No, Dwayne Johnson will not be playing Santa Claus in ”Red One“
There are few performers in Hollywood whose dance cards are as full as Dwayne Johnson’s, and producer Hiram Garcia recently gave TheWrap a peek under the hood of what the future of Seven Bucks Productions looks like – specifically with regards to a couple of highly anticipated sequels for Johnson.
Garcia serves as president of production at Seven Bucks, which was co-founded by Johnson and Dany Garcia. The production company has been behind all of Johnson’s films over the past few years, including the Netflix action-comedy “Red Notice,” releasing this Friday, Nov. 12, as well as two 2019 films that are poised to spawn further sequels.
One of those films is “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” which found Johnson finally spinning off his Luke Hobbs character from the “Fast and Furious” franchise into his own film, with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw as his reluctant partner. The 2019 throwback buddy action comedy grossed $760 million worldwide, and in March 2020, Johnson confirmed that development on “Hobbs & Shaw 2” was underway.
When Garcia recently spoke with TheWrap, we asked about the status of the “Hobbs & Shaw” sequel and whether it’s being planned as some kind of endpoint for Johnson’s time as Luke Hobbs.
“We never like to announce anything like that prematurely,” Garcia said. “We’re letting the story dictate where the characters go, but we are writing the story with complete freedom in terms of making the craziest version of a Hobbs movie we can.”
The producer noted that they have a “very ambitious vision” for the next Hobbs movie, but they want to differentiate this film from the epic scope of the finale of the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
Another sequel in development at Seven Bucks is “Jumanji 3,” and with news that director Jake Kasdan – who helmed “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Jumanji: The Next Level” – is directing Johnson’s next movie (more on that below), we asked Garcia if this meant that development on the next “Jumanji” movie had slowed. As it turns out, it’s quite the contrary.
“We’re still pushing along on that,” Garcia said. “That’s the great thing about this business, we juggle a million things at once. We’re working on the ‘Jumanji’ pitch and have a super fun take on what we want to do with it, so we’re hard at work on that.”
The producer added that they have a vision for a “big third movie” and revealed that Sony is eager to make the film as well, so another “Jumanji” movie is very much on the table.
As for what’s next for Johnson and Seven Bucks, that would be an original holiday movie referred to as “Red One.” The story comes from Garcia himself, and “Hobbs & Shaw” screenwriter Chris Morgan is working on the screenplay while Jake Kasdan recently signed on to direct. Garcia said that project will start filming later next year, and is being planned for a holiday 2023 release via Amazon Studios.
Before that, though, Johnson is taking a bit of a break – and it’s hard to blame him. The actor and producer spent 2020 adjusting to new COVID protocols to finish “Red Notice” and then moved right into filming his long-awaited DC debut “Black Adam,” which is due for release in summer 2022.
Find out more about “Hobbs & Shaw 2,” the next “Jumanji” sequel and “Red One” by reading that portion of our interview with Hiram Garcia below.
“Red One,” I know that’s a big project for you. You guys just signed Jake Kasdan. So is that next up? Is Dwayne playing Santa Claus?
Hiram Garcia: (Laughs) That one is next up. Dwayne is not playing Santa Claus but he is playing an awesome character in this world that we don’t want to give away just yet. We’re so thrilled to have Jake on board. And as we were putting together the movie, he was our first choice to direct. What he’s done with the “Jumanji” movies is incredible, and the opportunity to pull him into this massive Christmas adventure and turn mythology on its head was very appealing. I think this partnering between Jake, Chris Morgan and our Seven Bucks family is going to make for a really fun ride. We’ve been having a great time cracking this story and can’t wait to get going. The goal is to be filming this sometime next year. We’re hard at work on it and continuing to build out the team. Obviously, as you said, this is a very special movie for all of us.
Is that one that you think might be ready for release next holiday season? Or is that more of a 2023?
Garcia: We haven’t dated anything yet, but our hope would be for holidays 2023.
With Jake on “Red One,” is that third “Jumanji” movie kind of on the backburner for a bit?
Garcia: No, we’re still pushing along on that. That’s the great thing about this business, we juggle a million things at once. We’re working on the “Jumanji” pitch and have a super fun take on what we want to do with it, so we’re hard at work on that. I think obviously, that would come after “Red One,” but I think with the timing and availability of all our actors, that’s pretty much the timing where it needs to be anyway for when they’d be free. We have a good vision for this big third movie and Sony wants it really bad just like we do. Because of all those things, it’s in the works, but would, by all means, be coming after “Red One.”
Right. And then you also have Universal knocking on your door about “Hobbs and Shaw 2,” which I know Dwayne has said it’s not if, but when, that happens. But he also teased bringing some finality to that sequel. Is that kind of the idea with that one? Just one more film bringing that Hobbs story to a close?
Garcia: We never like to announce anything like that prematurely. We’re letting the story dictate where the characters go, but we are writing the story with complete freedom in terms of making the craziest version of a Hobbs movie we can. Who knows what that means, but we definitely know we have the freedom to take those characters wherever we like. Where we’re going to end up when we wrap that movie? Who knows, but we do have a very ambitious vision for this movie. We know that all the “Fast” movies have a formula and a vibe that feel really good, but we would like to shake it up with Hobbs.
And Universal’s on board with that and making it feel a little bit different than all those other movies have felt, to mix it up a bit, because I think those movies continue to get bigger and bigger. We know “Fast 10” is in the works right now. It’s going to top what “Fast 9” was, which was massive, and them finally going to space. For us, we want to shake it up a little bit and provide something for the fans that’s going to be enjoyable and really cool, but also feels fresh within that universe, just to keep it interesting. We’re hashing away on that. We have some huge, fun ideas of what we want to do with it and continue to push that development along.
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