As if continuing to add insult to injury, actor Dwayne Johnson has reportedly been cut from even more film projects in the wake of a $3 billion lawsuit filing that names the former WWE star as a conspirator and an accomplice in a wild kidnapping scheme involving another former wrestler.
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Over the last several weeks, the name of former WWE star and highly sought-after actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has populated the headlines put forth by media outlets across the internet. In and of itself, a surge of news coverage about one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. (Pun intended.)
Johnson officially hung up his wrestling belt in 2019, but his acting career began long before that, with the first look of Johnson as the Scorpion King hit theaters in 2001 when he appeared alongside actor Brendan Frasier in The Mummy Returns. Soon after, he starred in the next installment of the franchise, The Scorpion King, and has continued to play roles in some of Hollywood’s most lucrative films and franchises since then, including the role of Luke Hobbs in The Fast and the Furious franchise and the role of Black Adam in the film by the same name. His career also includes roles in many movies for Disney, including Race to Witch Mountain (2007), The Game Plan (2009), Moana (2016), and The Jungle Cruise (2021). He is now one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors and just recently made the announcement that he’s working on a new film project for Disney with actress Auli Cravalho–a live-action rendition of Disney’s Moana.
But fansite Distractify says not so fast.
A report at Essentially Sports published on May 2, 2023, suggested that–despite earlier talk about a potential Dwayne Johnson-Captain Jack Sparrow reboot inside the Pirates of the Caribbean film series–Disney is no longer considering Johnson as a viable option following its divorce with actor Johnny Depp, citing Johnson’s involvement in a highly-publicized $3 billion lawsuit that alleges that Johnson conspired to kidnap a former pro-wrestler and her children.
This week, an online post published at Distractify claims that Johnson’s rough patch–which began in late 2022–has only gotten, well, rougher:
“Following the release of the tepidly reviewed “Black Adam” at the end of 2022, details began to emerge concerning the behind-the-scenes drama that The Rock reportedly incited throughout various DCEU film productions. Several reports stated that Johnson allegedly leaked false financial information to the press that suggested that “Black Adam” was more successful than it actually was. While the film wasn’t necessarily a box-office failure, Johnson’s leaks reportedly glossed over [the film’s] status as a financial loss for Warner Bros.”
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“His alleged celebrity meddling didn’t stop there. In March 2023, fellow DCEU star Zachary Levi seemingly confirmed rumors that The Rock had blocked any characters from “Black Adam” from making cameos in “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.” This was widely criticized as a vainglorious attempt by the actor to restructure the DCEU around Black Adam.”
Per the report, while Johnson was already at odds with Warner Bros., his “drama with Disney” began surfacing, referring to Disney’s apparent decision not to move forward any further with the idea of the former WWE star trading his gold belt for a swashbuckling crew and the Black Pearl, as the famed actor began “falling from grace.” But according to Distractify, it isn’t only Johnson’s future as the captain of the Black Pearl that’s on the chopping block at the House of Mouse.
According to the report, Johnson has been removed from the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated feature Moana, which he was to co-direct alongside Auli Cravahlo, who lent her voice to the young Moana in the film. The reason? Once again, the surfacing legal debacle brought on by a former wrestler who accuses Johnson–along with a laundry list of other defendants–of conspiring to kidnap–and then carry out the kidnapping of–her and her children.
Never mind that the plaintiff, former wrestler Trenesha Biggers, who goes by the ring name “Rhaka Khan,” is herself the proud owner of a bench warrant for her arrest in Texas after she allegedly defied the statutes of a child custody order. Also, pay no attention to the fact that the plaintiff names scores of defendants who allegedly participated in the kidnappings, including Home Depot, model Naomi Campbell, rapper Eminem, the City of Las Cruces, New Mexico, the FBI, the State of Texas . . . the list literally seems to have no end.
Why Rhaka Khan was given the green light in the suit in March 2022 by a judge, we’ll never know for sure. But if the former wrestler’s intentions were to sully the name of Dwayne Johnson, we’ll give her an “A” for effort, though it seems quite unfair to Dwayne Johnson and his family, should Khan’s allegations prove to be nothing more than a publicity stunt . . . or worse.
While Disney has yet to confirm its removal of Dwayne Johnson from the live-action Moana project, it’s safe to say that the former ring fighter’s name will continue to be read in headlines for the foreseeable future. Here’s hoping it’s for more positive reasons than negative ones.