IMDb > Dwayne Johnson > News
Quicklinks
Top Links
biography by votes awardsNewsDeskmessage board
Filmographies
overviewby type by year by ratings by votes awards by genre by keyword
Biographical
biography other works publicity photo galleryNewsDeskmessage board
External Links
official sites miscellaneous photographs sound clips video clips

Connect with IMDb



2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

10 items from 2006


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for Gridiron Gang

22 September 2006 3:02 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

If I said I interviewed Dwayne Johnson, few people would raise an eyebrow. If I said I interviewed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you’d know which eyebrow I was talking about. Until now, Johnson mainly has stuck with action films such as “The Rundown” and “Walking Tall.” His new film, “Gridiron Gang,” puts him in unfamiliar territory, playing a correctional officer trying to change the lives of juvenile inmates through football. I sat down with Johnson at the Four Seasons Hotel while he was in town promoting the film. While talking with him, I realized this is the one film of which he is most proud, and it sounded like he really appreciates his role’s potential for helping turn kids around. “Gridiron Gang” is based on the true story of detention camp probation »

- Jeff Bayer

Permalink | Report a problem


'Gridiron Gang' wins low-scoring Friday

16 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In what is shaping up as another lackluster weekend at the boxoffice, Sony Pictures' football tale Gridiron Gang took the No. 1 spot on Friday. Directed by Phil Joanou and starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, the inspirational account of a team at a juvenile detention center grossed an estimated $4.6 million according to tracking site boxofficemojo.com. In second place, Brian De Palma's neo-film noir The Black Dahlia, released by Universal Pictures, collected an estimated $3.8 million for the day. »

Permalink | Report a problem


'Gridiron Gang' wins low-scoring Friday

16 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

In what is shaping up as another lackluster weekend at the boxoffice, Sony Pictures' football tale Gridiron Gang took the No. 1 spot on Friday. Directed by Phil Joanou and starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, the inspirational account of a team at a juvenile detention center grossed an estimated $4.6 million according to tracking site boxofficemojo.com. In second place, Brian De Palma's neo-film noir The Black Dahlia, released by Universal Pictures, collected an estimated $3.8 million for the day. »

Permalink | Report a problem


'Gridiron,' 'Dahlia' take the b.o. field

15 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Hollywood is counting on Sony Pictures' Gridiron Gang and Universal Pictures' The Black Dahlia to provide a much-needed lift at the boxoffice, which dropped last weekend to levels unseen in several years. It will be a horse race, though, as to who will nab the top spot, and the results will serve as a lesson to the industry as to who dominates the boxoffice: young males or older adults. In this case, the PG-13 Gridiron Gang has been resonating strongly with young males, while females and older adults are ready to turn out for the R-rated Dahlia, from director Brian De Palma. Gridiron could be hurt by the familiar football setting most recently depicted on the big screen with the successful Invincible from Buena Vista Pictures, which has grossed more than $45 million in three weeks of release. Both Gridiron, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Dahlia -- which also has competition in fellow period film Hollywoodland, from Universal subsidiary Focus Features -- could score in the mid- to upper-teen millions. »

Permalink | Report a problem


Gridiron Gang

15 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Hollywood has always loved tales of redemption -- the poor, downtrodden or otherwise disenfranchised finding their true value with the help of an inspirational mentor. Sometimes the formula works. Unfortunately in Gridiron Gang, Dwayne The Rock Johnson is about as inspirational as a yawn.

A true story, based on an award-winning documentary, about inner city kids in juvenile detention who come together to forge a winning football team, is great material, but the film never catches fire. With rabid interest in the new football season and a major marketing blitz by Sony, the film could score a few early touchdowns in its first weekend but should tail off quickly after that.

Johnson plays Sean Porter, a dedicated probation officer at Camp Kilpatrick, the last stop for teenage gang members and violent offenders before the state locks them up with adults.

Frustrated by the frequency with which the kids return to the camp after being released, he imagines that by creating a football team he can instill discipline and a sense of self-worth in his charges. In other words, he's a man on a mission, and he's got plenty of work to do.

First, he must get the institution to go along with his plan. That means convincing reluctant camp director Paul Higa (Leon Rippy) and his assistant Dexter (Kevin Dunn) that it can work, and then finding other high school coaches willing to compete against convicted felons.

Then he has to put the team together. These kids, most of them from the Los Angles area, and many from rival gangs, already live in an environment of distrust and hatred.

His main reclamation project is Willie Weathers (Jade Yorker), a surly youth who killed his mother's boyfriend after losing his cousin in a drive-by shooting. Then there's his gang nemesis Kelvin (David Thomas), the angry Samoan Junior Palaita (Setu Taase), the team's water boy and mascot Bug (Brandon Mychal Smith) and the white but-not-too-trashy Kenny Bates (Trever O'Brien). In this sanitized version of street life, none of them are really bad kids, they just made bad choices.

