Dwayne Johnson To Star In JOHN HENRY AND THE STATESMEN For Netflix; First Teaser Released

Dwayne Johnson To Star In JOHN HENRY AND THE STATESMEN For Netflix; First Teaser Released

Dwayne Johnson To Star In JOHN HENRY AND THE STATESMEN For Netflix; First Teaser Released

Jumanji: Into the Jungle star Dwayne Johnson will portray legendary folk hero John Henry in the upcoming Netflix adaptation John Henry and the Statesmen. But not everyone is happy about his casting...

Dwayne Johnson, the actor who never stops, is reteaming with director Jake Kasdan (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) to help bring the story of African-American folk hero John Henry to life on Netflix. 

Johnson will star in and produce John Henry and the Statesmen, an adaptation of the popular folklore about John Henry, a "steel-driving man" tasked with hammering a steel drill into rock as part of construction for a tunnel. As the legend goes, John Henry raced against a steam-powered rock drilling machine and actually won, only to die in victory as his heart gave out from stress.

John Henry has become a symbol in many cultural movements, especially for the African-American community. He's a symbol of strength, endurance, and dignity, which Johnson says was "instilled in my DNA at a very young age."

Johnson has received a bit of backlash for his starring role as John Henry, mostly because of the actor's lighter skin complexion. John Henry is typically portrayed as a dark-skinned black man. Johnson is mixed race; his father is a Black Canadian while his mother is Samoan.

But Johnson is looking beyond just skin complexion with John Henry and the Statesmen and seems more interested in what the folk hero represents. Johnson posted the teaser on Instagram along with a lengthy post about what the character means to him and why he's honored to represent him in this film.

Inspired to bring to life one of my childhood heroes, John Henry, in JOHN HENRY & THE STATESMEN. 

In this movie, I’ll lead an ensemble of the most popular folklore figures and legends from different cultures around the world. 
[Netflix] is the perfect partner & platform to bring these global folklore icons to life. The NETFLIX brand speaks directly to our @sevenbucksprod ethos of being bold, ambitious and game changing - and most importantly, always thinking “Audience first” in homes all around the world. 

The legend of JOHN HENRY’S strength, endurance, dignity and cultural pride was instilled in my DNA at a very young age. My dad would sing “Big John” to me every time he would put me to bed. At bedtime most children get loving nursery rhyme songs — I got this/ 

Every mornin’ at the mine, you could see him arrive. He stood 6 foot 6 and weighed 245.
Kind of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip. And everybody knew you didn’t give no lip to Big John. 
Big John. Big Bad John. 

Directing this big ol’ tentpole is the talented and passionate, Jake Kasdan. Jake and I found nice success together in a little movie called, JUMANJI. Gonna be a lot of fun bringing these legends to life. My childhood hero. The steel driving man and his disruptive band of international folklore legends. JOHN HENRY & THE STATESMEN 

What do you think of Johnson starring as John Henry in John Henry and the Statesmen?
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