It’s probably pretty safe to say that everybody loves a good origin story, whether fictional or not. From feature films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Batman Begins, and the upcoming Black Widow, to TV shows like the fictional Young Sheldon and the 90s-set autobiographical Fresh Off the Boat, we’re all 100% here for it.
Origin stories like these help us better understand the characters we’ve come to know and love and especially in the case of autobiographical shows, they help us see these people on a more personal, relatable level. And seriously, who doesn’t love that?
So heads up: we’re getting another origin story series for one of the most recognizable faces (and voices) in Hollywood today: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!
Back in January 2020, NBC gave a straight to series order for a show titled Young Rock, a sitcom inspired by Johnson’s life. The series premieres on Tuesday, February 16th!
Who’s in charge?
Dwayne Johnson himself is behind the project as executive producer under his Seven Bucks Productions company. Joining him as executive producers and the pilot’s co-writers are Jeff Chiang and Nahnatchka Khan (Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23, Fresh Off the Boat).
Other executive producers under the Seven Bucks banner are Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, and Brian Gewirtz, while Jennifer Carreras will executive produce under Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions.
Apart from Seven Bucks and Fierce Baby, Universal Studios will also be backing production as Khan is under an overall deal with them.
What’s Young Rock about?
As a show based on Johnson’s life, Young Rock will tell the story of the former pro wrestler’s formative years from his childhood up to his time in the wrestling world.
As well as will include a storyline set in the future, in 2032 to be exact, where Johnson will be running for president and therefore telling his story to a reporter covering his presidential run.
Here’s a description from The Rock himself when asked what the show would be about:
“I’ve told many many stories, many of them unbelievable, but all of them true. You’ll find Young Rock wreaking havoc in the streets of Hawaii, getting arrested doing a lot of things I shouldn’t do. We were evicted off the island and moved, to all places, Nashville, Tennessee. Imagine me being in downtown Nashville, listening to country music at 15 years old, buying my first car from a crackhead for $70. We go into my high school years as Young Rock, and my role as a University of Miami football star, until I got beaten out of my position by a young man named Warren Sapp, who went on to become one of the greatest defensive tackles of all time.”
Who will be in this new show?
Johnson is slated to appear in every episode and in his Instagram account, made official casting announcements on who would be playing his younger selves.
Adrian Groulx (The Christmas Cure) will play him as the headstrong 10-year-old that he was. Bradley Constant (Following Phil) will play 15-year-old The Rock as a teenager trying to fit in. And Uli Latukefu (Marco Polo) will play the young adult about to play football on a scholarship at the University of Miami.
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#YOUNGROCK Coming in hot and lowering the University of MIAMI BOOM 🏈💥 is @ulilatukefu! Playing at THE U – these years were some of my most defining. The highs are incredible, but the lows were critical. 275lbs of upper body violence, attitude and clearly eating too much pizza. #NationalChampions #TheU #YOUNGROCK @sevenbucksprod @NBC
Other cast members include Stacey Leilua as Ata Johnson aka Mama Rock, Joseph Lee Anderson as Johnson’s dad Rocky “Soulman” Johnson, and Ana Tuisila as his grandmother Lia Maivia.
And most recently Taj Cross joined the cast as 15-year-old Dwayne’s best friend Gabe. Randall Park will star as a version of himself, now a reporter, who will be covering The Rock’s run for president in the future timeline of Young Rock. And Rosario Dawson will recur as General Monica Jackson whose influence will be key to the success of Johnson’s presidential campaign.
Make sure to catch Young Rock on NBC when it premieres on Tuesday, February 16th!