Dwayne Johnson To Play Folk Hero John Henry In A Netflix Original Film

In the latest power move by Netflix, they've put all of their boatloads of cash into securing a brand new original film by the most popular actor in the world, Dwayne Johnson.  Variety reports Netflix will be the home for John Henry and the Statesmen, which reunite Johnson with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle director Jake Kasdan.

Netflix apparently won a fierce bidding war with other major studios for the rights to the film, an original pitch by The Lego Ninjago Movie writer Tom Wheeler. Variety doesn't offer any plot details, but it likely centers on John Henry, the African-American folk hero so good at driving railroad spikes that he faced a steam-powered rock drilling machine and won, although the victory cost him his life. It's a classic man vs. machine tale, but has been adopted by many cultural movements, especially the labor and civil rights movements. A contemporary version makes a lot of sense, and Johnson has slammed enough steel to probably compete with John Henry. Deadline adds that Johnson will  "lead an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world."

Johnson says about the news, “Netflix is the perfect partner and platform for us to continue entertaining our global audience in a disruptive way. These diverse characters speak to a legacy of storytelling that is more relevant than ever and span across a worldwide audience regardless of age, gender, race, or geography.”