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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Jake Kasdan teaming up again for Netflix's folklore-inspired John Henry and the Statesmen

Contributed by
Oct 9, 2018

After the success of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is once again teaming up with director Jake Kasdan for the just-announced John Henry and the Statesmen.

What started out as a pitch from The Lego Ninjago Movie writer Tom Wheeler led to something of a bidding war for the project, which Netflix ultimately won.

Now, according to The Wrap, Johnson is set to star in the film as the eponymous John Henry, the legendary steel-driving man and a cornerstone of modern American mythology. Johnson will also be headlining an ensemble cast who will play some of folklore's most popular figures.

"These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race or geography," Johnson said in a statement. He then took to Twitter to call John Henry a "childhood hero," and teased that his character will be leading a "disruptive band of fellow folklore legends from around the world."

Details are still scarce at this stage, but John Henry and the Statesmen sounds like it could go the Once Upon a Time route, just swapping out fairy tales for folklore (though there's a lot of overlap there). Given that the project is looking at folklore from around the globe, it has near-limitless options as far as possible characters — and the tall tales they're known for.

Johnson, meanwhile, currently has the Midas touch when it comes to his box-office endeavors, and he and Kasdan proved they can work movie magic with their continuation of the Jumanji story, which became one of the surprise hits of 2017. Netflix is clearly banking on this success carrying over to their streaming platform.

We'll have to wait and see which characters from folklore will be showing up alongside John Henry. Is there anyone that you're hoping makes an appearance? Let us know in the comments.


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