October 10, 2018
Netflix has secured the rights to a feature currently titled John Henry and The Statesmen to be directed by Jake Kasdan and star Dwayne Johnson in a follow up to their teaming on Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The film is an original pitch from writer Tom Wheeler (The Lego Ninjago Movie) and developed with Hiram Garcia, president of production, Seven Bucks Productions.
Johnson will serve as a producer on the film in addition to starring as John Henry and leading an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world, according to a Netflix release.
“Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way,” said Johnson in a statement. “These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race or geography.”
“Dwayne is a global superstar, inarguably one of the most popular actors in the world,” said Scott Stuber, head of Netflix’s film group, in a statement. “He and Jake are a tremendous duo with a proven track record of entertaining audiences worldwide. This is a story with universal appeal and we can’t wait to bring these characters to families around the globe.”
Kasdan will also produce alongside Seven Bucks Productions’ Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia and Beau Flynn of FlynnPictureCo.
“We have been committed to an international storytelling model for more than a decade,” said Dany Garcia in a statement. “Our partnership with Netflix is giving us an incredible opportunity to reach a broad and diverse audience in the most accessible and intimate manner. We are absolutely thrilled with the opportunity.”
“Developing an expansive universe of characters that present a needle-moving premise while entertaining our domestic and international audiences, is priority for Seven Bucks Productions,” Hiram Garcia added in a statement. “Tom’s brilliant concept aligned perfectly with our company’s creative sensibilities. We are ecstatic to develop this shared universe populated by a vast library of American and international folk heroes. The possibilities are limitless.”
“Over the past decade, FlynnPictureCo. and Seven Bucks Productions have been focused on creating global event feature films to entertain the worldwide audience, and we have cultivated a direct relationship with our fans in the US and overseas,” said Flynn in a statement. “So, to be able to partner with Netflix and utilize their immediate reach to 190 countries is a game-changing opportunity for us to develop a brand-new franchise in John Henry and The Statesmen.”
Seven Bucks Productions and FlynnPictureCo. most recently wrapped Johnson’s Jungle Cruise for Disney. Johnson and Seven Bucks are currently filming Universal’s Hobbs and Shaw in London. Kasdan is in pre-production on a sequel to Jumanji, which Sony will release in December 2019. Wheeler is currently show running the Netflix original series Cursed, based on a book he authored, illustrated by Frank Miller.
Seven Bucks Productions was co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia and creates original content for television, film, emerging technologies and digital networks. Its productions have included Disney’s Jungle Cruise, Universal’s Hobbs and Shaw, Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Legendary’s Skyscraper, New Line’s Rampage, Universal’s Red Notice and Warner Bros. The King. The company’s original television programming includes HBO’s “Ballers,” NBC’s “The Titan Games,” BET’s “Finding Justice,” Paramount Network’s “Rock the Troops” and HBO Documentary Films’ “Rock and a Hard Place.”