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It’s Time to Make Your Own Dwayne Johnson Movie

The Rock can carry a blockbuster no matter what it’s about—just look at ‘Skyscraper’—so why not throw a few movie pitches out there?

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

On Friday, Dwayne Johnson will return to theaters to go to war with a [checks notes] … very tall building? Sure, there are other human characters in Skyscraper, but the film’s marketing material has made it more than clear that it is a story about one man’s battle against an inanimate structure:

This is where we are in the arc of Johnson’s career. The man is so invincible and bankable that it barely matters what the actual plot of the movie is. Just get the Rock and his giant muscles, beaming smile, and unexpected wit onto the screen and you’re going to make money at the box office. With that rather freeing notion in mind, we asked staffers at The Ringer to submit their best pitches for a new Dwayne Johnson–led blockbuster. The only stipulations were that there was a limited-but-fair budget and a few moviemaking factors that must be included.

Below are the budgetary rules, followed by The Ringer’s best attempts at writing the next Dwayne Johnson hit.

Budget: $40

Premise (Must Pick One)

$10: Based on preexisting IP
$7: Based on sports
$5: Based on well-established action movie tropes, though only implicitly, as to avoid lawsuits
$1: Based on an inanimate object

Setting (Must Pick One)

$10: Somewhere tropical
$8: Asia (to score big at the international box office)
$5: A major European city
$3: One of the cities Amazon is considering for HQ2
$1: New York or Los Angeles

The Rock’s Character’s Occupation (Must Pick One)

$15: President of the United States
$10: Law enforcement
$10: Professional wrestler
$8: Military
$7: Blue-collar profession
$5: White-collar profession
$3: Any job Mike Rowe did on the TV series Dirty Jobs

Costar (Pick As Many As You Want)

$15: Jason Statham
$10: Anyone else from The Expendables or Fast & Furious
$7: Glen Powell, who’s so hot right now
$6: An Academy Award–winning actor
$5: A comedian
$3: A woman who don’t take no crap from nobody
$1: An animal

Miscellany (Pick As Many As You Want)

$10: The Rock does an accent
$5: The Rock’s character, inexplicably, has a daughter
$5: Natural disaster occurs
$3: The Rock wears a fat suit at some point
$2: Random supernatural elements

Blood Brothers

Ben Lindbergh: I briefly considered pitching a Rock vehicle called The Rock, in which the Rock has to save Earth from an oncoming planet-killer, presumably by administering a People’s Elbow to the asteroid in space. Armageddon is old, after all.

After further consideration, though, the only adversary and costar worthy of the Rock is the Rock himself. Thus, the Rock’s next project will pit his protagonist—an elite military man committed to truth, justice, and preserving peace—against his greatest foe: A long-lost twin who was separated from him at birth and subsequently underwent the worst heel turn imaginable by becoming a charismatic warlord dedicated to destabilizing the globe (and refining an exaggerated, sinister accent). The good twin has to take down the darkest-timeline twin in a Superman-Doomsday-style struggle, because no one else can quell the threat. In the process, the Good Rock wrestles with whether there’s inherent evil inside of him that might have been expressed had he been the one who was raised wrong. Presumably, lots of stuff will explode, and the only thing more massive than the set pieces will be the Rock’s salary.

We can call it Blood Brothers.

Premise: Based on well-established action movie tropes, though only implicitly, as to avoid lawsuits ($5)
Setting: Somewhere tropical ($10)
Character Occupation: Military ($8)
Costars: None—it doesn’t matter who the Rock’s costars are; the Rock can carry this solo.
Miscellany: The Rock does an accent ($10) and a natural disaster occurs ($5)
Total: $38


Andrew Gruttadaro: For his next movie, Dwayne Johnson takes a break from all the stunts and explosions and goes straight for laughs (and Will Ferrell’s wallet) with Ladybugs, which, yes, is a remake of the 1992 Rodney Dangerfield film Ladybugs. Other than taking place in Pittsburgh instead of Denver, the plot of the remake is pretty much the same: The Rock coaches a girls’ youth soccer team and, with a promotion on the line—because in life, all promotions are based on the performance of company-sponsored youth sports teams—he convinces his girlfriend’s (played by a very game Julianne Moore) son to dress up as a girl and lead the team to victory. This movie has everything—sports, questionable ethics, Glen Powell as the suspicious coach of an opposing team, characters who learn that you shouldn’t force kids to cross-dress, Helen Mirren as the Rock’s boss—and also, Johnson has already proved his ability to play a soccer coach:

The new Ladybugs will make $100 million in its first weekend, guaranteed.

