As Universal Cuts Off Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Disney Announces New Partnership with the Former Wrestler-Turned-Actor

Amid recent news that Universal Studios Group canceled its contract with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Disney’s doing the opposite by rolling out the welcome mat for the former pro-wrestler-turned-Hollywood superstar, beginning November 1.

dwayne johnson and disney sign in neon

Credit: Disney/Canva

Dwayne Johnson hung up his gold belt and walked away from the ring to pursue his acting career after his first successful role alongside actor Brendan Fraser in The Mummy Returns (2001), in which he played the Scorpion King. Shortly after the film’s release, Johnson set about the work of filming his second film in The Mummy franchise, a spinoff titled The Scorpion King (2002).

The WWE World Champion had found his place in front of the camera, among the glitz and glam of Hollywood, and it’s been one success after another for Dwayne Johnson. In 2022, Johnson was among the highest-paid actors in all of Tinseltown.

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The former wrestler’s contributions at Disney are undeniable. His resume boasts several roles in films from Walt Disney Pictures, including Game Plan (2007), Race to Witch Mountain (2009), Tooth Fairy (2010), Moana (2016), and Jungle Cruise (2021). A sequel to Jungle Cruise is on the books, and a live-action remake of Moana is in production as well at Disney, with Dwayne Johnson serving in two roles–as Maui the demigod and as executive producer.

Disney Plus movies list includes The Rock's classic dud, 'Tooth Fairy'

Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s “Tooth Fairy” (2010)/Credit: Disney

In fact, Johnson’s role as producer keeps the former wrestler extremely busy.

Dwayne Johnson and now ex-wife Dany Garcia founded Seven Bucks Productions in 2012. The name reportedly comes from a time in Johnson’s life–shortly before he signed with the WWE–when the actor was at his lowest. By his own account, which he gives in My Seven Bucks Story, Johnson says the name of his production house comes from a difficult time in his life. His dream was to be an NFL player, but injuries he sustained as a senior at the University of Miami kept him from trying out, and the rest, as they say, is history:

Johnson accepted a contract to play for a Canadian football team—on the practice squad. He was cut. Johnson couldn’t afford a cab to the airport, so he asked a friend for a ride. His dad picked him up when he arrived in Miami. On the road home to his parents’ apartment in Tampa, Johnson looked at his wallet and realized he had only $7 to his name: a $5, a $1, and some change which he “rounded up to seven.”

Seven Bucks - The Hit House

Credit: Seven Bucks Productions

Johnson later named his company Seven Bucks Productions as a reminder to push forward and find inner strength when all seems lost.

Seven Bucks Productions is the production house behind several successful films, including Disney’s Jungle Cruise, films in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Disney’s animated Moana, Jumanji, and dozens more. Seven Bucks is also part of the Behind the Attraction docuseries on Disney+.

Behind the Attraction by Brian Volk-Weiss for Disney+ is produced by Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions and Volk-Weiss’s The Nacelle Company. The first five episodes of Season One were released on July 21, 2021, and five more episodes went live on the platform on August 25, 2021.

Disney+: “Behind the Attraction”

Credit: Disney+

The series, narrated by actress Paget Brewster, takes an in-depth look at some of the most iconic and innovative attractions at Disney Parks around the world, and each episode is chock full of details, tidbits, and information about each attraction in the spotlight–and some of those tidbits are news, even to the most avid parks fans.

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“Behind the Attraction/”Credit: Disney+

This week, Disney announced that it has partnered with Dwayne Johnson and Seven Bucks Productions yet again to bring a second season of Behind the Attraction to the Disney+ catalog. The new season will feature episodes that highlight the magic and the mechanics behind Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Indiana Jones Adventure experience, among others.

All six episodes of Season Two of Behind the Attraction will be available to stream beginning November 1, 2023, only on Disney+.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!