Porter peppers them with uplifting messages about grit and determination and not being losers anymore. And -- surprise, surprise -- after numerous hardships and disappointments, the Mustangs, as they are called, become a self-respecting team that wins enough games to make it to the regional championship.

Director Phil Joanou, making his first feature in seven years, does a nice job giving the film a gritty, lived-in quality (much of the picture was shot at the real Camp Kilpatrick in the Santa Monica Mountains), and the football sequences, coached by Alan Graf, look and sound like The Real Thing. But screenwriter Jeff Maguire hasn't given them enough to work with.

The characters all have back stories -- Porter's mother is dying and he hates his father; Weathers is trying to go straight and win back his girlfriend; Junior longs to be reunited with his 2-year-old -- but not the depth to make them seem like anything more than types.

At an unbelievable 126 minutes, the film is bloated with story; too many things happen, mostly setbacks, to allow the movie to gather any momentum and soar, as this kind of picture must do to succeed. But Johnson is the real problem because the film is built around him. He is the latest in a long line of muscular hunks who don't so much emote as deliver lines. But in fairness, it is not easy to sell dialogue like, "accept this challenge and I promise you, you'll be winners."

Lensing by Jeff Cutter, production design by Floyd Albee, editing by Joel Negron and other tech credits are good enough to draw you into the film; unfortunately, there's nothing to keep you there.

GRIDIRON GANG

Sony Pictures

Columbia Pictures presents in association with Relativity Media an Original Film production

Credits:

Director: Phil Joanou

Screenwriter: Jeff Maguire

Executive producers: Michael Rachmil, Shane Stanley, Ryan Kavanaugh, Lynwood

Spinks

Producers: Neal H. Moritz, Lee Stanley

Director of photography: Jeff Cutter

Production designer: Floyd Albee

Music: Trevor Rabin

Co-producer: Amanda Cohen

Costume designer: Sanja Milkovic Hays

Editor: Joel Negron. Cast: Coach Sean Porter: Dwayne The Rock Johnson

Malcolm Moore: Xzibit

Ted Dexter: Kevin Dunn

Paul Higa: Leon Rippy

Willie Weathers: Jade Yorker

Kenny Bates: Trever O'Brien

Bug: Brandon Mychal Smith

Leon Hayes: Mo

Kelvin Owens: David Thomas

Junior Palaita: Setu Taase

Donald Madlock: James Earl III

Jamal Evans: Jamal Mixon

Danyelle Rollins: Jurnee Smollett

MPAA rating PG-13

Running time -- 126 minutes »

Permalink | Report a problem


Sedgwick in Disney's 'Game Plan'

14 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Kyra Sedgwick will star opposite Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in Walt Disney Pictures' family football comedy The Game Plan. The movie's start of production was postponed after Johnson suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in June. Production is now slated to start Sept. 24 in Boston. Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray, whose football movie Invincible has proved to be a winner at the boxoffice, are producing. Andy Fickman directs. The film, written by Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price, centers on a football player who learns that he has a daughter and follows his journey to become a father. Sedgwick, who was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on TNT's drama The Closer, will play Johnson's ruthless, over-the-top sports agent who doesn't care about the daughter. »

Permalink | Report a problem


'Gridiron,' 'Dahlia' take the b.o. field

14 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Hollywood is counting on Sony Pictures' Gridiron Gang and Universal Pictures' The Black Dahlia to provide a much-needed lift at the boxoffice, which dropped last weekend to levels unseen in several years. It will be a horse race, though, as to who will nab the top spot, and the results will serve as a lesson to the industry as to who dominates the boxoffice: young males or older adults. In this case, the PG-13 Gridiron Gang has been resonating strongly with young males, while females and older adults are ready to turn out for the R-rated Dahlia, from director Brian De Palma. Gridiron could be hurt by the familiar football setting most recently depicted on the big screen with the successful Invincible from Buena Vista Pictures, which has grossed more than $45 million in three weeks of release. Both Gridiron, starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Dahlia -- which also has competition in fellow period film Hollywoodland, from Universal subsidiary Focus Features -- could score in the mid- to upper-teen millions. »

Permalink | Report a problem


The Rock's injury forces change in 'Game Plan'

21 June 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

An injury sustained by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is forcing Walt Disney Pictures to write a whole new playbook for its family football comedy, The Game Plan. Johnson suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon injury Monday during a football practice in preparation for his upcoming role as a professional quarterback in the movie, which was previously known as Daddy's Girl. Johnson is slated to undergo surgery Friday in Miami. Production has been put on hiatus and the studio said it will continue when he can resume his role in the film, though that will not be determined until after surgery and will have to take into consideration recovery and rehab time. »

Permalink | Report a problem


Sanchez in Dis' 'Plan' as female lead

14 June 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Roselyn Sanchez has landed the female lead in the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson starrer The Game Plan for Walt Disney Pictures. The family comedy centers on a professional quarterback accustomed to the bachelor lifestyle who discovers he has a 7-year-old daughter after an ex-girlfriend dies. Sanchez will play the child's ballet teacher and the eventual love interest of Johnson's character. The actress also has booked a small role in New Line Cinema's Rush Hour 3, in which she will reprise her role as Isabella Molina. Game Plan begins shooting June 26 in Boston. Sanchez is repped by UTA and the Collective. »

Permalink | Report a problem


Southland Tales

22 May 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Deep into Richard Kelly's miasmic 160-minute fantasy Southland Tales, an actor who used to call himself The Rock places a gun at his temple and says, "I could pull the trigger right now and this whole nightmare will be over," and every impulse screams: "Do it!"

