Payday Loans
Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)


  1. Jet Li, The One, 2001.     The superstar wrestler, billed as The Rock,  quit for his heaviest pay-day as The Scorpion King, a prequel to his role in The Mummy 2 (co-produced, no less,by the WWF: World Wrestling Federation), rather than being a cop who kills evil versions of himself. “The most interesting part,” said Jet, “is when Jet fights Jet.”  Difficult, explaining that concept to a wrassler.
  2. Aaron Eckhart, Thank You For Smoking, 2004.      “The message Hollywood needs to send out is: Smoking Is Cool!” After Mel Gibson and before Eckhart, The Rock was suggested for tobacco industry lobbyist Nick Naylor.

  3. Johnny Depp, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2004.   
    The People’s Champion was Tim Burton's reserve choice for chocolatier Willy Wonka. HHonestly!   In case Johnny could not get free. Tim’s 31 other fancies for Willy were his ole Betelgeuse, Michael Keaton, Gandolfini, Rowan Atkinson, Dan Aykroyd, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chaze, Warwick Davis, Robert De Niro, Dwayne Johnson, Ian McKellen, Marilyn Manson, Steve Martin, Rik Mayall, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, John Neville, Leslie Nielsen, Brad Pitt, Peter Sallis, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ben Stiller, Christopher Walken, Robin Williams. And the surviving Monty Python crew (also up for the 1970 version): John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin. Among the five exec producers, author Roald Dahl’s widow, Liccy, wanted her husband’s favourite Willy - Dustin Hoffman.   If not possible she voted for UK comics, Eddie Izzard or David Walliams. She was quite happy with Depp… who found Willy’s voice whule riffing on a stoned George W Bush!

  4. Karl Urban, Doom, 2004.    DJ preferred Sarge (“more interesting”) to the lead role of John Grimm, which went to the Kiwi better known as Eomer inThe Lord of the Rings movies.   Johnson first  dropped The Rock for Southland Tales, 2006.
  5. Ron Perlman, Hellboy, 2004. Hellboycreator American Mike Mignolaand Mexican  director Guillermo del Toro(giving up Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanfor his dream project)agreed there was one star only - Perlman.  Joe Roth’s Revolution combine said: Vin Diesel. Or his future Fast Fiveco-star: Johnson.Del Toro did not agree.  US-Mexican stand-off. “Me - or him!”  End of story.
  6. Vin Diesel, The Pacifier, 2004.     Actor Thomas Lennon is a Jackie Chan fan. Imagine his disappointment when having co-written this tough-guy- turns-baby-sitter comedy exclusively for Chan, the Hong Kong superstar turned it down. Johnson and Bruce Willis also passed. No matter, Lennon’s cut of the Diesel version doubtless made up for it.
  7. Christian Bale, Terminator Salvation, 2008. Governator Arnold suggested The Rock  for T4 in 2005… when Johnson finally dropped "The Rock" in his billing for  Southland Tales.
  8. Amir Khan, Zombieland, 2009.     As “the point-blank zombie,” when the idea was to have several celebrity zombs - Mark Hamill, Matthew McConaughey, Joe Pesci, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, etc.
  9. Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland, 2009.       In earlier days, The Rock (and UK comedy star David Walliams) were considered for The Mad Hatter. Once Tim Burton agreed to direct, it was nolo contendere  about who would be asking Alice: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” (Neither Burton, Depp, nor even Lewis Carroll had the answer).
  10. Tom,Cruise, Jack Reacher, 2011. “I look back in gratitude,” said DJ, “that I didn’t get Jack Reacher.. Look, I didn’t even know if I had a shot for it, but the people around me at that time… did. I felt like: Why not me? In Hollywood, actors are kind of like in a box… a certain look, skin colour, size, etc. Fortunately, for me, there aren’t a lot of guys at all who look like me. So, all of my roles, from the beginning of my career -  I’ve been a lucky sunuvabitch   - they’ve been created and designed for me. Except Jack Reacher...  Tom was the biggest movie star in the world, and I was not.”

  11. Mark Wahlberg, Transformers: Age of Extinction, 2013.     Trans4mers  was something of a reboot. With many new characters, Dinobots included. But Johnson passed on the struggling inventor Cade Yeager, too busy flexing his way through Hercules -  in a false beard made of yak public hair!  No wonder they had to pay him $12m.
  12. Kellan Lutz, The Expendables 3, 2013.   Johnson was in the frame for the ex-Marine joining Sylvester Stallone’s testosterone take on Dad’s Army - until Sly realised he’d forgotten the teen market.
  13. TJ Miller, Big Hero 6, 2014.   “We didn't set out to be superheroes. But sometimes life doesn't go the way you planned.”  Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt and Ryan Reynolds were short-listed for Fred - comic-book fan and now comic-book hero in Disney’s first Marvel subject, winning the best animation Oscar.. It unfurls in 2023 (we all know that computer battery number, right?) in San Fransokyo (‘Frisco rebuilt by the Japanese after an earthquake) and deals with a super-troupe behind the titular collective name… that nobody ever uses. TJ next joined Reynolds in Deadpool. "He's a real student of comedy,” said co-director Chris Williams, ”so Fred ended up becoming a richer character than anyone expected.” Stan Lee, himself, was Fred’s Pop.
  14. Zachary Levi, Shazam! 2018.   DJ asked his followers which dude he should be - Shazam or Black Adam.   They voted Adam, but Johnson wanted the titular cat - with, why not, Armie Hammer ads Black Adam… absent from  the Levi version.
  15. James McAvoy, It Chapter Two, 2018.  At one time The Penguin, The Rock, Peter Quill, Harry Potter, Deadpool, The Green Hornet and Doctor Who were suggested for the adult Bill Denbrough - ie, Danny De Vito, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt, Daniel Radcliffe, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogan, David Tennant. Also in the mix: Zac Efron, Will Ferrell, Sean Hayes, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Rogan and such off-the-wall outsiders as UK comics Russell Brand, James Corden, Eddie Izzard and Matt Lucas!  McAvoy was the real McCoy - and one of the biggest Stephen King fans around. Bill Skarsgård had more fun as Pennywise this time.  No literal nightmares about fighting the clown, no kid actors scared by him in scenes, his five-hour make-up cut by half and less dialogue…  in


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