The WWE and Warner Bros. announced a partnership where a new “Scooby-Doo” movie would allow the popular cartoon characters to meet the wrestlers from the world’s biggest wrestling promotion in a feature-length movie. A number of real professional wrestlers from the WWE signed on to lend their voices to the film, including John Cena, Triple H and Vince McMahon.
Professional wrestling and movies have always walked hand-in-hand, whether it is the over-the-top Hulk Hogan movies or the more action packed John Cena efforts. However, one man has risen above the rest to become a real Hollywood movie star. That man is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and he has thoroughly reinvented himself from a standard wrestler into one of the most marketable actors on the planet.
Like most wrestlers, Johnson’s movie career started with the WWE’s backing as a way to promote their brand and one of their biggest stars. He picked up a key role before the WWE jumped in, starting in “The Scorpion King,” the spinoff from “The Mummy” franchise. However, after that, the WWE saw a chance to make money.
With the WWE’s help, the man known as The Rock appeared in typical action movies, the bread-and-butter of WWE’s filmed efforts. However, after he proved to be a charismatic action hero in “The Rundown” and “Walking Tall,” he heard Hollywood calling and set off to make it on his own, breaking away from the WWE.
Setting Out on His Own
The Rock picked up the lead role in videogame adaptation “Doom” but found his biggest success in sports movies. He starred in inspirational sports movie, “Gridiron Gang,” and comedies “The Game Plan” and “Tooth Fairy.” By this time, he changed his name back to Dwayne Johnson and became a massive star, far from the confines of the wrestling ring.
He also set out to make more family movies, including the remake of “Race to Witch Mountain” and the animated movie, “Planet 51.” However, his old fans missed his signature action roles, and his momentum in Hollywood started to slow down. Finally, in 2010, he made the return to action movies with “Faster” and his career took off again.
The Game Changer
Since that movie, Johnson has become almost like a battery recharger for movies in need of a jump. He joined the fifth installment of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise and helped it become the most successful of the series. He appeared in the sequel to “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and next appears in the sequel to “G.I. Joe.” He also stars in Michael Bay’s next film, “Pain & Gain.”
The Rock occasionally makes a return to the WWE for his fan’s delight, but he has totally reinvented himself as a movie star. These days, the WWE needs him more than he ever needed them.