CinemaCon 2017: How Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stole the show

Credit: Nerd Reactor / Robert Galvan

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the biggest celebrities in the world, and he graced us with his presence at CinemaCon by showcasing some of his upcoming work. He didn’t have just one, or two. He had three movies that were showcased at the convention. When he hit the stage, it was electrifying.

Johnson didn’t hit the stage and say only what was on the teleprompter (which we could read from the front row). He went off script and improvised tons of jokes that were mostly aimed at himself. For anyone in the audience, it was a treat to see this giant admirable and humble guy making fun of himself and talking directly to the audience in a way that showed he was not only having fun. He actually cared about why we cared.

This was supposed to be a common theme at the studio presentations, but a lot of the talent made it clear that they were only there to market their film and do what their contract required… not The Rock. He was there to show off Baywatch and Jumanji, and we were lucky enough to watch Fate of the Furious which comes out on April 14, 2017.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

First, he arrived with the cast of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and gave us the first look at the film with a trailer that still hasn’t been released.

Currently, Jumanji is a film that people are really hesitant about, thinking that a remake with big franchise stars would dishonor the late Robin Williams’ memory. The Rock was there to tell us that this isn’t a remake but a continuation that honors Robin Williams. He told us about the first time he ever met Williams and what an honor it was.

In the trailer they also mention the only person to escape Jumanji, Alan Parrish (who was played by Robin Williams in the previous film), proving that The Rock really cared about making sure this would make fans happy.

What we saw of Jumanji was captivating. Not only are we looking forward to the film, we think that it was the highlight of Sony’s presentation. If you care, you can read more about it here.

Baywatch

The Rock is a busy man and told us how he had to catch a flight back to LA that night after showing us Jumanji. He surprised us the next evening when he returned with Paramount to showcase Baywatch. Apparently, he went home to film Ballers in the morning then flew back to Las Vegas. He promised CinemaCon 2016 that he would be back in 2017 to show off Baywatch, and he indeed kept that promise.

He showed off a red band past redband trailer that he called a FU-Band trailer. This trailer showed off some of the more provocative scenes of the film, including a very funny interaction between him and Zak Efron in a morgue. The entire audience laughed throughout the scene, and when the cast was on stage together, there was definitely a spark between them that we can see on the big screen.

The Fate of the Furious

The next day, The Rock was unable to be there, but most of the cast of Fate of the Furious was there to talk about the film. They surprised the audience by letting us be the first people to see the entire film. Even though The Rock wasn’t physically there, his presence was felt on the big screen with his hilarious and god-like character Hobbs stole much of the film with his fights and one-liners.

With three huge new films, it’s no wonder that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is considered one of the biggest stars in the world and commands a presence that is more than well deserved. We look forward to seeing what’s next for him, and hopefully next year, we will see him again at CinemaCon 2018.

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Robert Galvan
Robert Galvan 392 posts

For as long as he can remember, Robert asked the questions that others wouldn't about love, life, and death which brought about his interest in the human psyche and moral compass, resulting in an infatuation with comics, zombies, and movies leading to a long standing relationship with his imagination.