Between his supporting performances in the Fast & Furious franchise and a streak of starring roles including San Andreas, Central Intelligence, Moana, and more, Dwayne Johnson has become the world’s biggest – both in physical size and in popularity – movie star seemingly overnight. Now, he’s spearheading an adaptation of the popular 1980s arcade game, Rampage, reuniting with director Brad Peyton for the third time and tackling a producer role in addition to starring in the film.
The Rock’s fans probably know that he’s a pretty active Instagram user, documenting just about everything he does and never skimping on the captions, either. This past year, alone, has made Johnson’s Instagram page a hotbed for Fate of the Furious-related drama, including a reported on-set beef with co-star Vin Diesel. However, the page has also given fans an interesting insight into the way Johnson approaches the films he makes, and his producing gig on Rampage has resulted in a ton of behind-the-scenes material. Recently, he made a post about some decisions he and the film’s creative team were going to make in regards to the film, including a twist on the game’s original premise.
“I head up an anti poaching unit out of Rwanda. My best friend is a rare albino gorilla named, George. Very bad people infect George, an alligator and a wolf with a serum. All three animals grow at an unprecedented rate. Their size, speed, agility and violent aggression is off the charts. They go on a deadly rampage and want to destroy the world. George not happy. Me not happy. When animals like you, they lick you. When they don’t like you, they kill you. I will hunt down the bad people who did this to my best friend. And when I find them, I will not lick them.
“We have the best VFX monster making team (WETA) on the planet. Our actors and crew have been working very hard to raise the monster genre bar. As always, let’s have some fun. Let’s shoot.”
Short, sweet, and to the point. A lot of people are hating on the decision to make one of the three monsters a hero instead of a villain, and also for making the original forms of these monsters animals instead of humans, as in the original game. In response to that, we should all consider the idea that Johnson is using the film to make a statement on animal rights, the cruel and inhumane testing that happens to these poor animals, and the idea that, given the right circumstances, they may or may not one day have an opportunity to fight back. In that sense, the film seems to already have more in common with the new Planet of the Apes series, and that’s not at all a bad thing.
Johnson took to Instagram again for another post about Rampage, which began shooting recently.
At the end of the day, giant CGI animals will be fighting other giant CGI animals. The Rock is going to be greased up and ready to punch a genetically-enhanced reptile beast, and we’re all going to get our money’s worth. And hey, if we learn a little something about the environment along the way, would that honestly be the worst thing in the world? From what we know right now, Rampage is already gearing up to be one of 2018’s funnest films. If it’s anything more than that, chalk it up to a win.
An official synopsis for the film:
Primatologist Davis Okoye (Johnson), a man who keeps people at a distance, shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, silverback gorilla who has been in his care since birth. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry transforms this gentle ape into a raging monster. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered alpha predators. As these newly created monsters tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with a discredited genetic engineer to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.
Check out these other set photos, courtesy of Johnson’s Instagram page.
Rampaging nights with my partners in crime, Naomie Harris and Jeffery Dean Morgan. The animal loving anti-poacher Ranger from Rwanda, the groundbreaking geneticist from CRISPR and the cowboy himself from the OGA – the "other" government agency. Three gigantic mutated monsters (silverback, crocodile and grey wolf) rampaging across the country. Party in hell. We'll see you there. #OnSet #Rampage 4-20-2018
Dwayne posted a little peek at some work we've been doing on set of Rampage! #Repost @therock (@get_repost) ・・・ When my bestie, George (an extremely rare Albino silverback) gets hangry. Hungry + angry. Blown away by this technology. Makin' a cool movie for you guys here on set of #Rampage. When George (and a crocodile and grey wolf) are infected they grow at a rapid rate to gigantic proportions rampaging across the country. In this scene our Oscar winning Weta Digital (Lord of the Rings, Avatar etc) is using their ground breaking "performance capture" to bring "George" the Silverback to life. It uses over 30 special cameras to "see" the performance of my co-actor @tallie7487 allowing the digital artists to make the most realistic and badass animations possible. He's wearing a "facial capture helmet" and we can record every muscle movement and expression and emotion of George as goes on a rampage. Jason studied gorillas for months preparing for this performance capture role – facial expressions, sounds, habits and emotions. Spectacular performance. What a learning curve for me and such a pleasure to help produce these amazing artists who come to set daily to be game changers. More to come. Amazing technology. #WETADigital #Hydraulx #Rampage #MyHangryBestFriend
Rampage hits theaters on April 20th, 2018!
Images: New Line, Midway, Activision, Universal
Source: Bloody Disgusting