Premise: Based on preexisting IP ($10)
Setting: One of the cities Amazon is considering for HQ2 ($3)
Character Occupation: Businessman ($5)
Costars: Julianne Moore ($3), Glen Powell ($7), Helen Mirren ($6)
Miscellany: The Rock’s character, inexplicably, has a daughter ($5)
Total: $39

Richard B. Riddick

Miles Surrey: Naturally, the next step in the acrimonious, Instagram-fueled feud between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson—who’s quickly beginning to transform into a one-man Hollywood content farm—is for Johnson to become a rebooted version of Diesel’s barely coherent mercenary from the Riddick movies. Throw Johnson’s Riddick on a new alien planet that was very clearly shot on location in Oregon, give him a wacky alien sidekick (voiced, obviously, by Kevin Hart), and soon we’ll all be smelling what the Rock is cooking on his way to another huge box-office hit. As for the Diesel-Johnson feud, this will be its “Story of Adidon.”

Premise: Based on preexisting IP ($10)
Setting: A tropical … alien planet ($10)
Character Occupation: A mercenary ($8)
Costar: Kevin Hart ($5)
Miscellany: None, unless you count imitating Vin Diesel’s mumble-growl as “doing an accent,” in which case we’re over budget and need to ask the studio for a little more cash
Total: $33

SpongeBob and the LobMob

Danny Heifetz: There is no role the Rock can’t play, so why not do two roles? In SpongeBob and the LobMob, the Rock plays both Patrick Star and the rock Patrick lives under. The movie tells the tale of Patrick and his best friend, SpongeBob (Eddie Redmayne), who get into serious trouble with the Lobster Mafia when Mr. Krabs (Danny DeVito) frames them for his unpaid debts. SpongeBob and Patrick scour Bikini Bottom to exonerate themselves; the Rock flexes in a brawl with Orcas at the Salty Spitoon, takes down an Alaskan Bull Worm single-handedly, and shows his compassionate side by advising in SpongeBob’s love affair with Sandy (Sandra Bullock).

Premise: Based on preexisting IP ($10)
Setting: Somewhere tropical ($10)
Character Occupation: Fry cook ($7)
Costars: Eddie Redmayne ($6), Danny DeVito (free, somehow), and Sandra Bullock ($3)
Total: $36

Summer in Dallas

Michael Baumann: Summer in Dallas tells the tale of Ryan “Rhino” Ingram (Johnson), a midlevel functionary for a multinational software company who’s bored with his job and travels so much he barely sees his (inexplicable) teenage daughter (Angourie Rice, The Nice Guys). When his programmer buddy (Glen Powell, who’s so hot right now) discovers not only an illegal insider trading scheme among company executives, but a weakness in cybersecurity, Rhino puts together a crew with the goal of stealing $650 million from the crooked billionaires: smooth-talking grifter Alice (Shohreh Aghdashloo), boozy fence Sam (Russell Crowe), and ass-kicking motormouth Dash (Emily Blunt). Part Office Space, part The Italian Job, Summer in Dallas is an instant classic action-comedy with something for everyone.

Premise: Based on well-established action movie tropes, though only implicitly, as to avoid lawsuits ($5)
Setting: One of the cities Amazon is considering for HQ2 ($3)
Character Occupation: Software firm accountant ($5)
Costars: Glen Powell ($7), Russell Crowe ($6), Angourie Rice ($3), Shohreh Aghdashloo ($3), Emily Blunt ($3)
Miscellany: The Rock’s character, inexplicably, has a daughter ($5)
Total: $40