Wrestlers turned actors don’t usually end up winning Oscars, so putting one in a film is always a risk (see: Hulk Hogan), but if you absolutely must have a wrestler in your movie, then The Rock is easily the best bet. He’s a great actor and everyone including your mum loves him; simply put him up on the screen and wait for the box office dollars to roll in.
Stephen Merchant is a person that is alive, so by default he knows this, and has decided to grab old Dwayne to appear in his next movie. And just in case he was worried about his acting ability, he’s made sure it’s in a movie about wrestling - you’ve got to play to their strengths, wrestlers.
The flick will be about real-life British wrestler Paige, who, like most of us, grew up in a family of wrestlers, and who, unlike most of us, has quickly become a big deal in the industry. Stephen obviously doesn’t trust Paige’s acting ability just yet (regardless of the fact that she starred in Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon) and has instead chosen Florence Pugh from The Falling to take the lead role.
It’ll be the first time Merchant has directed a movie on his own, seeing as he had his good mate Ricky Gervais to help him on his first foray behind the camera with Cemetery Junction, way back in 2010, when the world was all nice and definitely not terrifying.
Still, he’ll have Dwayne Johnson for back up, as he’ll be executive producing as well as starring, in the co-production between Film4 (classics like Sexy Beast, Dead Man’s Shoes and East Is East) and WWE Films (classics like Jingle All the Way 2, Leprechaun: Origins and The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!).
They’re going for Fighting With My Family as the title, which takes its name from a Channel 4 doc that aired in 2012 about the very same Paige, who was raised in Norwich. It starts shooting in London and L.A this month.
Realistically, an Office sequel starring The Rock as David Brent and Triple H as Dawn would have been preferable, but you can’t have everything.