Variety is reporting that Dwayne Johnson has signed on to star in “Not Without Hope,” based on the best-selling memoir by Nick Schuyler. The story tells the true story of college football player Schuyler, his best friend, and two NFL players. The four men were on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico when tragedy struck, capsizing the boat. The story is ultimately one of survival, as the four men were left clinging to the boat for days.
This won’t be Johnson’s first foray into more dramatic fair, having all ready established himself as a bankable star in the action genre. He’s dabbled in more dramatic roles before in films such as “Southland Tales,” “Gridiron Gang,” and this year’s “Snitch.” In this one, he’ll play Schuyler himself.
In the announcement, Rob Brenner, president of production for Relativity Media, said:
â€œNick Schuylerâ€™s book is extremely moving, and Relativity is proud to work with the Rock, Nick and the entire team on creating a movie that honors this powerful story.”
It should be noted that there is some controversy surrounding the book, as the father of Marquis Cooper- who perished in the days following the boat flipping over- has publicly blasted Schuyler’s account of what happened. Johnson should be familiar with this sort of controversy, considering the backlash from the real-life families of certain people depicted in “Pain & Gain”- who felt that the film vilified their loved ones while glorifying the work of common criminals.
In another bit of Johnson-related news, it was announced yesterday that rival Hercules production, “Hercules: The Legend Begins,” would be released on February 7th. Johnson’s own, “Hercules: The Thracian Wars,” won’t come out until July 25. This can be go one of two ways: The Kellan Lutz-starring production may steal Johnson’s thunder, or- if it tanks- there will be now be a nice 5 month gap between the two so that audiences will have forgotten about it. Based on the trailer for “Legend Begins” that was a released a few weeks ago, I’m tempted to go with the latter option.
Either way, this is an extremely busy time in the career of the 41 year old former WWE Superstar. Johnson is currently filming “Fast & Furious 7.”