Sources tell us Dwayne Johnson will voice a good-hearted monster in the upcoming Disney animated feature Monster Island.
Yesterday the world learned that The Rock would reprise the role of the mythical hero Maui in a live-action adaptation of the beloved animated film Moana, and now we know that isn’t the only Disney project he’s signed up for. Our trusted and proven sources tell us Dwayne Johnson will play a friendly monster in the upcoming feature Monster Island. They tell us his character will aid his friends on the titular island full of strange creatures.
We don’t know at this point whether these friends of Dwayne Johnson’s character in Monster Island will be newbs to the titular island, or perhaps humans and/or animals who simply aren’t used to rubbing elbows with monsters. It’s fitting Johnson will play one of the friendlier island inhabitants, considering it was his character who helped guide the only likewise “friendly” monster in the 2018 video game adaptation Rampage. Johnson plays Davis Okoye in the flop, a primatologist who befriends a gorilla and helps the beast defeat a host of other massive creatures.
Considering more recent events in Dwayne Johnson’s career, choosing to make Monster Island makes sense. Black Adam not only proved to be a critical and commercial failure, but reports of how its production negatively impacted both Henry Cavill‘s future with DC Studios and the production Shazam! Fury of the Gods has done Johnson’s reputation no favors. In contrast, ever since Moana, features that The Rock has added his voice to have worked out well for the star.
Superhero fans had no love for last year’s Black Adam, but a few months earlier families and critics were much kinder to the star-studded DC’s League of Super-Pets, in which Johnson voiced Superman‘s caped dog Krypto. Likewise even though it was released seven years ago, any random trip to FlixPatrol will confirm that Moana almost always remains in the Top 10 movies streamed on Disney+ in the United States. In fact, it’s currently in the very top spot — that’s no doubt helped by the announcement about the live-action film, but it consistently ranks high regardless.
So it could be that Dwayne Johnson is choosing Monster Island because ever since Moana, animated features have proven to be a relatively safe haven for his talents. Playing a cartoon monster will likely draw fewer angry barbs from fans of Cavill and/or Zachary Levi.
It’s just as likely Disney is hoping that with Monster Island, Dwayne Johnson’s name will help turn around the studio’s relatively poor animated feature performance of the last few years. While it did damage to the entertainment industry as a whole, the COVID-19 pandemic was particularly rough with Disney’s animated films, forcing Pixar movies in particular like Soul, Turning Red, and Luca to go straight to streaming.
Since Disney’s animated fare began returning to the theater — outside the occasional hit like Encanto — things haven’t gone that very well. Features like The Bob’s Burgers Movie, Lightyear, and Strange World either underperformed or straight-up flopped. The studio is no doubt betting on Dwayne Johnson’s name making sure the same doesn’t happen with Monster Island.