Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson, The Scorpion King
Credit: The Scorpion King: Bruce Birmelin

Could this be the next action hero? The WWF champion put his enormous toe in the water last year with a supporting part in ”The Mummy Returns” (in which he turned into a giant arachnid and got squished by Brendan Fraser). Now he’ll reprise the role for a spin-off prequel set in 3000 B.C. ”You get to see how my character rose to be a king,” The Rock explains. ”He starts out as an assassin, but then he sees that the gods have chosen him, so he has to go on this journey of discovery….” He wasn’t going anywhere, though, without some acting lessons first. Larry Moss, who coached costar Duncan for ”The Green Mile,” did a lot of the heavy lifting, but Russell (who directed another behemoth-turned-actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in 1996’s ”Eraser”) also helped The Rock get in touch with his inner core. ”I’m not saying that he’s Olivier,” Russell says, ”but he’s one of the quickest studies I’ve ever met. He’s willing to go wherever he has to go emotionally in order to give a full performance.”

The Scorpion King
  • Movie
  • 94 minutes