Dwayne Johnson is taking his “wild, Forrest Gump-like” life story to the small screen. NBC announced that Johnson will produce Young Rock, a comedy series about his early life, and the actor will appear in each episode, Deadline reports.
“It was almost as if I had the childhood of Forrest Gump,” Johnson told reporters at the Winter Television Critics Association press tour.
Johnson created the series with Fresh Off the Boat executive producer Nahnatchka Khan, who also co-wrote the pilot episode. The show was given an 11-episode straight-to-series order and could be an option to premiere in Fall 2020 for NBC. The show won’t be Johnson’s first foray into TV: He starred for five seasons on the HBO series Ballers alongside comedian Rob Corrdry.
Johnson posted about the news on Instagram, giving a rundown about some of the potential storylines the show could get into from his life:
View this post on Instagram
My wild Forrest Gump-like childhood. As a kid I grew up meeting legends. Kicked puberty’s ass by age 10. My 1st arrest by age 13. Earned full scholarship by age 18. Academic probation by age 18. Won national championship by 19. Failed to get drafted by NFL at 22. Only $7bucks in my pocket at 23. Wrestling in flea markets at 24. Rocked goofy ass fanny pack at 25 🤦🏽♂️ Our new @NBC sitcom has been all my life in the making. Literally. @sevenbucksprod @NBC #FierceBabyProductions YOUNG ROCK
Here are all the details we know so far about Johnson’s new project:
Johnson will appear in each episode: Even though Johnson is a worldwide movie star and can’t really operate on a network TV schedule, the show has found a way to feature him in each installment. The show plans on incorporating him into each episode by having him appear as a “bookend” to each episode.
“We’re very excited about the show, we have found a really fun, creative way to weave me into the show, into every episode in a pretty cool way,” Johnson told reporters in a video at the Winter TCA press tour.
The show will bounce around during Johnson’s formative years: “We’re going to find young Rock wreaking havoc in the streets of Hawaii, when I was a teenager, getting arrested seemingly every single week, doing things I shouldn’t have been doing, but still a good kid,” Johnson said. “Then we got evicted off the island, and moved to, of all places Nashville, Tennessee, where I continued to get in trouble.”
The show will have some wild stories: “Just imagine me at 15 in downtown Nashville, listening to honky tonk, buying my first car from a crackhead for $70 – I did talk him down so I was a pretty good negotiator,” Johnson said. “Then we go into high school years and then I became University of Miami football star, if you will, until I got beat out of my position by a guy by the name of Warren Sapp, who went on to become one of the greatest defensive tackles of all time.”
Characters on the show will include Johnson’s family members: Through his career, Johnson has often spoke about the important family relationships he’s had over the years, and the show will reflect that. Deadline reports that the show will “cover numerous periods in his life” and also will include “key relationships with his mother, father and grandmother.”
NBC was eager to snag the series: “When we pitched the show to our friends at NBC, at the end of the pitch, all jaws were dropped and all hands were raised and they said ‘we are in 100%, you’re not allowed to pitch this anywhere else’,” Johnson said.
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