Dwayne Johnson is taking his “wild, Forrest Gump-like” life story to the small screen. Young Rock, a comedy series about his early life, is set to premiere this month on NBC, and the Johnson will produce and 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, and NBC gave the show an 11-episode straight-to-series order. Young Rock won’t be Johnson’s first foray into TV, however: He starred for five seasons on the HBO series Ballers alongside comedian Rob Corrdry.
The Rock has never been shy about sharing snippets of his story with fans, but this show promises a wide ranging look into Johnson’s early life and how he became the superstar he is today. From his childhood in Hawaii to his days playing football at the University of Miami, there’s a lot of ground to cover, as you can see in the preview below:
Here are all the details we know so far about Young Rock:
The show will premiere on Feb. 16 on NBC.
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 also provides a glimpse into the people and events that influenced Johnson’s rise to stardom, including his dad, WWE superstar Rocky Johnson, and his time playing football at the University of Miami.
Uli Latukefu, Bradley Constant, and Adrian Groulx will play Johnson at different stages of his life: as a college student and football player at the University of Miami, a high schooler, and as a young kid, respectively.
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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