Universal & Dwayne Johnson to produce Scorpion King reboot
It’s been 19 years since audiences saw Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson step into the role of Mathayus for his acting debut in The Mummy Returns, followed by getting his first starring role in 2002’s spin-off The Scorpion King, and now he and Universal Pictures are partnering together to produce a reboot of the latter franchise, according to Deadline.
Originally created by The Mummy writer/director Stephen Sommers, the 2002 film centered on Johnson’s Mathayus 5,000 years before the events of the first Brendan Fraser-starring action horror adventure as the desert warrior rises up against the evil army destroying his homeland and eventually becoming the legendary Scorpion King, giving the character a more heroic portrayal after his villainous debut in The Mummy Returns.
The new film, whose plot details are currently being kept close to the chest by those involved, will be written by Oscar nominee Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) and will be produced by Johnson and Dany Garcia via their Seven Bucks Productions banner alongside Seven Bucks’ Hiram Garcia, while Universal’s Senior VP of Production Jay Polidoro and Creative Executive Tony Ducret will oversee the project for the studio.
“The original Scorpion King was a crucial catalyst helping to catapult us into the world of film,” Garcia said in a statement. “To be able to now produce the next iteration as part of our Seven Bucks Productions slate is a special, full circle moment, a testament to what we have been fortunate enough to build for our audience and ultimately a humble reminder of the timeless value of authentic storytelling.”
Sources report that with the Hobbs & Shaw star booked through 2022, the studio is eyeing a new star for the titular hero as well as a director, however with the project being close to Johnson’s heart, there’s still a chance of him making an appearance in the film in some capacity.
“The Scorpion King was my very first role ever on the silver screen and I’m honored and excited to reimagine and deliver this cool mythology to a whole new generation,” Johnson said in a statement. “I wouldn’t have had the career I’m lucky enough to have had it not been for The Scorpion King and I’m thrilled that we at Seven Bucks Productions can help create those same opportunities for other hard working actors today. I believe Jonathan Herman will put in the hard work to deliver a fantastic script for our global audience.”
After the film proved to be a box office smash for the studio, plans began for a Scorpion King sequel with Johnson returning, but due to multiple delays in getting it off the ground, Johnson eventually departed the role and was replaced by Michael Copon in the direct-to-video prequel The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. Copon would also be replaced for the third and fourth direct-to-video installments by Victor Webster, with Zach McGowan taking over the role for 2018’s Book of Souls.