It’s odd to realize that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who will be referred to as The Rock from here on out because I grew up watching wrestling, is quite possibly the biggest movie star in the world.
It’s actually a little bit inspiring; regardless of background, anyone can make it to the top of Hollywood. As long as you’re freakishly charismatic, an unbelievable specimen of human size and strength, and also beautiful. It’s a dream for everyone!
He’s now a big enough name that when you see The Rock is attached to a project, whether producing or starring, it almost overshadows that Will Ferrell is also involved. But when you’re talking about a sports-themed behind-the-scenes comedy, Ferrell’s credentials are solid as well, with Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, and Talladega Nights all containing similar elements.
This show sounds like it might fall in between The Rock’s current HBO show Ballers and those Ferrell movies on the realism scale:
The series offers a behind-the-scenes look at a fictional professional wrestling outfit and chronicles the one-of-a-kind odd couple relationship that develops between a charismatic young character, like the The Rock, and a painfully awkward comedy writer new to the world of wrestling. A fish-out-of-water among all of these alpha males, this beta former sitcom writer needs as much help as he can get navigating the extremely passionate, sometimes crazy and always unpredictable world of professional wrestling.
“This November will mark the 20th anniversary of my professional wrestling debut,” said Johnson. “I was 24 years old, putting in the hard work, making $40 bucks per match and had no clue of the long journey that lay ahead of me with characters and backstage stories so colorful you’d think there’s no way that can be true. The entertaining show that goes on in front of the crowd pales in comparison to the insanely entertaining show that goes on backstage. Brian and myself can’t wait to tell our stories.”
Look for the pilot next season on FOX, and with the big names behind the camera, it seems reasonable to expect it to go to series.
Professional wrestling is certainly a world of characters, though it’s also occasionally an incredibly sad, dark place as well. It’ll be interesting to see if the show mines the heavier material, or if it just goes for laughs; if it’s the latter, it could ring a bit false.