It comes too late, however, as the will to live is lost in the first reel when ex-Rock Dwayne Johnson, playing a $20-million-a-film movie star, tells of an infant that has not had a bowel movement in six days and warns that a thermonuclear baby fart could blow up the world.

Written and directed by Richard Kelly and employing most of the creative team of his 2001 film Donnie Darko, the picture was conceived in tandem with three graphic novels that tell the story leading up to the end-of-the-world scenario depicted in Southland Tales.

The film strives to rank alongside such classics as Brazil and Blade Runner but falls more into the category of "Mars Attacks!" and 1941, and boxoffice potential will rely on very tolerant young audiences.

Kelly, cinematographer Steven Poster, production designer Alexander Hammond and costumer April Ferry succeed in putting some impressive images on the screen as the city of Los Angeles sees its final days. But the English term "shambolic" best describes a slow-paced, bloated and self-indulgent picture that combines science fiction, sophomoric humor and grisly violence soaked in a music-video sensibility.

The opening sequence shows a nuclear mushroom cloud bursting over Abilene, Texas, but the after-effects aren't too bad because by 2008, the Venice natives in Los Angeles remain pretty much as they've always been.

A new fuel called "fluid karma," using hydroelectric power drawn from the ocean, promises to save the future, though scientists, corporations, the Pentagon and big government inevitably start to fight over it.

Several factions want in on the action, including a Marxist group, a porn actress bent on blackmail and assorted gun-toting freaks. Somewhere at the heart of things is the movie star who has written a screenplay detailing a geological phenomenon that he imagined but turns out to be actually happening. It has something to do with a breach in the space/time continuum, the usual stuff.

There's also a police officer who exists in two forms (both played by Seann William Scott), and it becomes important that the two incarnations meet. Or don't meet, something like that. Not that it matters. Sequences exist for themselves, and few would be missed, though one or two are quite entertaining. Justin Timberlake, who doesn't have much to do as some kind of soldier, features in a bizarre dance number to the fabulous Killers track All These Things That I've Done that has MTV rotation written all over it.

Familiar faces including John Larroquette, Jon Lovitz, Miranda Richardson and unbilled Janeane Garofalo pop up here and there to no great effect. Wallace Shawn and Zelda Rubinstein are on hand, as you would expect, as mad scientists.

Scott, Johnson and Sarah Michelle Gellar, as the porn star, do their best with the lame material, but it's uphill work. There was more fun and greater character development in Starship Troopers.

SOUTHLAND TALES

Universal Pictures and Cherry Road Films

A Cherry Road/Darko Entertainment and MHF Zweite Academy Film production

Credits: Writer-director: Richard Kelly; Producers: Sean McKittrick, Bo Hyde, Kendall Morgan, Matthew Rhodes; Executive producers: Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Oliver Hengst, Katrina K. Hyde, Judd Payne, Tedd Hamm; Director of photography: Steven Poster; Production designer: Alexander Hammond; Editor: Sam Bauer; Music: Moby.

Cast: Boxer Santaros: Dwayne The Rock Johnson; Roland Taverner: Seann William Scott; Krysta: Sarah Michelle Gellar; Dr. Soberin Exx: Curtis Armstrong; Brandt Huntington: Joe Campana; Cyndi Pinziki: Nora Dunn; Starla Von Luft: Michele Durrett; Dr. Inga Von Westphalen/Marion Card: Beth Grant; Dion: Wood Harris; Vaughn Smallhouse: John Larrroquette; Serpentine: Bai Ling; Bart Bookman: Jon Lovitz; Madeline Frost Santaros: Mandy Moore; Sen. Bobby Frost: Holmes Osborne; Zora Carmichaels: Cheri Oteri; Veronica Mung/Dream: Amy Poehler; Martin Kefauver: Lou Taylor Pucci; Nana Mae Frost: Miranda Richardson; Shoshana: Jill Ritchie; Dr. Katarina Kuntzler: Zelda Rubinstein; Fortunio Balducci: Will Sasso; Baron Vin Westphalen: Wallace Shawn; Hideo Takehashi: Sab Shimono; Simon Theory: Kevin Smith.

No MPAA rating, running time 160 minutes. »

Permalink | Report a problem


2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000

10 items from 2006


IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.

See our NewsDesk partners