action star. Kelly Hu, who starred opposite Johnson in the film as the sorceress Cassandra, recently told CBR it was evident even all the way back then that there was something special about Johnson that would make him the next Hollywood action icon.
"Dwayne was so much fun to work with! Talk about an evolution! The Scorpion King was his first film, he did a small little bit in The Mummy [Returns] to introduce the Scorpion King, but The Scorpion King was really his first film. And I remember telling him he was going to be the next big action star because there was really a void: Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn't really working anymore, Sylvester Stallone wasn't really doing movies anymore. There was this sort of void in the action hero world, nobody was really playing that and just being around Dwayne -- I wasn't really a fan of wrestling -- I just didn't realize the superstar he was in that world and how big that was. I just knew he was going to be huge because I could see how people reacted to him. Everybody loved him: Little kids, grandmothers, guys, girls, everybody loved him!"
At the time of The Scorpion King's release, audiences still mostly knew Johnson as The Rock from WWE, and many were skeptical of his ability to make the jump to the big screen. With The Scorpion King, Johnson put such speculations to rest, displaying a fine sense of comic timing rarely seen in action stars, while his giant physique and wrestling skills made the action sequences believable as well as exciting.
Many sequels were made to The Scorpion King, but Jonhson did not return to the franchise, and without his commanding presence to bolster the narrative, the series floundered at the box office. Now, Johnson has announced that he will be behind The Scorpion King Reboot
The actor will not star as the movie's lead this time around, but The Rock will produce the film alongside Dany Garcia's Seven Bucks Productions company. While Hu is not officially attached to the project, she stated it would be an honor to team up with Johnson again if he wanted to include her in the new film.
"He has this charisma that everybody wants to be a part of his world. Being able to work with him again at this stage he's at now, when he's one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, would be such an honor and be so fun to be able to get back in there and see how much he's evolved."
Directed by Chuck Russell and written by David Hayter, William Osborne, and Stephen Sommers, The Scorpion King stars Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Hu, Michael Clarke Duncan, Bernard Hill, Grant Heslov, and Steve Brand. The film is currently available to stream on Prime Video and Peacock. This news originated at ComicBookResources.com.