The box office king is about to bring his Furious clout to China.
Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious actor will star in Skyscraper, which Johnson declared will start shooting in August for a July 13, 2018 North American release, to be produced by Universal Studios and Dalian Wanda Group-owned Legendary Pictures.
“BREAKING: Grateful to share this big news. Universal Studios and @Legendary Pictures have declared JULY 13th 2018 SKYSCRAPER weekend. Massive scale of a movie we’ve been developing for almost two years and we start shooting this August – in CHINA,” Johnson wrote on his Instagram account.
“Our script, written and to be directed by Rawson Thurber, focuses on the world’s largest skyscraper — that’s on fire. A towering inferno almost a mile into the sky and my wife and kids are trapped on the top floor.
“My character is a disabled US War Vet and former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader. This character is inspired by the thousands of disabled US veterans and war heroes I’ve had the honor of shaking hands with over the years. This character is also an homage to the every day [sic] man and woman who, despite all odds, will dig deep and do everything possible to protect and save their family.
“Research for this film has been a real education for me (and that’s saying a lot considering my horrible freshman year GPA) from meeting with the world’s top skyscraper architects to spending amazing time with our US combat and disabled vets.
“Good thing I’m not afraid of heights. But at 4,000ft it’s a different story.
“Let’s get to work.”
The movie, first announced in May 2016, has been described as “Die Hard in China,” but older viewers may recognize shades of, as Johnson alluded, The Towering Inferno. It is not a re-make of the 1996, straight-to-video Anna Nicole Smith starrer of the same name.
Rawson Thurber most recently directed Johnson in 2016’s Central Intelligence, which took in over US$200 million last summer. That film was not released in China.
Johnson, who was recently named Hollywood’s highest-paid actor by Forbes, starred with Vin Diesel in Furious 7, China’s all-time top-grossing foreign release. The actor sometimes known as The Rock returns with Diesel in The Fate of the Furious, which bows in both China and North America on April 14.