Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will have the story of his younger years told in NBC's upcoming biographical series Young Rock. The news was announced by the network at NBC's Television Critics Association presentation, confirming Johnson will star in the series in addition to executive producing alongside Fresh Off the Boat creators Nanatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang. NBC has already given the project a straight-to-series order, noting the show will "follow the school years of Dwayne Johnson and even his early wrestling career."
Though the series primarily will follow the younger version of Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler turned actor also promises he'll still be featured in every episode. "We have found a really fun [and] just creative way to weave me into the show into every episode in a pretty cool way," Johnson says of his on-camera involvement. Of course, while Johnson is still in incredible shape physically, he hardly resembles his younger self at this stage of his life. This means a younger actor would need to be cast to play Johnson as a young man
To be clear, Young Rock will be focused on Johnson's life before wrestling, when competing in the WWE (then WWF) was just an ambition. The series will touch on his early days as a wrestler, but only from the very start of his career when he was performing at indie shows for $40 a night. From what it sounds like, however, Johnson's life was no less interesting in the years before he ultimately became The Rock. As Johnson explains about the concept for the upcoming TV series:
"We're going to find Young Rock, for example, wreaking havoc in the streets of Hawaii when I was a very young teenager, getting arrested seemingly every single week, doing a lot of things I shouldn't have been doing. Still a good kid. Then from there of course we were evicted off the island and forced to leave the island and move to of all places Nashville, TN where again I continued to get in trouble. Then we go into my high school years and then onto Young Rock as a University of Miami football star if you will until I got beat out of my position by a guy by the name of Warren Sapp who just happened to go on to become one of the greatest defensive tackles of all time."
Though Johnson wouldn't become a Hollywood superstar until after spending several years competing in WWE as The Rock, there was no shortage of major celebrities who'd crossed paths with him in his youth. Johnson names Andre the Giant, Muhammad Ali, and Ronald Reagan as a few big stars from the past he'd encountered as a young man. This teases possible appearances by these stars and other celebrities on Young Rock, though they'd obviously have to be portrayed by younger actors.
It's needless to say that any fan of Johnson will want to check out Young Rock, and that's especially true with those who've been following him since his days as pro wrestling's biggest star. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on when we can expect the series premiere on the small screen. This news comes to us from /Film.