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Feature: The Scorpion King

He Will Rock You!

The Rock as the Scorpion King!

Star The Rock and director Chuck Russell explain why The Scorpion King is one kickass adventure…

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, had a minimal amount of dialogue in The Mummy Returns, and when he did speak it was in an ancient fabricated language. But his brief appearance as the Scorpion King in that movie so impressed the producers of the film they decided to craft a starring vehicle for him, chronicling the warrior’s rise to power.

Johnson’s own ‘rise to power’ has been swift and undeniable. At 6’ 5” and 250 pounds, he began wrestling under the name of ‘Rocky Maivia’, which soon was shortened to ‘The Rock’. A six-time champion of the World of Wrestling Federation, Johnson admits that even he was amazed when he was approached about revisiting his character, the Scorpion King, in a prequel to The Mummy Returns. “I was really excited,” he recalls. “My long-term goal has always been to break into the film industry and I was waiting for the right opportunity. It felt like this was definitely it. It was a phenomenal chance for Universal to take, and I wasn’t about to let them down.”

He didn’t let Universal down. The movie’s opening weekend take was $60 million. The film also amassed some positive reviews, comparing it with action adventure movies from the ‘50s, which was a concept that director Chuck Russell was immediately drawn to when he first read the script. “For me the movie falls into the adventure/comedy/romance films – it’s a classic genre movie. We have tried to make a film that’s exciting in its action, but is family friendly and that’s an honourable goal. The Rock has a young audience from the WWF that I wanted to be honourable to. I wanted to stress the adventure, the excitement right down to the blocking of the action scenes, without it becoming violent.”

The Rock acknowledges that he didn’t even feel he was shooting a prequel. “I don’t think The Scorpion King has anything to do with the role in The Mummy Returns, which was a very small part. I was in the first five minutes and the last five minutes, when it wasn’t even me. With a character like this there is a myriad of emotions. He goes on this great journey of discovery, love and betrayal.”

by Judy Sloane

More from director Chuck Russell and star 'The Rock', and a fully comprehensive round-up of the latest DVD releases in:
Ultimate DVD #34

© Universal
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

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Ultimate DVD #34, see below for ordering options
Ultimate DVD #34
October (Scorpion King) 2002
ships from Sep 5 2002
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UK £3.99 / US $7.99

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