Warner Bros and New Line have won an auction for The King, a new epic starring Dwayne Johnson as Hawaiian king Kamehameha.
Robert Zemeckis is set to direct a film that could be compared to Braveheart, and only partly because King is based on a spec written by that film’s screenwriter, Randall Wallace. Seven Bucks Productions’ Johnson, Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia are producing with FlynnPictureCo’s Beau Flynn, Zemeckis and Wallace. Wendy Jacobson will be executive producer.
Kamehameha is the legendary king who was the first to unite the warring Hawaiian islands, which fulfilled the prophecy that surrounded his fabled life since birth. He took control of Hawaii’s destiny, and gave the islanders leverage in advancing the culture in trading with the foreign ships from Europe that began showing up on the shores of islands that must have seemed like paradise, albeit a sometimes dangerous one as explorers like Simon Metcalfe and Captain James Cook discovered before Kamehameha forcibly unified the islands.
Several studios bid on the package, but a big reason for the outcome was the comfort level built with New Line and Warner Bros. execs Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood and Blair Rich on San Andreas. The plan is to shoot the film in 2020, and the auction was conducted while Johnson and his team are in Atlanta where they are shooting Jungle Cruise for Disney.
It’s been Johnson’s dream to one day play Kamehameha. Johnson wanted a visceral historical epic like Braveheart, and so sought out Wallace who sparked to doing it on spec. They then sent the script to Zemeckis, who jumped aboard quickly.
Zemeckis’ biographical comedy-drama Welcome to Marwen, starring Steve Carell, releases on December 21, 2018. Zemeckis will also be directing and writing an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, with Guillermo del Toro and Alfanso Cuarón executive producing.
What do you think of this pairing? Are you excited for The King? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.